Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hope... Courage and Gratitude

Little could I have ever completely understood how much more meaning this sign would convey to me as my journey carried me away from Hillsdale and deposited me back home on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. The mysterious Universe has always teased and guided me all along the way.  I have trusted (for the most part) in its intent and guidance. Some questions and answers in Life are quite simply beyond human comprehension... or control. Simply said - one's Karma.

Hope and Faith are deeply embedded in my spiritual beliefs and my psyche. They have carried me through many dark passages on my journey. Quite simply put- they have led me beside still waters... and have restored my soul... on more than one occasion. 

Once again, I am experiencing deep darkness in my journey. But that state of darkness does not fall squarely upon me. The darkness and danger hovers... unfortunately over one of my beloved family members - my lovely daughter Allison.

The breast cancer detected early last year has once touched her... suddenly... unexpectedly and cruelly... despite her massive efforts to drive the disease totally from her body over the past year. Undaunted and courageously "She"... and her family once again ready themselves to resume the fight. Our combined Faith remains fully intact in our hands and our hearts as we ready ourselves to do more battle.

On my personal front... I divine my courage,strength and will to fight from the very same sources where I have always mined them. I draw great strength from meditation and prayer while sitting in solitude and looking out over the river. I end each day with this ritual... and it offers a modicum of peace... strength and comfort. I have struggled in my earlier efforts, but have finally managed to return to the easel where I find great peace in the act of painting - I always have.

For these gifts of the my family and good friends... the river... my painting, I feel a great sense of gratitude. Despite this threat upon Allison's life... I feel deeply... and strangely blessed.

Here is a thought that found its way to me this week through this very blog. It is a quote from a well-known singer and actor, Glen Hansard. I took both comfort and pleasure from reading it and wish to share it with you in this post.

"Sometimes you give birth to something, or you're part of a team that gives birth to an idea, and it grows and has a whole life of its own and you are grateful. It's just so humbling."

Strange... how this passage should arrive out of no where and apply so appropriately to this situation. Allison's struggle with this dreaded disease (which will strike one out of nine women during their lifetime) has given birth to the formation a support team for Allison. 

The Shermantors are once again registered and committed to the task of completing the the annual Canadian Breast Foundation's CIBC sponsored Run for the Cure. The 5k run or 1k walk event commencing at 11:00 am will start and finish at Saint Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

Allison will unfortunately be unable to walk with her team at this year's event. She will be recovering for an upcoming surgery to hopefully attack and deal with her cancer on Friday, September 29th. Deb and I will lace up our runners and join these fifteen loving friends and medical staff to show our pride and support for Allison's ongoing courageous and determined battle to rid herself of this dreadful threat and unfair interruption to her teaching career and personal life. 

I have raised $1275.00 in donations to date on Allison's behalf. My deep wish is simply that women will not face this trauma in the future through ongoing research break throughs and discoveries made possible by worthy events such as this Run For a Cure.

Allie... breakfasting in Bruges, Belgium last month. No despair on this face. She inspires all whose lives she touches with her courage and stoic sense of humour and outlook on life!

Wanna share?... another Bruges moment...

The real "shock n' awe"... at the foot of Verones's Adoration of the Magi... a magical moment!

Perhaps one of my favourite of many photos I have of my Jemima Puddle Duck. A truly pure and thoughtful... sensitive young woman... still full of wonder and a rich lust for life and sharing in the face of trials past and present that most folks would buckle under. I am so VERY proud of you Sweet Heart!

As I mentioned earlier in this post... my painting spirit and creativity were derailed entirely for several weeks... and I was devastated... paralyzed at the thought that her cancer had returned. But her courage has enabled me to recover gradually and I have resumed my painting with vigour and determination - the very kind that my lovely daughter has modelled for me to follow. These paintings below... are dedicated to Allison and her courage. We WILL fight and conquer this demon. I paint and walk for "You"... with "You" and beside "You"... forever! I love you Sweet Heart!


"Summer's Gold" - oil on gallery wrapped canvas 24 x 30 inches

"Sailing Through Summer" - oil on Gallery wrapped canvas 30 x 24 inches

"Whisperin' Pine" oil on canvas 30 x 36 inches