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06 March 2011

A Walk at Sunrise in His Garden, Figurative Children in a Garden Painting by Texas Artist Laurie Pace, Why Does God Takes Those We Love From Us?

A Walk at Sunrise in His Garden
3 ft by 4 ft  Oil on Canvas     
SOLD commissinon Painting
  Contact me for your own painting. Laurie
 © Laurie Justus Pace     Graphics One Design 2011

WHY DOES GOD TAKE THOSE WE LOVE from us in this life?

Finishing this painting this week has been very emotional for me. It is close to its finish, enough to be posted.  Touch ups follow next week and then varnishing. If you have followed the story of this repaint of In His Garden, you know from my blog that at this time last year a young woman was battling for her life against cancer. She had been diagnosed on February 19, 2010 and the cancer took her life less than 90 days later.

The odd part of this journey is her husband and I share the same birth date and we are the same age, born only hours apart; he in Michigan and I in St. Louis. Tom is not a computer person. He does not do the internet. As he wife died, many emotions were crashing in on him and the memory of the original painting had been a screen saver on his wife's computer for many years.  He made up his mind to have me paint him one similar and set out to find me.  He was smart to go to a gallery and of course they found me on the internet immediately and emailed me asking if I would release my home address to someone that was searching for me to do a painting.  Normally I do not think I would do it, but there was something about this email that rang clear to me.

Three weeks later I did receive correspondence from Tom and since then he has shared a handful of letters and we have visited via phone for several hours.  I have come to know his deceased wife intimately. Tom shared photos of her birth, growing up in a large family, high school, college and then photos of them in married life.  Kim, his wife, his college sweetheart and love of his life, was an important part of his world and the lives of many that live in the area in Ohio where they settled. She had her PHD in counseling and worked at a local college and served this community in every way she could.  Tom laughed saying he knew when they married he would be second to those she found in need, but that was something he loved about her. Kim touched lives daily. She loved her family dearly and she loved her husband.

I have not lost a spouse, or even a parent. We have lost a grandchild at the early age of 11.  My daughter and son-in-law grieved tremendously.  A cousin in the family had given me the verse below from Isaiah. "...the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil."  and that was what brought us through the loss. Terry buried his Dad this fall and his mother and middle brother 15 years ago. Each time we fell back onto Cousin Avon's verse from Isaiah and knew God's plan was at work in all of our lives.

This painting will be a symbolic piece for Tom in his home. He told me he bought a giclee of Morgan Wiestling's "The School House" because it reminded him of Kim in the classroom.  My piece will hang opposite Morgan's glicee. Tom has other giclees from other artist all depicting images in his mind of his Kim.

 In my painting, the older child represents his wife...she is wearing red symbolically for the blood of Christ and his suffering in death.  This oldest child is not carrying her basket of collected flowers any more. She has left it somewhere behind on her journey, symbolizing the leaving behind of all earthly things. Her younger sister (and there were four of them) has a basket full of flowers gathered on the walk and she is still gathering, just as in life as we gather all those 'things'.  Roses were chosen symbolically from the Crown of Thorns.  The older sister leads the way heading for the sunrise of light in the garden toward the large ancient tree. She carries only a single rose as she walks ahead. She sees the butterfly and smiles as she follows it to a rebirth or what I call a continuation day with the Lord.

Again, Tom, I am honored to paint this for your home in Kim's memory. May this garden remind you daily of God's love surrounding you and may the memories of Kim's love keep you and her family through the years. Tom, this is now your day of continuation... but it is a continuation of a new life here on earth celebrating and embracing new ways and new adventures.  Go forward as Kim would want you to do, and keep her safely tucked in your heart and mind.

"The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away,  and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." Isaiah 57:1-2


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Laurie Justus Pace Contemporary Texas Artist


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