Thursday, January 26, 2012

I did work quietly today ...

I did work quietly today in my studio creating 10 more individual Valentines to share with the shut-ins at a nearby assistant living a quiet afternoon moment... with music drifting in and out of my consciousness I felt myself remembering my childhood Valentine Day. The time I was spending making these simple gifts to women I may never meet... I thought gratefully about how we celebrated this small holiday when I was with my mother decorating a shoebox with cut outs and ...well whatever my mother could round up for us to paste, glue, sew on to our individual boxes. My Mother Rose Marie was a mother of invention... my hero!!! We did not have a Hallmark store on the corner nor could we even afford whatever they might have to offer. She would often make a paste from flour and water and tempera colors and simple crayons were our main instruments of our love notes and sweet messages. Yarns, fabric scraps and strings dipped in food coloring...boy I was cooking a creation then! Thank you Mom for all the time you gave us to express ourselves ...even if we were messy...there were 6 children at her kitchen table! No wonder I do feel so adventuresome at mother always believed in the "what if?" aspects and guidelines!!!

This morning I attended a celebration of a friend's artistic life...Vivian Smith's family, friends and neighbors gathered around the kitchen table to break bread and share stories about her works displayed all through her home. Quionah was so excited when I walked in the door...her Art Lady was here! She gave me a personal tour of Vivian's studio and the works displayed. I met Elijah...Vivian's grandson is now a handsome grown man. Janet, Marsha and Penny plus myself were the only artists present for this open house but I felt so honored to have been able to be there. I did not take my camera to record photos of her studio but hopefully I will be able to return and document her sacred space.

Tonight I attended a Toastmaster meeting celebrating Judith Allee's retirement from her 14 years as a mental health facilitator. She has been working on three passions...Adoption Today...Bridges out of Poverty....and homeschooling here in Ohio. I may not have the names of these programs exactly correct but you get the idea ...she never takes the word NO for an answer to a problem no matter how difficult the situation may be. The meeting room in the Newark Downtown Library was full to capacity and there were personal tributes from associates and friends and clients who have worked with Judith during the last 14 years. Our community is a better place because of the dedication Judith has demonstrated and provided for our community. She has taught us all to "pay it forward" ... one small kindness act from everyone can change the outcomes of many families living here in Licking county. I am tired but I do feel that I have been very blessed today. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


  1. A wonderful post Mary Helen. The story of your mother brought back memories of my own. And to pay it forward...yes, that's what it's all about isn't it. :) Have a good evening.

    1. Thank You Yvonne...I am sorry that I did not get a good clear photo of Judith but it was a glorious day for her. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart