8/5/09

I have to show you something...

Wednesday~August 5th, 2009

I have this amazing friend. I met her right here in my kitchen almost two years ago. She is one of those people that has this way about her, a grace and charm I wish I had the words to describe. She inspires, that's what she does, not only with her paintings and writings, but simply by being who she is. She's beautiful, with her radiating smile and heart. On top of all that, she's the kind of woman that is so down to earth and real, you can't even hate her for all that other stuff. She just gets you, with her open mind and sensitive spirit.

I've gotten to know this woman through her words, and even though we've never met outside the computer in my kitchen, I love her.

I want to tell you (and show you) what she did for my family.

I go out to dinner with my Great Aunt Elsie, my Great Uncle Keith, and my Auntie Kay about every other week. I don't know that many people are all that close to their Great Aunts and Uncles, but the road we've traveled as a family has given us the gift of friendship. It was Elsie and Keith that spent many a Sunday with Auntie Kay and I, visiting my Grandpa in the nursing home as his mind failed. They would sing to him and laugh with him even when he didn't understand the joke. They would feed him ice cream and hold his hand. Elsie is my Grandpa's sister, and she was always so proud of him, telling me stories of their childhood and rarely missing a visit.

Elsie and Keith are an example to me with the way they live and love. Last year, when their hearts were broken by tragedy, my heart broke for them. Their daughter Susan died suddenly, tragically leaving behind (not intentionally) her parents, three brothers, and three sons.

As time passed after the funeral last summer, I would see the sadness in their faces and I wanted to do something that would bring them some joy. I got to thinking about a way to remember Sue, a memoriam of some kind. I knew that Elsie and Keith had named her Susan after the flower, so it simply made sense to ask my talented blog friend what she thought about a Black-Eyed Susan painting.

At first I asked if I should maybe attempt a painting myself, even if I'm quite the novice. I wasn't hinting that she should do it, I wanted only her advice.

But then she offered to do the painting for Elsie and Keith.

Yes, she did.

I jumped up and down when that flat package arrived the other day. Then I sat through dinner with Elsie and Keith, their son Craig and his wife Kelly, and Auntie Kay. I had gotten the painting framed and it was waiting in the car. I was entirely too nervous, I think because I knew how much this would mean to them, so I blathered on that I had something in the car for them, something to remember Sue, and I started to cry.



This is why:



Black-Eyed Susan, by Charrette


It's just plain perfect.



They thought so too...


Elsie and Keith ~ August, 2009

Look at those faces. They miss Sue so much, and now they have this beautiful reminder to hang in their home, to always remember her beauty. I don't think I can describe what this moment was like, the first time Elsie and Keith laid eyes on these Black-Eyed Susans. I don't know if I can do it justice, so I won't try. But I will take the time to thank my friend, "Charrette." Lady, you have done such a beautiful thing.

Thank you.



(If you've been visiting this blog long, you may remember I've mentioned what we would name a girl if we are blessed with one someday. Yes. Elsie. Now you know why. She's just too lovely to NOT have a namesake.)

49 clicked right here to comment:

deb said...

oh Heather, I am so glad I stopped here.
I just cleaned up the mess a skunk made in the garage, am running late, and hoped for a blessing from you to break the mood I was diving into.
And you are an angel.
I am bawling and loving people I haven't met and happy for you and for those parents that shine out their love.

You are unbelievable. Truly.
I will carry this miracle in my heart all day and beyond.
As I pray your family does too.
sorry if this rambles and gushes, I am running late, but full of your grace

Chele said...

Okay, you did it again! I have tears! What a beautiful post Heather! God used you for Elsie and Keith.... He is so good! :)

Becca said...

That is a precious thing. I love connections like these - both to extended family, and to bloggy-love.

C said...

Seeeeeeeeeeeeee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . flowers ARE magic and you already knew! :)

xo, crock

Amy said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes! What a truly beautiful and loving gesture on both your part and the part of the talanted lady that painted the photo. It is always so hard dealing with a loss, especially one that was not expected. My Nana passed away 2 years ago. . .I was by her side. She had been sick for quite some time but kept her mind until the very end. Sometimes I still catch myself crying in my bed at night trying not to let my husband hear, so he doesn't worry. My body still aches for the loss of the grandmother that I was so close to. I can only believe that your gift was a comfort to your aunt and uncle's hearts!

May you be blessed beyond measure for your love!

Be Blessed,

Amy

charrette said...

Heather, this is so lovely. I loved reading about your sweet relationship with Elsie and Keith. And I'm so grateful the painting was well-received. (It looks even better framed!) You are an angel. Thank you for this. For the opportunity to help serve when I needed to be able to do something menaingful for someone else. And for all the ways you lift everyone around you.

Terresa said...

What talent! Gorgeous picture, a tribute to an amazing woman, no doubt.

Kazzy said...

Yep, that's Charrette. Sweet, thoughtful and talented. And that's Heather, with her love for her extended family. All of the same attributes. If you lived just a little further west the three of us could be go-to-lunch kinds of pals. But I am grateful for blog friendships as a close second. :)

Jennifer said...

