Our dear Jody left us Friday. She struggled longer than most with ALS and we were the richer for it. Her determination to stay present and stay connected with all of us as long as possible was so inspiring.
In the fall of 2013, to celebrate her 60th birthday, I did this little canvas piece for her. It matched another I had done on her 50th. But it was special. She was still able to attend a dinner party at my place; a type of gathering we already knew would be in short supply in the months ahead.
I asked her to give me a strand of her hair. I took some acrylic gel and embedded it into the canvas along the stem of her “J”. After it had dried, I passed the canvas around and we all signed the back.
I told her this was for her…now….and it was for her husband, Paul, for later. We didn’t realize we would be so fortunate to have her be with us for another 16 months. We’ve been able to spend wonderful time really connecting and savoring our relationships with her, relocating dinner parties to her place so she could participate comfortably and most of all, sharing our stories, love, and speaking our truth to each other.
I was blessed to visit with her an hour or so before she passed away. She was a pillar of strength, an amazing mother and had one of the best marriages I’ve had the honor of witnessing. She truly will be missed.