Friends Forever

July 23, 2009

friends

My kids and I have a family that are among our very best friends.  They used to live in our town and go to the same church as us, but several years ago they moved far, far away.  Now we see them approximately once a year when they visit.  Did I mention they live far away?? 

They are in town this week and we got to see them tonight.  It is always bittersweet because the visits go too quickly and there is so much time in-between them.  But my kids and I are always so blessed by the way it always seems like not a day has passed when we get together – no awkwardness, no hesitations…just right back to that special closeness that is the symbol of true friendship.  We are blessed to have it in our lives no matter how much distance separates us physically.  We know somewhere out there is someone who will always be our friend.

Karen's lighthouse mosaic
Karen’s Lighthouse Mosaic

My friend Karen and I are a riot together.  I posted about an Artists in Residence day that we both participated in, and I realized she would make a great post herself.  Karen’s business is named Re-Creations Mosaics.  She used to be a successful decorative painter and very much in demand, but the stresses on her body were getting to be too much, so she sold that business. Now she channels her artistic urges into her mosaics, and they are something.  At first she was timid about showing them to people (she still gives away more than she gets to galleries!), but I talked her into doing a show at the Peninsula Art School in Door County, Wisconsin (specifically in Fish Creek) and they both sold, which blew her away!  I wasn’t surprised because I know how great her work is.  She has started to show them more, and I keep encouraging her to do more, because they are wonderful.

She and I have been friends since the fifth grade.  We were both crazy artist types, and we were the bane of Mr. Jones’ art classes.  I know he loved us, but we couldn’t have been easy to have in class.  We have always been able to inspire each other, and we sure have fun while we do it.  We try to get together regularly to do art projects, sometimes it’s jewelry for me and glasswork for her, but most of the time we try to paint, or collage, or some other medium.  She and I also are the leaders of our church Youth Art Ministry (YAM).  We get a group of the junior and senior high kids together and go crazy.  We call these YAM jams. 

Karen does her mosaics in much smaller pieces than I’ve ever seen – they are literally paintings done with glass pieces.  The detail and color is fantastic!  She typically does them on old salvaged windows (some from my old house), but sometimes she finds cool old frames and uses those, too.  Her creativity is contagious.I am working on her to get a website and Etsy account, etc.  For now I will just brag about her on mine.  The pictures don’t do her work justice, but I hope you can get the idea.

Sunflower Mosaic by Karen

Sunflower Mosaic by Karen

Fulfillment

A Year Ago Today was a really difficult day for me.  One year ago today, April 18, 2007, my divorce was final.  A divorce I didn’t seek, didn’t want, and am still reeling from.  With all the tears and the trauma involved, it’s hard to find the silver linings, but we try.  It’s gotten to be a thing with me and the kids, looking for silver linings.  For example, none of us like chunky spaghetti sauce, but we made it that way “before” because X liked it that way.  So, one of our first silver linings was smooth spaghetti sauce.  Baby steps. 

And there have been lots more silver linings.  My friends and my family have kept me going and have not given up on me.  God has been ever-present and has made me so aware of these silver linings…one of the biggest has been this jewelry business.  It was my hobby business, the one that I kept small because X thought it might interfere with my being support staff for his business, and it might get too busy for me to take care of the kids the way I always had (alone, basically).  But now I see how God gave me this business that was already trying to grow to help me provide for my children during the upheavals of the past year.  I had not worked outside the home before the divorce, and due to the growth of my “hobby business”, I have been fortunate enough to still be working at home. 

Sometimes the inspiration isn’t there.  Sometimes I feel so sad I don’t want to create.  But at other times the ideas flow and the creativity won’t be quieted without hours at my beading table.  My children are so proud of me and I am learning to be proud of myself again.  I went through the Urban Hope program to learn more about entrepreneurship.  I am finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree that has been unfinished for 23 years.

A Year Ago Today, I thought my life was ending.  Sometimes it still feels that way.  But it hasn’t been the end, it’s just the beginning of something new.  I heard once that when we lose something it just makes room for something else to come into our lives.   I have gained much this year, and there’s still room for more.  I will get up tomorrow morning and continue to try to fill it with more silver linings

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