I’ve only told two people the story behind this painting.
Today I’m sharing it with all of you, because you might need to hear it.
First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms. You have a tough job, and we all appreciate you, truly. But for some of us, today can be incredibly difficult.
I always warn you guys when I’m about to post something heavy, so here it is. If you don’t want to read it, move along.
To be honest, I didn’t know what I was painting when I started this. I was spiraling out of control that morning & the only thing I could think to do was to paint. I thought it would calm me. I could barely see through my tears. I can even point out tear stains in the paint. My gut was in knots and I even started hyperventilating at one point. The weight of the day was just too much for me to bear. I always loved Mother’s Day before. I was blessed with a wonderful angel of a mom & granny, and I’ve been doubly blessed to always get to spend so much time with them (and even today) I’ve been blessed a lot in my life, I know that.
But on this particular day? It’s hard to feel any of that. All I really feel is empty.
That morning a string of group texts wishing “Happy Mother’s Day” and poignant motherhood thoughts paired with social media feeds of cute hand drawn kid cards & macaroni necklaces just stabbed me straight in the heart. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t still sting. All I could think was “that should be me.” I had suffered two miscarriages at that point and I buried a lot of my feelings then. I felt guilty about them, and I felt ashamed of what I was going through. I was killing myself keeping it all inside, so this is why I’m sharing.
Somehow by some miracle I ended up with a colorful bouquet of a painting. This is not my usual style of painting at all, and I have never been able to replicate it since. On a day when my thoughts were so heavy, my heart & my hands guided me to what I needed to see. A tear stained blank empty canvas turned into a blooming bouquet. Taking my pain & heartache and twisting it into something beautiful.
I kept this painting. I only sold a limited number of prints that summer and hung the original right by my bed so every morning when I woke up I would be reminded that the ugly in my life could turn out pretty one day. My own little message of hope.
I’d like to say it’s been there ever since, but I have ripped it off the wall & shoved it in a closet when the reminder was sometimes too much to bear. But eventually, it always ends back up in my bedroom right where it belongs.
So, my dear friends who have read this far, if you’re dealing with some type of loss today & feeling a tad overwhelmed, these flowers are for you. Your feelings are valid. If you’re having a hard time holding any hope, have some of mine. Take care of yourself.
Happy Mother’s Day to:
All your mamas here on this Earth
The mamas up in Heaven
The stepmamas & non-biological mamas & individuals who stepped up to the role
The hopeful mamas
The grieving mamas
The dog & cat & llama & all other cute animal mamas
And to anyone who just needs to hear well wishes-Happy Sunday.