The people who play a huge little role in your life.
I’m thinking of one in particular named Kat. She was a nurse at the hospital where my sister was beginning to die of breast cancer although no one had said that yet and she would still have almost another year. My sister said Kat was her favorite nurse. We both would watch the clock until the shift change. She was my favorite too.
This is the little huge moment I remember that will stay with me forever. My sister had had a rough day. She fought the nurses. She fought me. She curled up in a ball of uncooperativeness and demanded everyone leave her alone as she couldn’t face anymore of what life had to offer. And then in comes Kat, her red plume of hair practically entering and rearranging everything in the room before she got fully inside it herself.
I don’t remember her exact words. I just remember that she matter of factly conveyed there was some living to be done before any more talk of dying. And within just a few minutes she had a wheelchair in the room and my sister in the wheelchair and we were all headed out for a walk around the hospital grounds because the sun was shining. I confess I kept looking about wondering if she was going to “check us out or something first” as it seemed we must be breaking some rules to just escape our seemingly dire circumstances like that without even asking if it was okay first.
If I didn’t believe so much in synchronicity, I would still be wondering if Kat hadn’t planted the woman and her kids and their dog in that little grassy spot and told the woman what to say and trained the dog to do what he did.
My sister was weak and not at all interested in being out there. Kat stopped the wheelchair to massage her neck and get her face into the sun. I watched.
My sister had her eyes closed against the sun and against any more life, until the dog came over. She reached out automatically to pet him and then started talking about how special dogs are and how special her dog at home was. Then the dog’s “owner” came over and (no, I didn’t make this up and I wouldn’t even write it into a romance novel because it would sound so unbelievable) said to my sister, who felt anything but that, “You are so beautiful.” She didn’t talk to Kat or me. She went straight to my sister, an angel on a mission as my sister would describe her later.
And then they left that little spot where it seemed odd to find them in the first place and we went back inside, forever changed by that little huge reminder of how beautiful life can be in any one moment, no matter what trouble seems to be playing out around you.
Kat was right. My sister wasn’t dying that day. There were a lot of beautiful moments with friends and family for her to find first.
So, what does this all have to do with an art blog?
Living is an art. Loving is an art. Letting go is an art.
Thanks to social media, Kat and I have developed a friendship over the last couple of years and, although she is moving this June out of the country and into a dream she and her husband have created, we should be able to stay in touch. I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself on her doorstep in Corfu on a sunny day in the future. She said last night she would like to take a bit of my artwork with her so I’m sending her something today in the mail.
And I am writing this for her because I want her to hear how very beautiful I think she is.