Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Speaking to the Future Generations

Last night we received the phone call that we waited for all day yesterday, the one that would confirm that yesterday was Dave's Nana's last day and would allow us to officially grieve over our loss of her.  Nana had been sick for several months, so the grieving had already been happening for a while.  Drawing upon some memories, hoping to derive some comfort or consolation, I stumbled upon the realization that Nana's message is alive and is all around us.

Nana was a neighbor, friend, community activist, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and even a great-grandmother.  She was also an artist.  She did calligraphy and scrimshaw, but her specialty was watercolor miniatures.  Her artwork is proudly displayed all over our house; we love soliciting surprised responses when we tell others that these pieces are not photos, but paintings.  Amazing was her knowledge of color and light, her attention to detail, her technique with a paintbrush, her ability to use a medium to create and to make alive.  And through her artwork, Nana speaks to me this morning.

I remember reading somewhere that a key to finding purpose in life is finding your medium...that glorious material or subject that allows you to express your true self (I regret that I can't remember the source of this idea...please let me know if you can help me).  For Nana, it was paint and paper, and for my Nana, needles and thread, sugar and flour.  For my Pop-Pop, it was wood and nails, seeds and soil.  Maybe for you it's math or words or people.  The artwork, clothing, recipes, and furniture, live on, along with all of the memories, even after the creator is gone.  They speak to us of the creator's joys, hopes, and talents.  They remind us of the love the creator shared with us.

Today, the desire to be like Nana, to have something that is left behind that speaks to others, compels me to find my medium.  I'm summoning the courage to look deep inside myself, find the message that God has created me, and only me, to share, and proclaim it.  I want to create and invest so that others may hear from me, even when my life on earth ceases.  Today, I'm thankful that we have opportunities to leave pieces of us behind, that we can express ourselves to those precious future generations that we won't have the pleasure of meeting.

We miss you already, Nana L.  Rest in peace.

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