Heart Stories

One of the things I'm most grateful for are the amazing friends I have so I've decided to do simple script paintings for the people in my life who are extraordinary. I'm calling these paintings "Heart Stories" the short stories of people who inspire me. These are my first two:


She is the creator and facilitator of a mail art website that sends loving letters to people who need a smile in their life. We've not met each other in person yet, but you know how sometimes you just know you've found a kindred spirit? She and I share a special bond like none other, what began as a quick little letter has blossomed into a loving and supportive friendship. At any given moment, you can be sure she's doing something for someone else, her heart is a heart of giving.

I met this young lady through her older brother. When we first came to know each other I was amazed at her unique take on life- she was bubbly, sweet, and always caring. She was a little girl and then suddenly she was a woman! Graceful, stunningly beautiful, and stronger than she realizes... She's dealt with her fair share of trials, but through it all, this is her story...



There's a yearning I have, it's deep within, and I admit, it only touches me every now and again. It's a need for connection. I am connected to many people through different ways, but this yearning goes deeper. I suppose I feel it most when I notice the self centered-ness of today's social media fueled world (I know: blogging, hypocrisy!) but it goes further than that... It's the fact that this trend has led to new vocabulary, entirely new words that have been invented to further describe the ways we focus on OURSELVES. That must be it, the thing that touches me the deepest, that cuts to my very soul is the focus on ourselves. 

Yes, it's important to value yourself, I don't deny this. But it's exceedingly important to value others. We need to turn the cameras away from ourselves every now and again. We don't need to post every little thing that sort of resembles us, and we shouldn't beg for attention all the time. There are people in this great big world who are hurting, who don't need to see another picture of you sitting in front of your mango lychee smoothie... People who need substance, contact, and love. 

Step out from in front of the camera for a moment, and talk to someone who's actually there with you. Instead of posting and reposting another mildly interesting internet sensation, sit down and write a note to someone -it could change the course of their day. Don't take 50 pictures of yourself at just the right angle so you can represent yourself a certain way, be you, be unapologetically you. 

I recently saw a photo of someone I know, she took it of herself standing in front of a mirror in a public place, she's obviously posing in an unnatural way to make herself look "just so". She said something like "not even posing, this is how I look" and everyone raved on how amazing she looks without posing... In looking at the picture, the thing I noticed past the obvious was a person sitting on a bench in the background who looked miserable, as if they were in the middle of crying - forever immortalized as a hazy figure on this person's feed. No one noticed the person in the back, no one said "Oh, that poor man!" And I suppose that's my point, if she weren't so busy trying to see herself in the best light at the best angle, she might have seen this man: alone and crying. She could have made a connection. 

I worry that it could be me, that I make people feel less valuable than myself. I strive every day of my life to let others know they are loved and they are important - please God, don't let an opportunity pass me by! Dear Reader, there are people in the world who hurt, who need you... Find them, offer them love, and watch what happens.


Happy Birthday

There was no escaping it. Every year on my birthday, it happened. Early in the morning Grandma would wake me up with a terrible rendition of "Happy Birthday". Part joyous shouting, part tuneless singing, part uncontrollable laughing, it was my favorite part of my birthday. In the grand scheme of things, birthdays rate very low on importance - but Grandma never let that deter her.

Last year was the first birthday I didn't get my "Grandma serenade", she was very sick and in the hospital. It was a sad day in the midst of a sad time. Once I grew up, birthdays just never meant very much to me, the only thing that really mattered was that Grandma always remembered and she always sang. When my birthday came last year, there was so much going on, it was just forgotten. It seems stupid to admit, but I cried - I cried because for the first time, my Grandma wasn't there to remind my family about my birthday. I also cried because I realized that the only reason my extended family actually remembered me on my birthday was because Grandma would call them to remind them to wish me a happy day. Even though my family is huge, I'm the only one born in August... For some reason that made it impossible for most of them to remember, unless Grandma called them.

This year I knew I wasn't going to get my wonderfully awful "happy birthday" song, so I prepared for a good cry when that inevitable emotion hit me. I cried. Don't get me wrong, it was a lovely day, quiet and calm, just the type of day I enjoy... I just missed her and her silly singing, and my heart felt quite alone. Ah, but Dear Reader, fear not, this story has a happy ending!

My mom and aunts are back in Hawaii visiting my Grandma's remaining siblings - so they were not around on my birthday. Partway through my day, I got a phone call from my mom, I figured calling to check in and just say a quick "happy birthday" what I heard next made me laugh and weep: a terrible, off-tune shouting, singing, laughing rendition of happy birthday. Great aunts, great uncles, aunties, uncles, cousins, second cousins, nieces...it was awful and beautiful. As I closed my eyes, I could've sworn I heard Grandma's voice.