Monday, December 27, 2010

With a Heavy Heart

  It is strange how things happen sometimes... My husband is visiting friends in Tulum Yucatan, my son and I are visiting friends in Florida. This is unusual, I hardly ever travel without my husband, I usually stay home and hold down the fort while my husband and son do things. This time though, I felt the need to recharge and refresh. It has been a long year....So when the invitation to come to Florida for a visit arrived, I decided to break the mold, get a house sitter/pet sitter and go for it!
  Well, Murphy's Law once again found me. As we were preparing to leave the house for our trip, I got a call from my Dad's wife. They have been in Canada visiting her kids and while they were out with friends my dad had a heart attack. There wasn't much information to work on, it was too early to tell what the prognosis would be. Since Daddy was in Canada and I couldn't be with him anyway, I decided to go ahead and travel to Florida to be with friends. The idea of sitting in the house waiting to hear something, without the loving arms of my husband to comfort us, was just too grim. At least if we were with friends, my son and I would have others that care about us with us while we waited. Unfortunately, soon after we arrived at the home of our friends, tragedy struck for them as well. Now we are taking turns propping each other up, speaking words of encouragement and trying to get through.
  The days passed, I called Canada daily, the news was not good. Daddy was in a coma, his brain filled with fluid, his body was shutting down, but we were still hoping for a miracle. In my heart I knew that he was not strong enough to fight his way back... the toll that Agent Orange had taken on his body would make it difficult for him to recover. He spent much of his life as a soldier, a decorated hero, a man who put his life at risk to save others, but age and infirmity are our worst enemies. While it is possible to win a battle, eventually we all lose the war. He died last night.
  Now with a heavy heart, I realize that I am the last of the family I grew up in. There is no one but me who remembers my childhood. I am the only one left to remember the lives of my dear family members, grandparents, brother, mother and now my dad. While all this is true, and I feel small and alone, I know that I am not alone. My heavenly Father has never left me alone, He has blessed me with His palpable presence everyday of my life. He has also blessed me with a loving husband, two great kids and friends that will help me find peace in the days to come.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Really Good News!

Dear Friends,
  Letter writing and mail art are in many ways about sharing little bits of our lives with each other, it is also about community. Well, I am shouting out in joy to my correspondence community to share with you some really good news.
  I have mentioned on this blog that my husband has some life threatening health issues. He is a strong healthy man full of life and irrepressable optomism. He is the healthiest person I know, but he is walking around with a ticking timebomb in his head.We had to return from Costa Rica to have a second round of treatment earlier this year. Once they were inside his head they discovered that although the rogue blood vessels (dural fistula) at the back of his brain were in check, a much more threatening situation in his frontal lobe had developed. We  decided to try a one time radiation treatment to wither the blood supply to the growths in the front of his brain. This was accomplished 3 months ago. Yesterday he had a follow up CT scan and this morning we found out  from the doctors office that it looks like the blood vessels that supply blood to the fistula in the frontal lobe have begun to shrink!!! The doctor is very happy with the progress and it looks like there may be a prevention for a potentially fatal rupture in the front part of his brain.  He still has many other fistula in his brain but the rest of them are in a less critical areas, and easier to reach for treatment. This is the best news we have had in a long time.
  I am very grateful to God for His infinite mercy, for His love and patience with us as we struggled with fear and emotional paralysis. I know that God hears and answers prayer,  I also know that sometimes the answer is no... but then...sometimes it is a resounding yes! I am so happy that Da has been given a new chance at life! One thing I have learned through all of this is that today IS the day you have... hold it precious, savor the time you have with those you love. Squeeze all the good out of every day, so that when you fall into bed exhausted, having truly lived the day, all you have left in you is gratefulness to the One who made it all possible! Shabbat is fast approaching and there is still much to do, so for now with all my heart I say thanks for your prayers, and caring emotional support. Shalom!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Blessing of Mailart Friends

 My mailbox has been sadly collecting dust of late... Life hasn't allowed for much time at my art table and the addage, "you have to send mail to get mail", is very true. At the moment all my mail art supplies are  packed up in totes, sitting out in the barn in preparation for carpet to be laid on Tuesday. So I haven't had access to my paper, rubber cuts or ink pads. I have a couple of letters written that need to be mailed, but they will have to wait until I can get my stuff moved back into the house.
 I do have a few really nice pieces of mailart to share with you from several weeks ago. My mail art friend Ahmet Demir sent me a set of his wonderful envies, I got a really nice surprise from Gregoris Kotsaris in Greece and an add and pass returned home from Samuel Montalvetti in Argentina. I am posting two of the three and will post a scan of the add and pass once I have mailed it to Hester, who blessed me with the floral card that was the base of the add and pass. I want her to see it first. 
This wonderful set of four envies is from Ahmet Demir in Turkey.

The bicycle print is from Gregoris Kotsaris in Greece, a letter and goodies from Hester in Boston, an envie and artistamps from Julian in Chicago,and the envie that Ahmet's set of four came in.

  We have now been back in the States six months. During that six months a lot of things have happened, good and bad; one of the good things that has come about is that I have reconnected with my letter writing and mail art friends. Sending and receiving mail has been a life saver for me throughout my life. It takes the edge off of lonliness and reaffirms my faith in the human race. I am so grateful for the friends I have made through the mail, as a whole they have been interesting, generous people with a large view of the world and an open heart. I am glad to say that I can now add blog writers and readers to that list. It is a pleasure to write and know that somewhere out there, people are reading( listening to) what I have to say and particpating in community with me. It is a joy! So for now, I will with a grateful heart, say thanks and blessings to you all.