Most of the time I could bear to be crafty, I spent making paper chains for my best friend Rachel's baby shower. They're in a fun color scheme with different types of paper. I'm excited to post pictures of the chains after the shower.
But the most important thing for this week, or for this decade, was my Grandfather's memorial service on Saturday. My mother and her three siblings, along with many cousins and other family members, converged on La Verne, California to celebrate the life of an amazing man.
The service would have made Grandpa Chuck proud, a combination of Christianity and Humanism, full of music (a vocal quartet!) and heartfelt remembrance.
|Me and Grandpa at my wedding--December 2009|
I didn't think I'd be able to make this post especially relevant to art or painting, but in considering the wonderful speeches given at the service (especially that of my cousin Bill), I realize his life and words supported art and creativity without being explicit.
My grandfather Charles and my grandmother Ena (who passed over a decade ago) were very loving, supportive people. Unlike many parents of their generation, they didn't pressure their children to pursue a specific type of career or path in life. They made it clear that it was important for them to spend their time doing what they love. From Chuck and Ena came four children who raised ten children, each one knowing they should do what they love in life.
My mother took this encouragement of freedom and became an art therapist and marriage and family therapist. My father, who spent so much time with Chuck as to consider him a second father, has pursued a career in fine art.
I've never questioned whether my family would approve of my decision to become an artist. If there's any doubt, it comes from my own fear of failure.
A family member (who will remain nameless) once told me he was very jealous of my mother and her siblings growing up. He recognized my grandparents' willingness to support their children's creative endeavors, and his parents' unwillingness to support his and his sibblings'. To this day he wishes his parents would have encouraged his artistic interests the way Chuck and Ena did their childrens'.
I think we have no greater gift than the encouragement and unconditional love of our parents and grandparents, especially since it's a trait that seems to be passed on.
We will miss you Grandpa Chuck, and we thank you for all you've done for us.