Friday, July 31, 2009

Just Keep Moving Forward

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
Yogi Berra
My husband has been seriously ill for the past three years. This year began with him unable to move off the sofa without a great deal of effort. He was having seizures. He was in the final stages of Pulmonary Fibrosis, an autoimmune disease that turns the lungs to scar tissue. The VA rushed him to Madison, WI, for a lung transplant in February. We spent several months there as he recuperated. I am happy to announce that he is doing very well. You can read all about our journey on http://www.carepages.com/. Just sign up (it’s free) and search “mikecavenderupdate” to read my posts and all of the wonderful comments of support we’ve received (almost 1,000!)

We are home and I am back to work in the studio happily painting the hours away. Life is finding its rhythm once again. However, as we passed the threshold of this last chapter of our lives, realizing that the other side was completely blank, we found ourselves saying, “Now what?” We were told to plan a funeral and now it appears this man is going to be around for a while. We’ve been given an enormous gift! We are overwhelmed with gratitude and acutely aware that there is a responsibility that accompanies this precious gift of life. What to do, what to do? More of the same? No way, man!

Mike and I are huge Francophiles and so, it didn’t take us long to make the decision. We are liquidating everything and moving to France. The timing will depend on Mike’s health. He needs to get past the one-year anniversary of his surgery without much ado. Then we will begin the process of the move. So, it is still a year or so away.

What will we do when we get there? Well, I will paint, of course. I will work on my own paintings, but I will also teach plein air painting. Of all of the classes I have taught (and there have been a few) plein air is my most favorite. I will also finish my memoir (ending in France; kind of nice, huh?) and perhaps write a second book about plein air painting in France. I will take my guitar down the street and play/sing for the locals. I will garden. Mike would like to sell French antiques online. I will buy him a chapeau and he can drive my students around for me. We will travel…a lot. It might be fun.

I’m smiling big right now. Can you tell?