Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Path of Nostalgia

On the day my grandmother died, I found a box of photos that were taken just before the digital age really took hold. I also found photos that I had forgotten I had. I think I must have been subconsciously hiding them away until just the right time. That time is now I guess. The path of nostalgia eases the pain of grief.

Things are going alright. My son has put in a couple of days at his summer job already and he seems to like it. We are getting to know our neighbours and we are settling in. Everything feels completely new, but not in a bad way.

I broke down at the grocery store the day of my Gram's funeral. That's what they get for playing sappy 80s music! Gets me every time! Ha! I couldn't help myself and I felt very sorry for the cashier who had to deal with me. But, as most Saint John folks seem to be (most, I say), she was kind. I got out of there as fast as I could and my family just kind of let me be. Everyone just carried me through the day with their normalcy and really, nobody knows exactly how I felt about Gram but me. So they just let me cry and kind of gently pulled me along and they didn't ask too many questions or expect me to talk much about it and it helped. I do not enjoy being the bleeding heart I used to be.

I found out I actually did pass my Astronomy exam (barely, barely, barely) so I now look ahead to the next term. Summertime is upon us, though, and I plan to enjoy that.

Wedding day. 
My nieces were not extremely excited about the event, but they sure were cute. 

Jacob


Ian and I: our wedding reception. 


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Me giving Isaiah a kiss. 


Ian's baby sister Sam and Isaiah (age 2).


Olivia and I.

Liv doing what she does best; rolling around in her bed. xo 




Sunday, June 18, 2017

Matriarch

My Grandmother and some of her children. She had 10 in all, but 4 died in infancy. 
I believe the child on her lap is my mother, Judy. 


My Grandmother passed away on June 16th. I made up my mind years ago that hers was a funeral that I would not be attending because I have dealt with death a lot in my life and in no way, shape, or form do I believe that it will do me good to look at her body now that her soul is long gone. I chose to  honour her in my own way and at home where I can cry in peace. So here I am...

She was the quintessential Matriarch in every sense of the word and I have never known nor heard of a stronger woman than she was. I loved her fiercely and deeply and I have been preparing myself for this loss for a while. I knew the day would come when I would be asked to walk this Earth without her and here I am. I don't like it at all, but here I am. But I am only one of dozens of people who looked up to her, who cared for her, who relied on her for all sorts of things: love, strength, joy, wisdom, and on and on.

Yesterday it felt surreal, today it feels alright. It seems to be okay that my grandmother died because she has so many people waiting for her on the other side and if you knew my Gram at all, you knew she had faith that could move mountains. She believed whole-heartedly in God and told me in no uncertain terms to not cry for her when her day came because she would be united with The Lord and she'd be exactly where she wanted to be. I couldn't begin to comprehend that kind of talk at the time and I certainly could not keep my promise about not crying, but I get what she meant now. She had unshakeable faith and I will honour that as long as I live. So, I am trying to keep a level head. There will be many tears over the year because I will miss her so much. I certainly will. But I will continue on my path, living a life that she would be proud of. I will continue to take care of my family, to adhere to my convictions, and to remember to have lots and lots of fun, just as she taught me.

The part that really takes the sting away is knowing she is with Trina and Trina is with her. And there are others... Karl, Sherry, Scott, my Dad and so on and so on. She's having a good time right about now if I know her at all.

Until we meet again, Gram.

I will forever remain your devoted and adoring Granddaughter.

Ian, Isaiah, Olivia, and I love you very very much.

xo

Jo

Monday, June 12, 2017

Published Art, Happy Life


(Both images are available in print format in my Etsy Shop. Links provided below).

All Rights Reserved

Expecting 



Cesarean Birth 


Motherhood, for me, has been the most important journey of my life so far. I love my family and I am all about my family and when my children were born, it was the most amazing experience of my life. Of course all mothers say that. As my children grew I spent countless hours making art to put the time in. I was never much for television and in those long hours in between my husband leaving for work and coming home, I would put the time in by painting. I often painted images about motherhood (as you know by now, I think). The two that I have shown here are favourites of mine because one depicts how I felt while pregnant and the other depicts how I felt about my children's c-section births. About two months ago now (give or take a month) I received word that these images have survived the editing process and will be included in an anthropological type text published by Routledge on the subject of birth and motherhood. When I received the news, I was a bit apprehensive and I still I am, if I am being honest. I mean, I will believe it when the text is actually in my hands (that's just my nature) but the news has me feeling pretty humble. To think, my art has had such an effect on the author of this text that she wanted to include my work. I will be able to show it to my grandchildren. I will be able to refer to it on days when I don't feel particularly successful as an artist. I could go on and on but I don't think it takes much imagination to consider how good this feels to me and what it means to me. So I will just leave it at that. 

But these early days of motherhood seem so long ago now. My son starts his first full-time summer job next Monday and he will be earning more money than I earned at my last job and if there's something that will really rock the foundations of your world it is knowing your first born is going to have a bigger bank account than you (at least for the summer). We are lucky because Ian was able to get him a job where he works and since Ian is the boss man, he will be the boss and Isaiah will be in good hands and there is literally nothing I will need to worry about in that regard. I am totally over-joyed for my son and I continually ask myself where the time has gone. But, here we are. My daughter is leaving for Ottawa for several days on Wednesday with her class. What am I going to do with myself? 

I know... I think I will paint. 

I finished another term in university. I have to rewrite one exam (missed it by two points) but it is in Astronomy and you can't fault a girl for not being able to accurately regurgitate the entire universe in one fell swoop.