Saturday, July 12, 2008

Marilyn

One of the greatest gifts of doing my work has come from the people I have met along the way. I have formed quite a few friendships that began because they connected with my photographs and either purchased a piece or asked about future events I would be participating in. Over the years we visit when they come to shows or even get together for lunch or coffee. This has become an unexpected benefit of creating and selling my art.

I first met Marilyn at a show I do every year in Sacramento called the Town and Country Art Fiesta. This was probably 5 or 6 years ago. She shared with me that she was in remission from breast cancer and I could tell then what a fighter she was. She purchased a couple of small prints from me and asked to be put on my mailing list. After that she made a point to come to every local show and open studio event I had. She loved images of doors and windows and it is safe to say that every time I saw her she found a piece she had to have. The funny part was she lost track of the images she already had and on more than one occasion would come back to a show the following day and sheepishly inform me that she already owned the exact photograph she had bought and “could she exchange it for another”.

I always looked forward to seeing Marilyn and was upset when a couple of years ago she shared with me that her cancer had returned and she was going to have to cancel a trip to Europe. She seemed determined that this was just a temporary setback and in no time she would be able to reschedule any plans that may have been postponed because of the new diagnosis.

I wish this story had a happy ending but last year it became apparent that she was losing the battle. The amazing thing was she still came to see me, although this time a friend pushed her around in a wheelchair. And yes – she bought a piece she already had which her friend returned the next day.

In early June as I was getting dressed to go to the Town and Country show, I wondered if I would see Marilyn. I had not heard from her since a Christmas card I received in December so I was not surprised when her friend came to my booth alone. She came to let me know that while Marilyn was still fighting, nobody really expected her to last more than a couple of more weeks. Even when you expect bad news, it’s still hard to hear.

I learned shortly after that visit that Marilyn had passed away. I am still inspired by her passion and refusal to give up. In honor of her memory and her love of animals, my donation this year to the SPCA Auction will be made in her name. Thank you Marilyn for adding just another layer of sweetness to what I do.


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