When I heard his voice, I knew.
His mom is going to die.
We've known this for some time, but she was doing so well for so long. But now, this is it. This is the last few days or hours. And all I can do is cry with him. I don't know what else to do. I don't know what to say. And he's so far away right now (geographically) that I can't even hug him.
[The phone rang again just as I was finishing the above paragraph.]
Superstar just called again. She died an hour and a half ago.
This is so hard. It's so surreal and so real at the same time. It's just dawning on me that our first Christmas together is going to be his first Christmas without his mother. I don't know if my brain can process all of this right now. I feel so overwhelmed and helpless and disoriented.
Between the first phone call and the second, I managed to drop a few hundred dollars on a piece of art. A friend (the one whose painting I took on my trip to Europe) needed some cash for an upcoming exhibition, so he dropped me an email to see if I knew anyone who was interested in buying some paintings. I asked him to show me a few pieces and when I saw this one, I just knew:
It's huge - five feet by two feet - so I wasn't sure that I had a place for it in my little house. I also wanted to see what it was like in my space, to feel if it really belonged here. I asked him to bring it and some of his other pieces over to see what worked.
When he got here, he told me that the piece used to be just the two bottom paintings, but he just had this feeling that it needed something more, so he created the top one. I looked closely at it and pointed to the one long branch that pokes up into the top painting and said, "That's hope."
Hope, reaching upward, all by its lonesome. A small branch that doesn't allow the vast space around it to overwhelm it or discourage it.
That's when I knew I needed this painting in my space, because hope has been sorely lacking in my life as of late. Maybe having this huge, stunning piece of artwork taking up a wall in my living room will serve as a daily reminder that even when things seem stacked against you, there's still hope. There's always hope.
He left for a bit and came back with his tools to install the piece, which was quite the production in itself, while I rearranged furniture and moved other artworks around to make it fit.
Just as he was leaving, he said, "It's not on the back of it, but if anyone asks you, the painting's called Hope."