Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rocks Can Heal a Broken Heart

My rock painting was shelved due to a broken heart and I've been away from my blog for awhile.

In one of my earlier posts, "Healing Art," I wrote about my mother who resided in an Ohio nursing home. Every month I would paint a small rock and mail it to her, hoping to bring a smile to her face and let her know I was thinking of her even though I lived many miles away and was unable to visit.

At first my mother kept the rocks hidden in her bedside drawer. Then, my sister found a wooden frame with little compartments and hung it next to my mother's bed. The painted rocks found a new home displayed on the wall for my mother and all the visitors and caregivers to see.

Sadly, in April 2009 my mother left this world. I was fortunate to be with her during her last days and hours and comforted to see my painted rocks keeping her company as she slowly slid away.

As one life was slowly ebbing away, new life came to the painted rocks. My 8-yr. old niece, Sophie, found the visits to her dying grandmother difficult and at times boring. As a distraction, the rocks were removed from the wall and several sheets of blank paper became backdrops as Sophie drew a scene appropriate for each bird, bumblebee, butterfly, cat, flower, frog, ghost, gnome home, ladybug, mouse, nativity, penguin, pumpkin, Santa, snake, strawberry, and winter house that I had painted and mailed to my mother.

After I returned home to Colorado, I painted one final rock for my mother to mark the spot where her ashes were buried.

Click here to see the back of this Memorial Painted Rock
Then, I lost the inspiration to paint my rocks until a dear friend had to move her unwilling mother to an assisted living facility. Aha! I knew just the thing to bring a smile to her face and make the transition a little less traumatic - painted rocks!

Life goes on and I'm painting again. My friend says her mother's face lights up every time she sees one of my special envelopes in her mailbox. It's amazing how an ordinary rock can come alive and bring joy in so many ways, including healing a broken heart.