Thursday, December 11, 2008

The best gifts (2)...


Judy writes of sheep in a comment on the Christmas in a BIG way! post and I must say, it was one of the most heartfelt gifts that I ever gave...

Our sister, Betty, died in October of '02. We were stairsteps growing up: in January of any given year, Betty, Merry, Judy and Hugh were just a year apart in age. I always felt like I came in a package of four, even though we were individually wrapped.

Her untimely death did something to all of us and we were incomplete. I wanted to acknowledge it and ease the pain I knew Christmas would bring to us and to our parents.

While in England, Judy sent a photograph of sheep to me, and asked if I could paint them. I told her that I wasn't an artist, just a wannabe, and I couldn't do such a thing (even though I was secretly flattered that she thought so!). But she just knew I could! And, well, my desire was so strong to ease the pain, to give hope, that I tried to paint that photograph: three sheep huddled together and another, separated on the other side. I tried to make up for the lack of excellence of the painting by surrounding it with the best frame I could find. I was pleased with the results.

It was a large painting and I couldn't wait to bring it in and give it to her. Sisters have a special bond, and the day Betty died, my bond with Judy grew stronger and more protective - we would never take each other for granted again. She had to fill Betty's shoes for me, as Hugh filled Daddy's when he died in 2005.

Anyway, that painting became an important gift to this giver as well as to the receiver.

2 comments:

juju said...

Thank you for writing what I couldn't. I looked for a picture last night of the sheep and couldn't readily fine one--Was so tired. I went to bed. Again you have said and done what I felt. I love you because you know my heart. Can't wait to hang your painting at Springland.

family said...

I didn't really get the whole sheep meaning when you painted that Mom. Thanks for sharing the meaning of it. How sweet. bo