OMG--that is BEAUTIFUL!!

Manic Mother said...

That is so beautiful! I had a great great Aunt Elsie! I told my brother to name his soon due baby girl that, I think its a great name.

Kimberly said...

Charrette is truly one of the most beautiful women I know. I had the blessing of meeting her in person this Spring and the warmth that leaps off the pages of her blog is encapsulated in the person she is.

Dave said...

I never know what to say here. But I always feel compelled to say something. I hope you'll forgive me as I clog up your comments with useless babble :-)

Jo@Mylestones said...

Such a sweet story--and WOW, that painting by the talented Charette IS just perfect.

Kristina P. said...

This made me tear up! What a beautiful gift. And Charette is just as amazing and funny in person as she is online.

Melanie J said...

I love Charrette. She's amazing.

And you are so very, very thoughtful.

Deb said...

it doesn't surprise me that you have such a wonderful relationship with your extended family... or with anyone, for that matter. you get what you give, heather, and you are a glowing example of that.

the painting is lovely.

Em said...

So beautiful - your post, your family, your gesture.

Your soul.

Keyona said...

Beautiful picture and a beautiful friend.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

So, so beautiful and amazing. This just made my day...

Annette Lyon said...

What an amazing gift from an amazing person. Isn't this blogworld amazing that it can connect and bless people this way? I'm near tears here.

jen@odbt said...

What an amazing & thoughtful gesture. Thanks for sharing this moment.

MoJo said...

Stunning. Simply stunning.

Haley said...

This brought me to tears. What a kind gesture on your part and what a lovely, wonderful painting.

Everyone should be lucky enough to have someone as loving as you in their life.

Susan B. at warmchocmilk said...

What a sweet story and such a nice thing for you to do. I'm sure they are very grateful. What a charming picture too.

Sabrina said...

What a beautiful tribute!! You and Charrette are good people!

Roban said...

The painting is absolutely beautiful.... I can't even imagine the emotion you all shared when you gave your great aunt and uncle the painting. I'm sure they will treasure it often.... And Charrette has got to be one of those angels we find on Earth every now and then!

L.T. Elliot said...

I love Charrette too. She is such a healing, beautiful person.

Thank you for this post, Heather. I really needed it. So many times, at your doorstep, I find haven and peace. Love pours from the page. Kindness imbues every word. I drink here and am full. Thank you.

The Rambler said...

I thoroughly enjoy coming to your blog and reading your posts.

I teared when I saw the painting and kept reading. The photo is absolutely beautiful and I just know your Great Aunt & Uncle will treasure it.

Kim said...

Oh Heather, that is so wonderful. What a great talent to share with your family.

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

You made me cry....again. I may just have to stop coming by here :)

Beautimus.....the picture, the name, the friendships.

Lara said...

Wow. Such a beautiful post, and an even more beautiful painting. Just gorgeous.

Life Is Beautiful said...

What a beautiful memorium! And how thoughtful of the blogger/artist to do the painting for you.

I grew up very close to some of my Great Aunts and Uncles. They are relationships I treasure even though most of them have passed away now.

DeNae said...

People who don't blog just don't get it, do they? This is one of the sweetest examples of the great things that can come from these somewhat unconventional relationships.

Charrette really is remarkable. And so are you!

Jen said...

what a beautiful thing to have and to do for two people that you truly love.

Ronda's Rants said...

A beautiful thoughtful gift and what a very talented loving friend you have!

fruitlady said...

That's lovely. Perfectly lovely. I love flowers and friends...

happygeek said...

How beautiful.

april said...

What a beautiful painting and post.

When I read your words, I hear your voice, and you touch my heart.

Motherboard said...

That painting is simply beautiful.

What a wonderful thing you did. You are amazing. Thanks.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

What an amazing gift for them. After losing a brother, I can tell you that these types of things mean the WORLD to grieving parents. So awesome!

Tiaras said...

that was so lovely to read!

Lee of MWOB said...

That painting is breathtaking. What a special person she is to do that for you. What a story. Thanks for sharing and now I will have to go check out that grace of a soul.

Debbie said...

That painting is beautiful. How wonderful that she was able to do something so special for them.

Christy said...

Heather, I didn't have a chance to leave a comment yesterday, but I did click on this post several times just to view that beautiful painting. This post gave me the chills, in a good way...I'm so sorry for their loss. Your painter friend is amazing - so talented, and what a gift she gave them. Amazing.

Blessed said...

A beautiful couple, a beautiful painting, a beautiful example of good bloggyness and a beautiful story.

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

This brought tears to my eyes! What a beautiful painting!

mama-face said...

I can barely read this because of circumstances in my life right now. The painting and the story behind it are very moving.

The way you describe meeting your friend in your kitchen was wonderful. I'm beginning to meet some new friends this same way.

LisAway said...

What a beautiful painting and a beautiful story.

I love you and Charrette.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

That story is a perfect fusion of two of the loveliest blog people I "know."

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