To Carry Their Own Load
Anyone engaged in
learning art over the years were part of my family’s experiences as
well, because I used our living room to give lessons. Art always gave me
such relief from the unchangeable things in the world. I had a need to
share my skills of things studied. While I was sharing with strangers my
own children were reaping the benefits of those instructions and I
didn’t even know it.
"I want to paint!" Rhonda
requested from me something I just wasn’t able or prepared to believe
might happen. How could she? Her hands were crippled and she could
barely hold silverware with which to eat.
I set the canvas,
brushes, paper towel for wiping her brush, and paints in a pallette
before her. My heart was heavy as I put everything in place. Rather than
instruct her I simply left the room.
To see her at force to
hold the brush upside down in order to make it work struck at my heart.
Black despair wished to slip over me, hold me in a vise of paralyzing
emotions and make this the greatest of all the disappointments suffered
up until now.
"I can’t hide in the
bedroom all day. Face up to this," I talked to myself.
On a small easel at the
table before Rhonda was a painting of a single white flower. The
background made by greying one of the primary colors from the color
wheel opposite it was a perfect value balance. Needless to say, I was
There are times when the
world suddenly opens up and embraces the goodness around.
"Rhonda! Rhonda! What a
beautiful work." I kept repeating. If there ever was a time for tears it
was then. The trouble with that was there isn’t any way I could weep not
while my daughter was closely observing me.
Rhonda’s art work is now
evolving and coming along. She can rest an easel on the kitchen table
and work at some small canvas for hours. I won’t allow myself to
remember the time I didn’t believe she could do it.
All the dreams I wished
for my girl when I was pregnant with her somehow now are coming true,
not as far as her enjoying dancing in steel toe shoes, jumping toward a
hoop with a basketball, or swimming through waters of the Kansas Trap
which were deep, cold and visible to the very bottom. Those were only my
own pleasures and there was no way I could share that, but for art, the
most enduring and greatest of all disciplines, I shared with my eldest
The greatest thing to see
is how she teaches the children. Everyone of them have been able to
produce lovely works. One even won 10th in the state for his canvas.
So it is, in the evening
of my our lives Rhonda’s life as well as our own have been carried on
the Hands of our Almighty’s angels along with the goodness of those
earthly hands of those who helped us.
America turned during our
lifetime from a place where those like Rhonda were shut away in lonely
institutions absent from the families who could have been there to
encourage. Their untapped gifts isolated from humanity where their
contributions to society might never have been realized.
At this time in 2012 that
has all changed. Families are being educated and supported in their
willingness to carry their own load and to enjoy the unseen benefits of
what the Christian Scriptures teach.
Rhonda was baptized
February 27, 1988 at Tulsa, Oklahoma after she made a study of the
scripture with the overseer, Doyle Scot, of the Fairfax congregation.
Rhonda will be 54 in this year of 2012. We consider it the greatest
honor to have been privileged to have had her for this length of time.
Her Ponca name is:
Wahk-Chah-Ska, White Flower. She was named by Gramma Lucille Feathers
Big Goose. Her sister, Kay’s name, is Easch-Stah-Aunk-xthey, Sky Eyes,
Elizabeth, Kay’s daughter is named, Easch-Stah-Ne-Om-Bah, Bright Eyes,
after her ancestor, full Native American and a medical doctor.
Mark’s Ponca name is:
Pon-Kah-Ska, White Ponca. This is their Native heritage and bloodline.
A greater promise comes
from her Heavenly Father’s blessing.
Luke 11:4 reads:
4. In reply Jesus said to
them: "Go your way and report to John what you are hearing and seeing.
5. The blind are seeing again, and the lame are walking about, the
lepers are being cleansed and the deaf are hearing, and the dead are
being raised up, and the poor are hearing the good news; 6. and happy is
he that finds no cause for stumbling in me.
This theme running
through the entire Bible sustained and brought us through the darkest of
times with promises like this:
"The wolf and the lamb
themselves will feed as one, and the lion will eat straw just like the
bull; and as for the serpent, his food will be dust. They will do no
harm nor cause any ruin in all my holy mountain," Jehovah has said.