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Paying It Forward

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Paying It Forward

The Month of May came to an end… and what at month it was !

It is always a wonderful high when an artist sells a piece of art… so to sell six – well I was climbing the emotional highs of Mount Everest !! It is exciting, validating, sweet, humbling and such an honor to know that your heart has expressed colorful visions which someone else feels and loves !

These are the special six this month :

My joy did not stop there…. in fact it was eclipsed by something so much more.

Did you ever see the movie, “The Bucket List“… if not PLEASE make a date !! Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. Jack tells Morgan that God really only wants to know two things as you stand before the gates of Heaven : “Did you have Joy in your Life” AND “DID YOU PUT JOY INTO the lives of others??”

It is always good to be reminded of this… I know that we all try to volunteer whenever we can and make a difference in the lives of others. Two very special little boys inadvertently came into my life… Jake Burke is a friend who used to work at UMass Lowell, where i work; Jake and his wife Beth, now in Georgia, have a wonderful little boy Jack… who, although I have never met Jack, his persona is BIG – i mean the boys’s passion and love of life just springs forth; i follow his life through the eyes of his dad Jake who shares via Facebook and Jack’s NF page… Jack is looking for a cure for NF (Neurofibramatosis)

He is a sweet, happy, courageous young man with an enormous heart and every day makes a difference in the lives of so many…

This is my painting to Jack…

Jack and all the things Jack loves… his mom and dad, brother Luke, sister Grace; Red Sox, Patriots, purple belt karate expert, star wars, Obe Wan kanobe and Darth Vadar; turtles, and music… especially the tune “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash…

Later this month I was contacted by my friend Julie Simon who asked if I could donate a painting to the silent auction for a fundraiser for another sweet little four year old boy, Joey Middlemiss, who was born with a rare heart disorder,and will need a heart transplant before he turns 5. One morning I watched a video of Joey with his guitar singing “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. I have never met Joey but “he had me at hello” !! J I painted a heart and around it the words from the song “I’m Yours”.

It was such a joy to meet Joey last Friday night at the Tyngsboro Sports Center Fundraiser. As I was chatting to my friend Lisa, I heard a familiar song start to ;play “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash… then to my amazement the DJ said that this was Joey’s favorite song !!…. thousands of miles away was Jack Burke, who also loves this song and which is the song I referenced in Jack’s painting!! The Universe works in strange ways… what beautiful karma two little boys connected by art,a song and their amazing spirit

It feels so wonderful to “pay if forward”… i’m very dedicated to using my art make a small bright difference in the lives of such amazing young lives

Every time we sow a seed of giving, a huge oak tree appears in our lives… new opportunities to grow as a human being and the makings of a life well lived

It is true that I brought joy to Jack and Joey, but the real gift is the great joy they gave back to me J

Please take some time to visit Jack’s page :

Jack is also on Facebook

Many people were not able to attend Joey’s fundraiser last Friday : donations can still be made to the Tyngsboro superintendent of schools’ office, 50 Norris Road, Tyngsboro, MA 01879. Checks payable to: Joseph Middlemiss’ Big Heart Fund.

You can visit Joey’s Tufts Medical Center Care Page at :

Looking forward, I’m excited to be doing another special painting for another great non-profit organization : PROJECT SMILE

Founded by the AMAZING Catherine Pisacane, Project Smile is federally tax exempt non-profit organization which donates stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys and children’s reading books to police and fire departments for police officers, fire fighters and paramedics to give to children involved in traumatic situations