Every time I see this picture, I feel incredibly blessed. Because it’s a poignant reminder of just how passionate Mom was about her art, and about using her art to connect with other people. It’s also reminds me of how determined she was not to allow the intense pain of fibromyalgia to stop her, even though sitting outside in cold weather only made her pain worse.

I loved standing back and watching her interact with people when they stopped to admire her work at the farmer’s market, especially if she happened to make a sale. Just a few minutes of their time and interest created so much joy for her, that it was worth it when she went home and collapsed in pain in her chair. And then an hour or so later, she would begin to focus on creating new art and she would feel rejuvenated.

Lately, I’ve benefitted tremendously from understanding what Mom knew instinctively: that a change in our focus can radically change the quality of our lives. And that if we have something to feel passionate about, we can use it to push through any kind of pain, not just physical.

It’s a lesson Mom lived every day of her life, and one I learned firsthand by watching her.