Last fall while at my booth at the French Nest, the most beautiful couple came to see me. It had been a slow day and I sat with my sister and pondered was it worth it for me to be there.
What was I doing?
Was I kidding myself? Artist? blah… blah… blah… YUCK!
A month earlier a local magazine, Style, did a write up on how and why my work incorporates the legend of the Red Thread. I was honored and uncomfortable but as it turned out it brought me two of my most favorite and pivotal moments. The first being that day last fall and again today.
As we sat at the booth that afternoon, in walked Patsy and Jerry along with Patsy’s caretaker all arm in arm. Jerry carefully let go and introduced the three of them and told me that they had come to meet me. Me? I couldn’t imagine why. I was completely taken aback.
They had read the article and learned about the red thread of fate and wanted to come tell me how much it meant to them. Patsy has late stage Parkinsons and the red thread gave them something to hold onto. Patsy talked of her children with the brightest eyes and an infectious smile. Her body is shaking and her neck is twisted so her head rests on her shoulder, but her spirit outshines her disabilities. She radiates strength, love and grace.
She and her caretaker excuse themselves for a break and I got to visit with Jerry for awhile. He is honest about their situation, he shares their story of their family, and he is obviously so moved and grateful for the legend; it is all I can do to hold it together. He is so warm and lovely. He adores his wife, respects her above all and seems to be full of nothing but love and gratitude. I bask in his light. Around his neck is a red thread with a peace symbol on it that Patsy had given him before they learned of the legend. She now calls him her Shanti man. It’s a perfect name.
Pasty and her caretaker return and she picks out a necklace and a board that says JOY, reminding her of one of her daughters. We talk and share some more about the magic of the legend, my art and their story. Before they leave, we have huge group hug right there in the middle of the market. I didn’t want to let go of these special and incredible souls. By the time we say our goodbyes we are all in tears and grateful that the red thread has once again worked its magic and brought us to this moment. They left and I burst into tears of gratitude.
What it took them to come see me!
What a gift of love they brought!
How could I ever doubt that the red thread path that I am on would ever let me down? What a fool I had been to question it.
I smiled and cried some more and my sister smiled and listened to me as I tried to process how overwhelmed I was by their visit to see me. It was a moment that I will always cherish. They gave me a gift from their heart.
Today, six months later I was painting in my studio and my phone rang. I decided to ignore it as I was really in the flow and enjoying being back at work on a canvas after a few weeks. When I got to a good stopping point, I listened to my voicemail and it was a message from Jerry. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy to hear his voice. He went on to explain that Patsy had taken a turn for the worse in the past few weeks and was now at Pathways Hospice. He told me that one of her requests was that I come see her. Completely overwhelmed with honor, I hung up the phone and wept.
I talked with him a bit later and he asked if I would come this afternoon at 4. I showered to remove the paint off my face and arms (I’m a terribly messy painter!) I put on my red thread necklace with the Courage pendant on it and asked the universe for strength and presence. I arrived at Patsy’s room and was greeted by her brother, son and sweet Jerry. I reached to hold her hand and around her wrist was a red ribbon tied just as I have one on mine. And, around her neck and she was wearing my necklace. She was hard to understand as it took all of her strength to talk. Jerry held her other hand and helped me to understand her lovely words. We talked about the magic of the red thread and how hers would continue on after she died. She and Jerry shared a moment of how special they are to one another and to bare witness to that raw love was indescribable. I told her how I love her radiant smile and bright eyes and have never felt more honored to be in a moment such as that. She asked if I had been a part of a death experience like this. I told her no and how grateful I was to be there to tell her how much her visit meant to me last fall and to see her again. She had given me a wonderful gift of love again.
She tired and asked if we could just listen.
She asked for 4 minutes.
So hands held we listened. It was the most spiritual moment of my life. Such clarity, truth and love I heard in those quiet minutes.
Jerry held her left hand and I her right. She closed her eyes and her breathing steadied. I could feel her pulse in her hand beating against mine. I thought of our literal red threads.. our veins all pulsing together. Life. I felt like I could feel Jerry’s pulse too… traveling up Patsy’s left arm across her big, beautiful heart and down her right arm to my hand. It was amazing to feel so completely connected to this incredible couple who I had only met once before. They are willing to open up and share their love, their sorrow, their gratitude, their pain and enrich the lives of those around them. I am ever grateful that I am one of them.
We talked a bit more, kissed hands and said goodbyes. As heartbreaking as it was, I felt such a tremendous amount of peace. I hope I will get to see Patsy again and if I don’t I will be sure to continue her red thread by sharing her story and honoring her beautiful spirit. And now, she knows it.
I know I will see Jerry again. I think a wonderful friendship is in the works.
The pathway of the red thread will never be doubted again.