"August on my Mind" - oil on canvas
I had been writing another art... intending to have it in the finished slot before today. However... life again seemed to get in the way and drew me away from the task... so this evening's post will preempt the other.
The above still life painting was created as a joint tribute to both of my parents and their August birthdays. August was a "high" holiday in the Sherman family calendar. Year after year... we met to celebrate as a family at our summer cottage home at the Narrow's... not far from where I currently reside here in Rockport.
The painting is in fact an August cornucopia of wildflowers... fruit and corn... all favourites on our cottage celebratory menu and table. Those foods still rank high on my own list still today. I had two ears of corn this evening to continue the tradition.
We were blessed top share the afternoon with Allison and her Mom Joan... first chatting on the patio with refreshments and catch up chit-chatting. We remain good friends and operate as a full family unit. Life should be about about redemption... forgiveness... and growing up. I am blessed to have all of my family together.... especially in the face of Allison's unexpected health issue and crisis.
Allie is doing well. She will reach the halfway point in her final round of four chemo treatments. She has maintained a powerful sense of control and optimism... fortified by her wonderful sense of humour and intellect. She makes it so much easier for the rest of us to fall into line to follow her lead. We swam together in the River today. It was so refreshing and uplifting. Revitalizing is more likely a better word to describe the feeling we both shared after our half hour plunge and paddle.
Today... my Dad would have celebrated his 103rd birthday. It seems impossible to me. His image as I last knew him remains forever indelible in my memory... as if frozen in the Present as it advances. He was a much more than a Father to me. He was a mentor... advocate... enabler and role model. It gives me such a great sense of peace... contentment and pride when people continue to say that I look and act like him. That is the highest of compliments!
Here he is at the piano keyboard at around the same age of my own son Andrew.... Allison's younger brother. Andrew is a physical knock off for sure to prove that genes do get passed along.
Dad's exceptional musicianship gained him respect across Eastern Ontario and lasted for over his sixty year musical career. He played in an era where true musicianship was valued.. in the "Big Bands" that he played with in dance pavilions around Ontario.
Mom kept the home fires burning while dad made his music. Their contributions to our family both contained music. Mom taught us hymns and children's music. We never were without music in our home... cottage... or in the car when we travelled about. I think that they would be pleased to know that their children and grandchildren still carry the gift of their music... and share it forward.
I will end tonight's tribute to my beautiful parents with a favourite painting... again dedicated to them both. The card title truly says it all for me:
"Thank You... for the Music"
Happy Birthday Mom and Dad... and thank you both for the gift of Life and the Joy you both created for "Me"!
I love you BOTH... Forever! Rest in Peace!