Thursday, August 12, 2010

Joy and Sorrow

In the three weeks since my last post so much has happened that it is difficult to fit in all in the body of this post. If you have been following me for any length of time, you already know that I have been experiencing an incredible run of good fortune surrounding my crafting. (See my artist blog, The Creative Diva, to read all about it.) This series of events has gotten me some recognition for the creative work that I do and has allowed me to work from home with financial compensation. As the winner of a sweepstakes sponsored by A.C. Moore, I received an all-expenses paid trip for two to attend the Craft and Hobby Association Craft Supershow in Chicago, a mecca for all things craft-related. With my sister as my guest, we were treated like visiting royalty from July 28 to July 31 while in Illinois. As if the trip were not enough, while at the show I won several drawings and a craft challenge for yet more prizes. My sister and I laughed and smiled the whole time we were in Chicago. It was a heady and joyful experience.

I returned home on Saturday, July 31 and checked my email to find a message from my oldest and dearest friend in the world, Art Zaballero. He and I had communicated several times in the week prior to my departure and he had sent me a message wishing me a good trip and expressing his desire to get together with me after my return. On Sunday afternoon, my caller ID identified an incoming call as being from Art but it was his wife instead, calling to inform me that Art had died of a massive heart attack only hours before. In that split second, all of the euphoria I had been experiencing up until that moment evaporated, vanished with the realization that I had lost one of the most precious things in my life. My friendship with Art spanned nearly 50 years, from the time we were young children. To describe the nature of our relationship would require far more space than is available on this blog. Let's just say we had transcended the limits of friendship and had become each other's sibling. He was my family and I was his. As far as I was concerned, I had lost my brother.

If the week prior to the funeral was surreal, the wake and funeral ceremonies were a wake up call. You've no doubt heard it before but I'll say it again. Life is short; make the most of it everyday. I've been on that path for a while and I'm not going to slow down now. If anything, I'm going to press on, living and loving every golden moment as much as possible. That's what Art's death has taught live every day as if it were my last.

Ok, Arty, I've got it.

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva