I am dedicating this blog entry to my BFF, Erika Nelson, aka China Doll (yeah, I coined that phrase for her, and no, she is not Chinese but has hair like the china doll my uncle Frank brought me back from Asia when I was 5). Just tonight, I told one of our mutual friends, Linda, that Erika never has anything bad to say about ANYTHING or ANYBODY. Always a smile on her face.
So embarrassed to learn that Erika re-invented her blog back in the early part of the year, and I missed it! She has been so good to comment on mine, and I didn't even know about hers. Then today, I learned that she had painted a portrait study of me that is DAMN good!
Here is the link to that blog. Read all her entries, they are worth it.
Erika never complains, never talks much about herself, but has in a few of her blogs. So, you can read about her experience with polio, and the challenges of being in a wheelchair from her firsthand. It is obvious when you are with her that she is in a wheelchair, but after a few minutes the chair disappears and it is natural to be around her.
I try not to talk about my 'bad stuff', but wonder if it shows on me like her wheelchair does on her? Is it something that people are aware of, but forget after I play the fool and make them laugh?
I'm just now being comfortable easing back into mainstream 'public'...and organizing these workshops has been a real pleasure for me. In fact, I got huge grins watching everyone else watching Mr. Les. I got more out of your faces than I did watching him (sorry Les lol)...the pleasure lasted well into the evenings as we talked about the day's events.
The journey since the loss of our daughter, Sarah, and the destruction by fire of our brand-new home (and everything else we had 7 years ago) has been such a painful 're-entry' for me that I have been a bit of an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand...or a comedy/tragedy mask...and then Erika goes and paints me with my goofy grin and goofier red hair! Pollyanna reinvented!
Art saved me...and I struggled to find good instructors (had to go through a few to find the ones who speak to my heart). To find joy combining my new passion with some of my old corporate skills through workshops has been a blessing.
When I was accosted with negative nellies and all kinds of unsolicited advice from 'experts' who never volunteer for anything...I fell off into the septic tank of negativity. Put my head back in the sand for a few days...guess I'm still vulnerable. Want everyone to be happy. And, I realized again, that there is nothing humanly possible anyone can do to get a group of people to agree on anything.
I won't go into anymore descriptive specific comments...but those of you who lavished praise and loved every minute of the past events I helped organize, you are appreciated.
For my good friends who always observe from the wings and anticipate my every eyebrow lift when in potentially unstable situations...(Echo, Pam, Kippy, Les, Urania, Julene, Judi, Erika, Linda, Dustie, Ron, Randy (always), Rhonda, Charles, Judy, Sylvain, Chantal, Paul, Penny, Agnes, Suzette, Julie, Reba, Lisa, Tim, M&D, Jim, Sarah, Hayley (doubletroublemills), Josh, Jessie, Jerome, and many more) THANKS!
For the rest of you, DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE! I will not allow me to get down in the septic tank of negativity ever again. Put your time where your mouth is!
And, for Erika, thanks for getting me back in perspective. And for painting all night to finish a large, beautiful pastel still life for the show, and figuring out how to get it framed by yourself, from that chair. And for always having a smile on your face! Hmmm...maybe we need to give that chair a name! Freedom, speed queen, dancin' queen, betty (grable for legs),