Friday, March 20, 2015

While I Wait in Fresno

Sometimes a simple strength can endure the longest...  

Ah, Fresno, land of the... um, Fresno? Is that where the cult classic Pauly Shore/Brenden Fraser bromcom Encino Man was based? Oh, no, I guess that was Encino... According to the advertisements greeting departing guests in terminal C, Fresno is a great place to leave in favor of a casino, or to start a business!
Starting a new business is kind of the norm for a gal my age. How many second careers have happened to fall on the shoulders of moms looking for new income while juggling the needs of a household involving small children? The more my crafting takes on a life of it's own, the more I'm reminded that sometimes, you have to open a door yourself, sometimes doors open on their own, and sometimes others open them for you. Having a great conversation with the barista closing down Starbucks at an unforeseen ten o'clock, AJ reinforced those thoughts as he engaged me in conversation which I selfishly centered on myself. No, I did get to listen in agreement as he shared a bit of his similar-to-mine life's philosophy of open interest in the life of another.
Eagerly he invited me to share my passion for capturing and sharing memories (with the aid of pretty papers and glitzy stickers when able). As I shared my St. Patty's day collection of cards I plan to fill out and send before leaving US soil, I told him about how lucky I am to get the time, support, and space to create, and about the incredible opportunities that have come my way over the past couple of years. Writing online, teaching classes in scrapbooking, cardmaking, bookbinding, home decor and more, and selling through the shops and my expanding Etsy catalog. All doors that have opened one after another in my quest for Craft Diva Superstardom!
We laughed as I shared my amusement at realising I'm every parents dream come true-"We have an artist in the family, oh joy (chachingchaching). " On the flip side, he pointed out how happy mi familia must be whenever they receive a pretty little something made just for them... can you tell I like this kid?
Then this sweet boy of 19 had a chance to open up about how he loves creating masterpieces himself! OH ho, little craftster, tell me more; turns out he's a wiz with the spray gun and routinely offers his services to friends looking to spruce up their whips. We compared the tricks of our trade and bonded over "popping" a look. I use inked paper edges, and he looks for ways to highlight shadows imbedded in vehicle bodies. Same dif!
Next thing I knew it was time for tears as he lovingly shared his grandmother's 6 time fight with cancer, and how he honored her spirit with a tatooed rose of her favorite color, yellow. The color of friendship. The color of daffodils, the flower that graced the card I'd just handed him reading, "Unique." Daffodils being the symbol of breast cancer in England. 
The tribal bands are deep black and branch out over his chest, representing the strength of cancer, and the rose looms mightily in the center, a stark juxtaposition and source of light amongst the swirls infinitely remembering his grandmother's own strength. How could he complain about a bad day at work when she had fought so many times against something so foreign and malignant? What right do any of the well have to complain, right...Wow did that ever move me. 
Lucky for him I held it together and moved our conversation into the celebration that is the Relay for Life.  For four years or so now I've been involved in this event around Gig Harbor and this year we'll be hosting a tent on site again. I can't wait to see my mom marching around in the Survivor lap. If she's not feeling up to a rousing polka, I'll push her round myself haha. 
When I got back from Cruisin, I was shocked to find she'd started a blog herself! Shocked because, like me, she doesn't really like to talk about the stuff we consider "bad." Like, not happy stuff. If I'm tired when I get to work and someone asks me how I am, I say, I'm happy to be there! It's more true and I firmly believe we live what we project. I get that from her, as well as a tendancy to want to focus conversatins on what we want to talk about! In other words, not cancer for cryin out loud (literally).
Reading her posts, centered on the idea of what we observe, or consider, or whatever it is that happens to us while we are waiting... they've allowed me to connect with her about her diagnosis, the treatments, her fears and celebrations, in a way that is much more comfortable because, I don't have to ask her about anything she may not want to discuss. I can comment with a story of my own so she knows I've seen her musings, and the fear of saying the wrong thing assumes some of the succinct impersonalness of online chatter. 
That's always my fear, that I'll seem insensitive by not responding to this disruption to her life with the proper gravity. There have been other times when a surgery or in home care has been required for her, but it's never been one pronounced with a capital letter. And it's also that it seems so unbelievable that the strongest, most vibrant don't take shit person I know could be made to sit in a recliner for any amount of time! As she has started to share, I'm proud that my girls will have these testimonies from her about how a change in attitude can make all the difference. 
While I wait for my 2:45 am redeye flight to Guadalajara and the fulfillment of a life's dream trip to visit mi abuela in Tenamaxtlan, not to mention a week with my father whom I've not seen in almost 15 years, I'm grateful for a reflective few hours to catch up on some picture file sorting (sorry to say I have to put you away get ou, cruise photos), Pinterest posting and of course, blog reading. I even have paper, glue and stickers handy so who knows what kind of craft will come with me out of Fresno. 
Thanks for staying up a while longer with me,
<3 Anna

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad u enjoyed my blog musings on
    And I believe the style of always looking for the bright spot/lesson to be learned/opportunity to brighten our outlook goes back a generation or two to my grandparents who raised large families through the depression years, your grandparents rasing 5 Very independent teenagers trough the 70's, and the many opportunities we have all had to change our perspective to survive and grow stronger. Survivor show in real life! Love you!