Hey friends! Before I get started with today’s post, you might notice that my blog looks totally different! I’m rocking a brand new blog design here, and I love it! I still have a few tweaks to make, but I hope you will find it more pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate. Today I want to share with you a very special gift that my sister and I gave my parents for Christmas. My sister found this old photo that was taken some time in the 1970’s of the two of us with our dad. It was really damaged, and someone had punched holes in my face with a thumbtack. Hmmm, I wonder who might have done it, certainly not my sister, I’m sure! We wanted to get it restored for them for Christmas, but when I took it to a local photographer, he unfortunately told me he couldn’t do much with it because it was so faded out. So we came up with another solution. He told me that he could reprint the picture on a canvas and have his wife, who is a local artist, paint it so that it looks like an original painting, so we decided that was the way to go!
Here is the original damaged photograph. For you locals out there, I will include information about the local artist who painted this towards the bottom of the post. How do you like that comb-over and that beard and mustache on my dad? Ha! he held onto his hair for as long as he could! Actually he has always had a beard for as long as I can remember, and he still does. And have you noticed that the beard is back, BTW? I have to say, I am not a fan. I like a little scruffy 5 o’clock shadow, but that’s about it. And what’s up with my hair in this photo? That is one full bang! I do like my rainbow shirt though, and the high wasted jeans. I told you, once a fashionista, always a fashionista, ha!
I took these pictures of the finished piece before Christmas, and had just never gotten around to sharing them with you, but today it seemed fitting. Actually I was going to do it yesterday, but something came up. Something that rocked the world of my family. We found out yesterday that my mom is having some major health problems. I don’t feel ready to share the details, nor do I know that she would want me putting it on my blog, so I won’t just yet. But it has thrown me for a loop, and it got me to thinking a lot about my parents and my childhood, and I thought I would share a little with you. I’m sure a lot of you will relate to this.
You see, when you are little, you think you parents are invincible, am I right? The thought of something bad happening, or them not being around, really doesn’t enter your mind. You parents are the people who love you and take care of you and provide you with everything you need. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I had the perfect childhood. Because really I didn’t. Things weren’t always perfect, and our family had our problems, like most families do.
But no mater what happens, most children love their parents. Working as a school counselor, I see some horrible parents, trust me. I see children be taken from their homes and away from their parents and placed in foster care. Actually to be honest, I don’t see it happen enough, because for every child that is taken, I have 10 more that I wish CPS would do something about. It is very frustrating. But the point I’m trying to make is that even children who come from horrendous living conditions and parents still seem to love them, and they almost never want to be taken. I didn’t come from a home that had horrendous living conditions or abusive parents. We did have our issues, but we still were a good family and we still love our parents.
As I grew up into an adult, graduated from college, got married, and had children of my own, my parents were always there. When I went through a horrible divorce that practically destroyed me, they were there. They helped me through it, emotionally and financially. When I have moved, they have helped me move. When I finally found a wonderful new husband and got remarried, they were there. When I need help with something around the house, my dad often comes by to help me out.
So yesterday, when I got the news that my mom is sick, it made me really sad. I went and spent a few hours with them, and then when I went home yesterday evening, I started thinking about a lot of things. And it really hit me how I am starting a new season in my life. One in which I need to start helping my parents instead of them always being the ones helping me. My sister lives in Virginia, so she is not physically here to help. That will be my responsibility. And I’m not mad about that, of course I will do whatever I can to make things easier on them, because that is just what you do, isn’t it?
I am slowly coming to terms with all of this, and my mind is so full of thoughts right now. It is really difficult to think about and watch your parents starting to age. Difficult and weird, and really, a part of life. It is something that I need to mentally and emotionally prepare for. And right now I feel a heavy weight on my shoulders. Not because I am angry or resentful. Just the normal stress that comes with this new season of life. And it makes me sad, and I just need awhile to take it all in. Does that make sense? But with what is going on right now, it makes this gift we gave our parents at Christmas all that much more special. And I am so glad that we did. I’m the little girl on the left in the picture, by the way. And in the picture below, that is me standing in my boots over the picture, and it is my favorite one of all the ones I took. When my dad opened it he cried a lot. And I knew that they both loved it. When I was there yesterday it was hanging on the wall in their living room. And it was worth every single penny we paid for it.
For those of you reading this who are locals, this painting was done by Katy Crim of Art by Crim. She is the artist, and her husband James is a photographer. You can visit their website here. They have a lovely little studio on Chestnut Street in Clarksburg, and if you would like to take an old photograph and make it into a painting like this, they would be glad to do it for you. They are both lovely people. They also do custom framing, and they framed this piece. They are so nice and easy to work with, and I can’t thank them enough for creating this lovely gift that we gave to my parents. And just so you know, you can go there and have something framed for less than you can do it at AC Moore. So if you need something framed support a small local business instead of going to a big box store. Here is a little side by side of the photograph next to the painting.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I hope you will come back very soon! It seems like maybe I have some new local readers, since an article about my blog came out recently. I was even approached by a local news station wanting to come and interview me! But they wanted to come to my place of work, where I am a school counselor, and I had to decline. I would have loved the exposure, but my blog has nothing to do with my career as a school counselor, and I don’t feel it is appropriate to mix the two. But you never know, maybe another and better opportunity will come my way. Have a great Tuesday, and I would be so appreciative if you can find it in your heart to pray for my mother and my whole family today and in the months to come, because it is going to be a long road.
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