Unexpected blessings

When Melissa asked if I would paint portraits of Drayden, Dayne, Marie and Adam I never could have imagined what would follow.  The kindness of strangers seeing the various images I shared, along with mainstream media outlets from all over Saskatchewan, was overwhelming - in the best possible way.  As an artist, I gifted four paintings to three grieving families, but what I got in return was far greater, by "a country mile" as my father used to say.

Deana came by Birdsong Studio yesterday to pick up the paintings of Marie and Adam to deliver to La Loche.  She brought with her traditional gifts of sweetgrass and a wooden cross.  I smudged with the sweetgrass and wear the cross around my neck.  I felt so honoured by her, and the people of La Loche for how they have embraced my art.

After Deana drove to the small Saskatchewan community, she sent a picture of the portrait of Marie placed among family and school photos, candles and flowers.  Waves of emotion wash over me as I look at this beautiful tribute.  Being able to have contributed to it has been one of the great honours of my life.

Several people have shared with me, in confidence, connections they have to people who were affected by the event in La Loche just over a week ago, and how seeing the four paintings helped in the grieving process.  It's going to be a rough road back to normal.  The journey to healing begins with a single step, and I get the sense the light, colour, and joy in the paintings may have helped a little.  That's all I can ask for.


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