Art of Betty J. Billups
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Thus the title:
Sometime in May, I started this painting. But I had to head to Southern California for a big art show north of L.A. On opening night, a friend showed up, telling me she heard my Dad was in a coma (he lived in Virginia). The next
morning, I headed back there. My family realized we had to take Dad off life support. So, we brought him home, and the last 7 days we were blessed to have him!
I pretty much stayed with him 24/7, literally. He would move his mouth, or twitch his left eye, each time I said to him: "Dad, you are so stubborn." No, it was not a "coincidence" (unless your definition is a "miracle".) Seven times I said that to him, and seven times, he twitched his eye! A year later, I realized he was trying to wink: "Yes, I'm stubborn!"
I kissed him on his forehead one time as I left his room, and he puckered his lips to kiss me back! (He had "open mouth breathing" due to the breathing apparatus, and when removed, he couldn't fully close his mouth, being brain dead.) Many small events PROVED to me that Dad, tho in a coma, could hear me! SO, should YOU ever be with someone in their last days, talk with them, they can hear you!!
When I returned home I had this painting to finish. In my entire career, I'd never left a painting unfinished...why this one?! I
finally realized it was all about my Dad! Like his physical body, which was in total view, just as the woman with the black scarf is, neither one looks at us with his physical eyes!! But like the woman with the red umbrella who looks DIRECTLY at us, so also my Dad: from his very SOUL!
And so, I dedicated this piece to him, and those special days we spent together.
They said he was unconscious
But he and I knew better
For three Miraculous Days
We spoke...Beyond Words.
And then he left
On his journey Home.