Christianity, Faith, Grief, Health, Recovery, Relationships, Spirituality, Trust, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day for a Proud Papa

I haven’t posted very much lately. It’s not because the thoughts have slowed down (okay, maybe they have, but not for the reasons you might think…) or because Spring is accompanied by a long “To-Do” list. It has more to do with the fact that I simply haven’t been feeling well. I finally received an answer regarding my CT scan and quite honestly, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. There’s an issue needing to be addressed by my neurosurgeon and I don’t see him until tomorrow. So, the answer I’ve been waiting for is still “wait”. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned about patience, and more importantly, trust. It keeps my thinking in check – from becoming full blown obsession. It reminds me that I have a relationship with a power greater than myself and that Power, whom I know as God, has my best interests at heart.

The physical things going on didn’t keep me from enjoying a beautiful Spring Saturday. I got to spend some time on the porch with my beautiful wife since my grandson’s baseball game didn’t start until 10:30. It was a brilliant sunny day for the game. Watching the parents is almost as much fun as watching the game. They seem to get far more upset with the umpire and the score than the kids do. Maybe they should bring post-game snacks for the adults as well…

Yesterday evening, I had the honor and the privilege of attending the reception for my son’s gallery exhibit. I went early. The crowd was smaller then and I’m having difficulty dealing with crowds right now. Besides, he would be busy later doing what artist do at openings – cavorting about and schmoozing with collectors. He wouldn’t have time for me later. Besides, I’m more of a small-town kind of guy and out of my element. The art world is a different animal…

I spent some time talking to the gallery owner who told me of Jeremy’s successes over the last year. I was the proud papa and learned some things I didn’t know about my son. We don’t talk the way we used to and to hear someone else talk about his growth left me with a feeling of pride and an even deeper love for him as a person, an artist, and my son.

We have an unusual relationship. There have been times when his anger has kept us apart, though never for long. Growing up with an addicted parent, particularly a single parent, isn’t easy. It’s hard to see the effects of the disease of addiction on the people we love the most. I don’t know how I can ever make that right, despite an incredible willingness to do so. I’m sure that parenting out of guilt is not the answer, though I’ve done that more than I’d like to admit. Those of you who have been there know what I mean…

I guess that’s why I was so impressed by his exhibit. Prior to the last year his work reflected the scars of growing up as he did. What I saw, and heard, reflected a letting go of the past and pressing on to the future. My son is growing up. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for both my boys. I felt a sigh of relief last night when I realized that both my boys were, in their own way, men of whom I could be proud, and often despite me…

This morning, Mother’s Day, is an interesting culmination to a great weekend. This is the first Mother’s Day since my mother passed last year. Last night, all I could think about was how proud she must be of Jeremy. She wouldn’t “get” his art but she’d beam with pride at his accomplishment. I would love for her to be there in person, but I’ll just have to settle for her presence spiritually. She was there and she’s so proud of you Jeremy Joel.

Of all the paintings he had on exhibit last night, there was one that struck me at a deeper level than the others. It was a piece about two men in a rowboat, fishing together. I didn’t realize that it depicted Jeremy and I until the gallery owner told me. I felt a massive wave of hope flow over me. I’d like to think that in that moment of awareness our relationship changed. I’m not sure how. I just know it’s different.

Art has a way of doing that. It speaks to a deeper level of consciousness. Great art tells a story; a story that resonates with its observers. It offers hope that maybe, just maybe, the future can be different than the past. Real art – whether paintings, sculpture, movies, music, or great books – speaks loudly and clearly. It says that things don’t have to stay the way they are. Real art compliments the unique spirit within each of us and allows us to see differently. Jeremy, my son, you’ve produced some real art.

As you can probably already tell, this blog hasn’t been entirely objective. Some time back, I told Jeremy I would author a press release for him. The more I tried to write it the more I realized I couldn’t. It wasn’t for me to do. My kids are grown. They’re making their own ways in the world. Jeremy’s work obviously speaks for itself. That’s why he has a gallery show and I do not. I only hope that I can draw pictures with words as well as he does with paint…

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