Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Facing the Absolute Truth

Fact. We will all die eventually. A woman who has crossed my path in recent days has me thinking about how we come to terms with that fact, may just affect how we live the time we have.

Kimberly is my hero right now. Kimberly will be turning forty in February. In spite of doctor's predictions. I first met Kimberly, in passing, at a retreat last year. This was a day long retreat focused on personal growth and healing. At the time, she was not expected to live another year. Yet, she was spending a day, reflecting, examining, and opening her heart to the possible. Now you might expect given the circumstances that she might have spent that time in agonizing about how unfair it was, and why was this happening to her, and she had so many things she still wanted to do.

Kimberly was there to live her life, long or short, in the fullest way possible. This year when I went to the retreat again, there was Kimberly. I can't tell you how it made my heart lift to see her. Her hair was thin, and her face puffy from the ravages of the medications she has been taking. But her spirit was clearly alive. Her smile lit up her face, and her voice was one of hope and optimism.

We got to talking over lunch, and at one point we began talking about the cranes. I shared a few of the stories I have heard over the years from people about their connections with the cranes. This was when Kimberly exclaimed that I may have just solved her problem. She was planning a birthday party, for herself, in Key West, Florida next month. She and a dozen of her friends would be meeting up to celebrate her life, and the fact that she was still here to celebrate this birthday. She wanted to give a gift to each of her friends. Something that they would have, long after she was gone, that could help them remember her, and what her life was about. The cranes were the answer.

I will be making a dozen cranes for Kimberly in the coming days. They will have her birthdate under the wings. They will be small enough so someone can hold it in their hands, and remember Kimberly....and just how cute, and wonderful, and spiritual she is,... or was.

I have been blessed to have people like Kimberly come into my life. The cranes have brought these stories to me again and again. And each time I am connected to something way bigger than me.

I can only hope that I can face life with the courage, spirit, and joie de vivre that Kimberly does each and every day. I think of her, and I smile. Life is challenging and full of bumps and bruises. But, are we embracing the potential that it has to offer, everyday? Do we embrace life enough to want to work on our personal growth even as we stare down death?

Have you ever wondered what kind of art would you make if you were told you only had six months to live? Have you ever thought, maybe you should not wait until then to begin to make that art? Maybe, you won't get the six months warning.

Send your prayers and thoughts of healing Kimberly's way. The world could use someone like her a while longer. And go make some art like your life depended upon it. The world will be a richer place because of it.


Vanessa said...

Thank you for sharing Kimberly's story it brought tears to my eyes. I think if I was given the gift of making these for Kimberly and her friends I would want one of my own to remind me of all that is brave women represents.

I love reading your blog!


Anonymous said...

what a beautiful story Judy! Make art with your heart is a wonderful thing to do....

I believe that gifts are rewarded for your expressions of emotions through art!! To look at a piece and be reminded of the emotions that were flooding your soul at that given momment; what a way to live, and grow! What a way to reflect and seek wisdom! What a colorful world we have.....

Kim Cavender said...

Thanks for always giving us much to think about. What a touching story.