I spent part of the day going through files and storage cabinets in preparation to sell our house. We are downsizing to a riverside condo if all goes as planned. I won't tell you about pouring through decades of artwork, awards, writing projects, homemade cards, and diaries from my kids and twenty-five years of homeschooling. I won't dwell on the buckets of tears and heaving sobs as I remembered how much I loved my children and tried so so hard to be a perfect mom to them, as well as a perfect teacher through all twelve years of schooling each one of them.
Instead, I will tell you about artwork from the 90's that I had totally forgotten I had done! I found them in a sketchbook. Back then, I had a small travel watercolor set, and everywhere I went, I painted a watercolor!
I don't remember. Maybe they weren't content. I do remember the places. The watercolor paintings brought back vivid emotions I felt at the time in the midst of such beauty;
And who is this cat? Is it my little tiger kitten Denali? It might be. I don't remember doing this pastel but it is clearly my work. It's strange looking back at a lifetime of painting. I never thought I was very good...I just knew I HAD to produce art. But looking back, I was not bad.
Some of the names on the paintings were of places I didn't remember. Villagio? Auburn Park? Shove Park? Yet my boys were in many of the paintings so we must have gone to those places and played, as the paintings depicted...
...like my oldest son digging in the sand of a park beach I could not conjure back from the ghostly images in my head of a faded past.
Many paintings were of places embedded clearly in my mind, like my parents' lake house I loved so well. I captured little details, like wildflowers along the shoreline...
or my second boy, Matthias, hooking a worm on his fishing pole. Such good, wonderful memories!
And then I came across some old photos of me and my beloved Honeybun, and of hubby and me. All of us looked sprite, and young, and carefree. Had we really ever felt that way?
After hours of weeping and weeding through memories, I went to my radiology appointment. They marked my chest for the exact area the radiation beam would be directed to zap out any potential lingering breast cancer. I lay still in the CAT scan, eyes closed, thinking of my paintings of all the beautiful places we'd visited, my young children, and the dreams of youth. The machine whirred and clunked noisily, but I breathed deeply the distant scent of hope and optimism, and remembered I had done my best. It wasn't perfect, but it was my best. I hope that is what they remember when I am gone.