These paintings are a result of the "art therapy" I'm doing with my mom on Sundays and Thursdays at the place where she lives now. One day I thought we could do art together and it would help us both deal with the changes that are happening. At first her art was from a coloring book I had.
"Where's Pittsburgh," she asked once, thumbing through the pages.
"It's not there. These aren't real." "There ought'a be one for our city."
Now I draw bigger and simpler designs, only a few for each visit that relax her more with wider spaces between the lines. I do it on my iPad and add a fact about the drawing. Sometimes because she was a technical editor at Westinghouse and a French and English teacher before kids, she corrects a better word choice in the sentence. She doesn't want to cross out the word, so I do it for her and she writes it out, adding the e didn't turn out as she meant. I look at the page; I can read it and tell her that. I remind her that it's extra credit to color outside the lines; she hasn't taken me up on that one yet. In relationships we don't always have to talk; we can just be together. Sometimes I ask her what she would name the lion she is coloring. She doesn't know and I try out names. "How 'bout Ralph?"
"I don't know," says Mom, the sound pencil on board between us.
She doesn't answer; she keeps coloring.
Conversations come up as they do. We let the coloring pencils soothe; the paint brush splotches over the wet paper. At the end I clip the paintings on my drawing board and lean it against a wall. We sit next to each other on the bed. We look at the work and I ask her what s. I ask her to come up with titles. My mom is best at that. We let go how things are supposed to be. Often on the drive home I cry while watching out for deer on the country roads.
It's not easy having a parent who has an incurable disease. You can look at a person from the outside and think, 'oh, she's fine.' You don't know what's happening on the inside. Only that person truly knows and the closer ones around them notice the changes, at first not understanding, at first unknowingly not being kind until we learn what's happening.
If we keep giving each other - and ourselves - these small doses of love through kindness, what would our world be like?
- Written by Amanda L. Mottorn, Author, Artist & Owner of Modern Modern Moksha Designs & Publishing. Perpetuate your inner peace & self-compassion. Results? Authentic living. Lifestyle interior transformations.
© 2023, Amanda L. Mottorn. These original paintings are copyrighted works and may not be copied or reproduced.