Spring Renewal

So, obviously, when I said I was back for fall in a recent post, I meant spring. 😉

Actually, last year was a difficult one. Several reasons contributed, and I won’t bore you with the details, but I do want to share some thoughts about my stepmom. She passed away last year after a months-long struggle with pancreatic cancer.

My stepmom came into my life when I was a teenager. I’d known her for over twenty years when she passed away. She was a teacher and educator, and what I’d like to highlight for this post is the support she gave to the arts. My arts, specifically. She attended countless band concerts, supported my writing efforts, and admired my arts and crafts. When she and my dad finally got married, I crocheted them a doily and that thing was out on display for years.

My favorite anecdote, though, is that I drew my dad a dragon when I was in high school. Does my dad like dragons? Not particularly. But boy, I sure did (er, do). He framed it and hung it in his living room. After he and my stepmom married and moved in together, that dragon picture hung in their bedroom until they moved a couple years ago, and it’s now in his study 20-plus years after I drew it.

Is this an amazing tale of over the top gushing and raving? No. I just want to emphasize how a woman who took decorating her home seriously, a woman who did not have a secret yearning to fly through the skies on top of a big fat dragon, hung that picture in a place of honor in their bedroom. Sure, it wasn’t above the mantlepiece, but I wouldn’t expect it to be. It was a high schooler’s drawing of a dragon. She hung it where they would see it every day, not put away in a drawer or closet, and that meant a lot to me.

So, when you think about whether or not you want to go to another band concert, clarinet recital, or high school art show, consider how much that support might mean to the young person who invited you. I know I appreciate what my stepmom did for me.


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