Tuesday, September 17, 2013
A Day to Shine
My friend, Filomena, who for the past 16 months has also been my mother-in-law is an amazing woman. She has a kind and generous heart. She is an amazing, intuitive cook. She has an incredible gift of hospitality. She is a talented artist. She would literally give someone the shirt off her back - she actually gave me her coat one day. On December 26, 2011, her beloved husband of 62 years passed away and her life changed dramatically. As she walked through her grief as well as a loss of independence, she did her best to create a new life for herself. A few months ago, she moved into an independent/assisted living facility and I watched again as she tried once again to adjust to a huge life change and do her best to create a new life for herself. It was heartbreaking to watch and yet, once again, I came away with so much respect for her and the strength of her character and will. On Friday, after learning from her daughter-in-law that Phil painted, the home where she lives arranged for her to have an art show. Her daughter-in-law pulled together oil paintings that Phil has painted over the years and in the lobby of the home, about 25-30 of her best work was displayed. The afternoon was made complete with a friend of Phil's playing the baby grand piano located in the lobby, a table of cheese and crackers and assorted snacks, and a crowd of family, friends, former neighbors, and residents of the home. It was a beautiful afternoon. The very best part was the happiness the day brought Phil. I kept telling her she was a star. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this beautiful woman who has had such a tough couple of years. Phil has not been able to paint with oils since she moved into the home - she can't have turpentine needed to clean up in her room. An additional blessing from the show was that the activities director found a place where she will be able to go and paint with her beloved oils. So, today I am thankful for the chance to know and love Phil. I'm so glad that her daughter-in-law, Debbie made Friday afternoon a reality. I continued to pray for God's abundant blessings on Phil as she continues to find a new life for herself in her new home and that she will sense God's presence with her as she walks this part of her life's journey. Praying that each one of you will have the opportunity to celebrate someone special in your life. May God shower you with His grace and love as you do!