Friday, August 25, 2023

Stop and Smell the Roses by Karen Wiesner

Stop and Smell the Roses

by Karen Wiesner

A memorial for a dear friend who passed away recently, including some of my colored pencil flower artwork.

A dear friend of mine passed away recently. I'd known her for over 20 years, and our children grew up together. They remain best friends to this day, even as she remained mine up until the end. Throughout the years I knew her, she endured multiple health issues. For the last year or so of her life, she was made aware by her doctors that her time in this world was short. When I look back now, I realize that I don't remember ever hearing her complain. I'm also struck by the fact that she didn't live like a person who was dying. She lived her life. Period. Impending death wasn't an obstacle to joy for her. She got through the bad periods, and she enjoyed the good ones. She took everything as it came. Even in her final days, she focused on what was important to her, the things that truly mattered: her husband, children, grandchildren, friends, and making the most of every moment, finding pleasure in those simple things, and never failing to let those around her know how grateful she was for their presence.

I understand the meaning of the phrase "Stop and smell the roses" (something my dear friend loved) because of her example. When an oncoming collision is headed straight for you, it's easier to close your eyes and shut down, shut off, hide inside yourself. It's impossible to enjoy life when you're concentrating on the advancing doom. So she did the best thing she could have done in the face of the inevitable: Although it was always there and she never forgot it, she found a way to turn away from it and focused instead on the roses blooming in the garden of her life. This is a lesson I hope I never forget, no matter how close I come to life's unavoidable finish line. My desire is to emulate such a beautiful standard. In honor of someone I'll miss, VJW, 8/13/23, here are some of my own floral creations.

@Rose colored pencil by Karen Wiesner
@Rose colored pencil by Karen Wiesner

@Hibiscus colored pencil by Karen Wiesner

@Scarlet hibiscus colored pencil by Karen Wiesner

Karen Wiesner is an award-winning, multi-genre author of over 150 titles and 16 series.

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