An Encouraging Sign?

My mother passed away recently and as my sisters and I were going through her personal effects I came upon a keepsake that pretty much floored me.

About 15 years ago my mom and dad befriended a couple from New York city. She was a theatre coordinator and he was a commercial artist. My mom had always had an inkling to dabble in art and now that she was retired she allowed herself to be encouraged by this couple to try her hand at painting. I was thrilled and encouraged her too when I visited and saw what she was up to.

Here are a couple of the experiments she made that she had saved with her little art kit.

Mom's Art

The water color experimentations of Joanne J. Roberts

Fruit Basket
Fruit Basket
Doorway
Doorway
Sun Face
Sun Face
The Cottage on Sturgeon Bay
The Cottage on Sturgeon Bay
Rainbow Wheel
Rainbow Wheel

Not bad, eh?

A Synchronistic Discovery

This was about as far as she got. For reasons now lost, she laid this exploration aside, but hung onto her experiments. I’m so glad she did. As I was sifting through her modest portfolio I discovered a magazine article she had saved with her paintings. I’m not sure what it was about the piece that caused her to carefully tear it out and keep it – was she planning on using one of the photos as inspiration for another painting? Had her artist friend told her about the place the article is about as being a great starting point for someone interested in pursuing their creativity? We’ll never know. But here’s the thing: the article is about the city in Mexico we’re right in the middle of moving to, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico!

An article circa 1995 or so featuring San Miguel de Allende

An article circa 1995 or so featuring San Miguel de Allende

I take this is a very strong and positive sign that I’m going exactly where I should be headed, don’t you?

She had been excited for Mikey (the hubby) and me as I shared pictures with her during the past year of the place we had found just outside the city on the side of an extinct volcano with room enough for my horses. In fact her enthusiasm had surprised me, I had thought she might be worried about us moving so far away – but she believed in our adventurous spirits and understood our moving there would free up some of our resources to be able to visit her and pop more often.

I know she hadn’t looked through her art stuff for years and years and I’m certain she had forgotten she had saved this article. If she knew she had it I bet she would have shared it with me. But I found it anyway and I take great comfort in that. Besides what she taught me through the years it’s the single most important heirloom she could have given me right now. I’m going to frame it and hang it in the new place.

Addendum

I had this piece pretty much buttoned up when I hit a rough patch in my grieving process. I sort of crawled under a rock for a few days, my worried dogs at my side.

Mikey’s already in Mexico getting his paperwork squared away and putting some finishing touches on the house. He, of course, has been very attuned to my recent sadness and sympathetic to it; in fact, worried about me. He was searching the area salvage and antique stores for some replacement doors and in a shop way off the beaten track he walked in and stopped in his tracks amazed at the object before him.  A six feet tall carved wooden representation of the combined magical equines I had drawn to represent my mom’s choices as she had lain in her hospital bed: unicorn for earth, Pegasus for heaven.

Here is what he saw.

Six feet tall antique "pegacorn"

Six feet tall antique “pegacorn”

“Joey” our new ‘pegacorn’ home mascot. Named for my mom and a great big reminder of the powerful healing of synchronistic discoveries. I think, too she will serve as a reminder of the ever present nature where we are and where we go next. Joey feels like she is capable of reminding us we are capable of bridging the gap between the realms with our thoughts, wishes and prayers.

I envisioned my mother's crossroads as choosing between a unicorn (earth) and a pegasus (heaven)

I envisioned my mother’s crossroads as choosing between a unicorn (earth) and a pegasus (heaven)

I’m going on a quick journey to welcome Joey and myself into our new home. It’s an unusual extravagance for us because we’ll be moving there in a month – but Mikey (and Lindy) talked me into it. When I return to finish preparing the pets for their own big adventures in Mexico with us I think many of the butterflies I’ve been accompanied with lately will have stayed to play in the flowers of the arbors surrounding the new place. And of course Joey will be waiting for us all to join her there.

Addendum #2

We found my mom’s wall! At least that’s what I call it. It’s the same wall in the article she saved. Check it out:

My mom's wall! At least that's how I'll always think of it. Click for the full story.

My mom’s wall! At least that’s how I’ll always think of it. Click for the full story.