The POWER of adding a splash of color and passion to your life was a HUGE lesson learned with my mamma when she was 89 years old.
I was inspired to introduce paint by number sets to her after I attended a Heart Art Retreat in October 2016 hosted by Diane Cunningham. I had never held a paintbrush in my hand before. It was a transforming weekend for me and I couldn’t wait to buy mamma her first paint set. She was recovering from a rough year with some very serious health issues that dramatically impaired her mental capacities. What I did not realize at the time was the possibility that time my mom spent painting could have such an enormous positive impact on her cognitively and emotionally.
My mom was suddenly confined to a wheelchair – and she was a woman who had always been very active. She was excited to try painting to keep herself busy and a new passion was born. She spent about ten hours every day painting. She could not always see the numbers or sometimes she didn’t like the recommended colors, so she did a bit of her own thing, too. The joy in her life from her painting passion became a joy for me to witness.
She gave a painting to all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and everyone she knew and met. The idea that others loved what she created was very gratifying to her.
What I learned from witnessing my mom’s newfound passion was that passion is in fact necessary in every season and age of our life. And that passion is POSSIBLE in every season and age of our life! That we are never too old to try and learn something new!
If you’re not sure what it means to have passion, well then, let me tell you. Being passionate means you want to spend nearly every waking hour doing what you love to do.
Living with passion is life giving and life affirming. Mamma often said that doing something you love to do is what enables you to give all of your attention and focus to what you love in spite of discomfort. She frequently said that her best way of relieving her pains was to paint.
Mamma saved her greatest lesson for me to learn during her final days on this earth.
No matter how small your world – how sad, dreary, depressing – use that small world doing what you’re passionate about doing. And in fact, your time spent doing what you love most is what will enable you to LIVE FULLY the time that you do have and living fully is what we are supposed to do with our gift of life.
Indeed, even when my precious mom was 92 years old and was only awake for a couple of hours in her day, if she was able, she spent those hours painting. The photo below was the last photo I took of my mom painting in her hospital bed. Look closely, my friends, and you’ll see her total focus and the joy and peace in her expression. Color and passion can give you, that, even in your final days!
If you would like to hear me speak about what I call my mom’s art of aging, contact me!