By Granny Eardley June 30, 2016
Dear dear grands, what kind of world are we leaving to you? A couple of weeks ago there was a shooting at a club in Orlando and many people were killed. Then just this week another shooting and bombing at an airport in Turkey. You may not even know this happened because you are busy and don’t often pay attention to the news.
I often believe we are living in more violent times, and then I stop to realize each generation has violent times. The dance club the shooter entered was a club where LGBT people could go and have fun and dance. Most were very young in their twenties, just starting out their lives. I think of all four of you and how you will want to have fun with your friends as you go through adulthood. I so hope all of you never have to experience serious hurt or abuse. I pray you will be safe.
Right now I know you don’t drink alcohol or use drugs, and I hope you continue to not use substances that alter your brain. But it is also important for you to pay attention to your surroundings. I know we often make jokes about how I like to get someplace early so I can find a good seat. Mostly that is because I like to sit where I can see the door, or with my back towards the wall. That way I am able to see who is entering. I can also keep an eye on what is going on in the room. If I can give you any advice about situations like this, it would be to stay aware of your environment. Not to be paranoid but to be safe. Most people in this world are good people. Unfortunately, it seems like only a few sick people can cause fear.
I was so sad watching the news reports about Orlando. I decided to create a piece of art to help me process my grief and sadness. As a clinical social worker I understand the importance of allowing those feelings to come out in some manner. This time I chose to use painting. In the past I would use writing. I would also like to encourage you to allow your feelings to come forward. Try not to be ashamed of your emotions. There is a difference between feeling and thinking, and throughout your life it is important to share your grief as well as your joy. Being aware of your emotions is the beginning, and expressing those emotions will help them not get stuck.
I also have created some other pieces of art. We have often been creative when you visit, but usually I would watch you and not participate. Now that I am creating I can’t seem to stop. 😍😍😍 I want to practice every day. So I am adding my recent paintings to this post to share with you what I have done. There is some improvement from when I began painting and how I am painting now. Someone even asked me if I would like to exchange some of my art for jewelry she makes, and we are thinking about sharing a booth at a farmers market or an art fair next summer.
I’m not quite confident enough to put my paintings on canvas and sell them yet, but as I continue to practice and learn I will get better. Expressing the creative side of my personality is so fun and helps me with my pain. I hope you will try to learn new things throughout your lives. It will be exciting to see the adults you become. I love you dearly.