Blog Post #7: Great Blue Herons

Blog Post #7: Great Blue Herons

Earlier I talked about unexpected things changing our priorities.  Today I want to tell you about my Dad.

Harvard, Navy ROTC and a brief business renting televisions in Boston for the first televised presidential debate between Nixon and JFK were just a few items that rounded out his impressive resume.  After medical school at UVA and meeting my mom, he enjoyed a distinguished career at Johns Hopkins as a pediatric Radiation Oncologist for forty years.  He offered hope, did the best for his patients and impacted many people, while my mom held us all up and kept the trains running with her unwavering and steadfast faith.   

In 2016, at the age of 75 and while still working, he began noticing some tremors in his limbs.  Soon the diagnosis of ALS would follow.  My mother showed nothing short of heroism and sincere faithfulness during that time as she fed, bathed, clothed and even lifted my dad with a crane-like sling into his motorized chair Every. Single. Day.    

Aside from my mom, our family, his patients and his faith, Dad really loved the water, enjoying sailing and eventually buying a boat and a home on the water. Our house was probably 90 percent nautical art, a lot of which I still have today. When we went sailing, I remember my Dad always pointing out osprey nests from the helm. But it was the Great Blue Heron who always visited the end of his pier that he loved to see. Whenever I see one, it always makes me think of him. 

Dad passed away peacefully with his family praying around him in 2018. It was actually a very beautiful way to go, with so much time to prepare. He'd heard from grateful former patients, and everyone had the time to say the things they needed. After a while he couldn't leave the house, but he still had his water view, and a beautiful Great Blue Heron for a visitor. Though we always wish for more time, we had spent hours marveling at the beauty of the Great Blue Heron at the end of his pier.

I wasn't comfortable majoring in art in college because I wasn't sure how my very wonderful, practical, science-leaning parents would feel about this choice. I am also sure I would have been the only person with zero piercings (that's right, not even my ears back then!) and maybe the only sorority girl!

But in 2022, when I started painting, do you know what the subject of my first sold commission was? A Great Blue Heron. I feel like this is a little hello from my Dad, and a message that I shouldn't have worried whether I fit in, and that Dad would have been proud of me anyway. 

It's never too late. 

Is there anything you’re waiting to do that you need a little encouragement to try? I hope this encourages you to try something new, or if you’re not in a season where you can, because you’re busy providing, or protecting or doing other VITAL work, I pray for that season for you and when God sees fit he will give you what you need.  



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