When it's cold outside I've got the month of May...
I receive many requests throughout the year. Once in a while I receive a request that makes me cry, inspires me and helps me to appreciate the great goodness of others. My friend Kelly also wrote about a similar experience...and it inspired me too!
Dear Lisa, my name is Minette Duenas and I am a middle school teacher in South Texas. Shortly after being named District Teacher of the Year, a former student of mine passed away. Inspired by his parents' unselfish gift of organ donation, my husband and I started a scholarship in his memory. We have an annual fundraiser where we auction off wooden hearts that have been decorated by his friends, family, and artists and members of the community.
Your artwork is amazing, colorful and the crosses are so inspirational! I received one as a Christmas gift this past holiday season and immediately thought of how wonderful it would be if you would be gracious enough to paint a wooden heart for our event.
After I read the request, watched the video about Michael, shed the tears, and quickly responded with an "of course", I thought to myself WOW there is something very important about the power of connection. Not only was this a story about the passing of a boy, it was about his parents and their unselfish gift of his organs to help others, the teacher and her way of supporting his legacy through her creative fundraising, the community of giving and receiving. And in a small way it helped me to understand a part of my own calling.
Do I have the ability to create art that helps and uplifts others? I don't know. But I know creating art is my way of self-expression, I need it...kind of like breathing. I have ups and downs like everyone. I certainly do not like times of sadness, grief, loss and loneliness. SO...I capitalize on the times when I'm feeling joy, goodness, love and support. As a result, I create pieces as an expression of my own feelings- complete with all the joy and love I can muster! Perhaps then my artwork, as it goes out into the world, becomes a ray of sunshine on their cloudy day? And it may just help...in its own special way. There is no reason we should all take the weight of the world on our shoulders. WE are all connected, we are all here to help each other.
This is what we are ALL doing, whether we know it or not.
We are sharing our gifts.
We are nurturing.
We are supporting.
We are coping.
We are loving.
We are making ourselves better, stronger, braver in our own unique ways...
And as a result, WE become a part of another's persons story...or the sunshine on their cloudy day.
See Michael's story here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exOz35lRS6A