Monday, December 20, 2010

Dr. Bascom and her Mom

5x7, Oil on Canvas

Dr. Bascom has been my doctor for 10 years now. I really love her. Not just because of her bedside manner (which she has a very calm, kind nature) but because from the very beginning, she would sit down and look me eye to eye and let me talk. Sometimes grabbing Kleenex for me and other times joking with me about our little girls.

I remember years ago praying for her as she was recently married and I knew she was wanting a baby. It was taking some time. I remember the day I walked in and saw her belly and the way she smiled and I laughed out loud at her joy and my joy. I praised God all the way home that day.

I can also remember when Myla was born, my firstborn girl, and how I had prayed that Dr. Bascom could deliver her and sure enough Myla waited to enter the world until Dr. Bascom was in her office hours. Dr. Bascom calmed me. She praised me. She helped me to be a Mom.

When I found out I was having twin girls I was in shock and to my embarrassment also overwhelmed with fear. She handed me some Kleenex and started to talk very slowly and gently about how this pregnancy would not be anything like my other one. She saw me often and I always left thinking, "O.k. I can do this. Just a few more weeks." Like I had seen my coach and was getting my head in the game.

Recently, I've been in her office for some female problems. While I was in the waiting room I noticed a program with her Mom's face on it saying, "In Memoriam." I was so surprised as I remembered seeing her Mom and her at our pediatrician's office (yes, we have the same pediatrician and she's great too). When Dr. Bascom came into the waiting room we launched into our usual talk about what to do, what our options were etc. I was frustrated and in some pain and felt the tears coming and there she was holding that box of Kleenex. As I stopped to get myself together I remembered the picture and asked her about it. She immediately started to cry too and told me her Mom had died in May of this year from cancer. She was able to be with her right up to the end and was so very grateful for that. I felt terrible for having her talk about it and then there I was crying over my little problem when she had lost her sweet Mom.

Well, all said, I'm about to have Christmas with her in a way. I'm having a procedure done on the 23rd and will be able to go home around the 24th or 25th. I wanted to paint her something. I wanted to paint her a tree, In Memoriam of her Mom.

I picked the Pacific Yew as Dr. Bascom has lived in many places but she says she is from the Northwest (Washington State). The Pacific Yew grows along the coast from California to Canada and thickly in Oregon and Washington State. Unlike the other giants of the Northwest, the Pacific Yew is not a tall or thick tree. It is humble, unassuming and one of the most precious trees in North America. The Yew has a long history with Native Americans for its use (because of the toughness of it's wood and yet flexibility) in making bows and oars. Both necessary for the survival of a people and for taking care of families. In recent years the Pacific Yew has been found to have cancer fighting properties that help in stabilizing microtubules - the part of the cell that helps in preserving the shape of the cell and also helps in cell division. The compound has been found to fight against certain types of cancers, especially the ovarian and breast types. I picked this tree In Memoriam because of this. Although her dear Mom was taken by this terrible disease the tree that is her symbol is the one that fights it for many women.

In my painting I have a thick (they can get to be 4 foot thick) Yew in the foreground as I was thinking of her Mom. Although I didn't know her I see her daughter's strength and kindness mixed into one person so well. I can only imagine her Mom having such qualities. Behind the Yew are two other Yew trees as I thought of Dr. Bascom and her little daughter and how the large Yew has her branches over them protecting and caring for them.

Of course, I could not paint it without putting the light in. That great light of God and how He is there with us through all of life's journey. My prayer is that Dr. Bascom would see His great love for her and her family and she would be comforted by His presence.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Renee's Painting

Finished this 16x20 piece for a sweet friend from church today.
She wanted to have Crepe Myrtles as the trees for her painting as they reminded her of her Grandparents. They apparently loved to plant these beautiful trees near their home.
In the painting I had planned to make it more pink as Renee recalled pink Crepe Myrtles but when I started with the light it made the trees shadowy. I liked what was happening but was afraid it was going to lose the pink she had talked about. After talking it over with Renee (she's so great) she liked it with the shadows and said, "..It makes me think of what they would look like in the evening time."
I wanted the foreground tree (entwined limbs) to represent her grandparents with the largest trunk and the most presence as if all the trees came from this one. Her Mom is next, then Renee then her son who is in the most light. Here is her family trees. I like the symbol of the light as God's powerful presence in their lives. He is the great mystery (that we each get to understand and love) and yet He is a great comfort just like the evening light.
I have admired Renee for many years now as she has a sweet spirit and has one of the hardest jobs on earth: she is a single parent. She has done such a fine job with her son and gives God such glory for it. God bless you and keep you Renee and may His light shine upon you and give you peace.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Passing to Heaven

I finished this little 6x6 today. It is for a friend from the Philippines who lost her little baby boy.
You may be wondering why there is a tree growing in some hands. Good question. The idea I had for the painting was of a little tree and as it was starting to grow has also started to be blown up to heaven by a soft breath. As the breath is blowing it the tree is also turning white.
My Mom always says, "Hold those you love with an open hand because they belong to God. Not us. They just pass through our hands." She lost my brother in the Philippines when he was just a baby and learned how to say this with great faith.
One of the hardest lessons I have been aware of recently is how to savor and appreciate every moment we have with those we love. I look at my children, my husband, my parents and I try to hold open my hands. I claim Isaiah 41:10 that says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
For those friends who have lost loved ones recently I pray all strength and comfort on you and your dear families. I pray we all will walk with such courage and faith as you have done and we will all remember God holds us in His hand. That is a hand that will never let go.