At this time of year my mind and heart always thinks about those who are without. I have lived without my children’s presence (presents) for most of their entire lives at Christmas and throughout the year for two and a half decades. Yes I speak from experience of doing, being and living without. It has taken me tremendous effort to rise above what may be the typical meaning of Christmas for most.
As an artist I feel I live a charmed life because whenever I experience intense feeling or emotion I can work my emotions through to better feelings by creating art. When I started working with my emotions and art in 1999 it was so intense and difficult I could not work through to wellness. The piles and piles of incomplete scrapbook pages are proof of a story in need of an ending. I will complete those pages once this part of the story of my life ends. The photos are down and the pages are pretty but the story is not.
So when Christmas rolls around like it does every year my heart immediately travels back to 1991 when I had my sons for 3 hours over the holidays. I dressed as if I were going to a ball of some sort. I had purchased a toboggan and drove down to a city park where a community tree was created and pulled my two young children about half a mile to celebrate Christmas with them beside this tree. Luckily a stranger passed and I was able to request this photo.
This is a true story. It is my story.
Christmas brings with it the promise of hope, of lasting love and of light and wonder. There are families and single people and people in need out there more than we will ever imagine. It is those in need that are never heard from or helped and are alone and without hope.
I live beside a very busy mall and when I walk through it to go to the post office or need some milk I am bombarded by mostly frantic and unhappy, miserable, angry people rushing around to buy what cannot be purchased.
Joy is a feeling that comes from within. Giving to others whether it is my time, my support or just my best wishes is what creates joy.
I worry about those who don’t have a Christmas tree and really dream of having one and there are free trees to be had at the local grocery stores. The trees will inevitably end up in the hands of someone who can afford to buy one but would rather wait for “free”. I worry about those that don’t have a candy or a salty cracker or a home-cooked Christmas dinner. I worry about those without shelter. I worry about the parents who cannot afford to buy their children the toys of their dreams.
This year I had an idea to send 16 of my handmade cards to my son’s office in Vancouver, B.C. to raise money for a toy drive they were hosting. The employees purchased all of these cards over 4 days and $225.00 was raised. One young boy will receive an Xbox for Christmas. This is a dream come true for me. Thank you Alexander for all you did to make this happen. Thank you too to the employees of Cushman & Wakefield Ltd., Vancouver, B.C. Canada.