The story of the package...
He had watched her from afar, intrigued and fascinated by the journey she had started not so long ago. She seemed genuinely happy and it showed in her work. He told her so...often; he liked telling people how he felt about their efforts and accomplishments.
She too had taken an interest in him from a distance, interacting on occasion by leaving him a kind word, some well wishes for his ailing grandmother, and in general smiled when she read his well chosen words articulating his youthful exuberance and zest for life.
Then came his personal note.
He asked, with some hesitation. She could tell it was a hard thing for him to do. Even though miles separated them, and they knew little about each other, he braved it and asked her.
She read his note...several times, hardly able to contain her emotions. Tears ran freely as she read the words that would be forever etched in her mind.
A phone call to her daughter confirmed she was on board - she was moved by the story her mother shared and without hesitation agreed to the request; it had been a while since she had had to dig deep into her emotional reserves...here was her chance to share her talent and a smile.
Notes were exchanged from afar, photos sent, questions asked and answered...and then the real challenge began.
How to start the first line, where to go from there - the budding portrait artist sat and stared at length and pondered what lay behind the eyes of the young woman looking back at her.
So young; a life so vibrant and full of potential, momentarily suspended while the gods convened and played out her life’s cards; only patience and time would reveal the hand dealt.
And so, with determination and the desire to draw a portrait that would depict beauty, serenity, charm, and the youthfulness smiling up at her, she started drawing.
Her daughter, who was taking great pride in her part of the equation - the caricature, lent an ear, and gave sound advice when needed; together mother and daughter forged a bond.
Motivated by the devotion, compassion and commitment of a young man to his dear friend the portrait artist kept her pencil moving.
Putting aside fears and doubts, and finding the confidence needed to finish, she smiled upon lifting her head and considered the eyes before her: looking up were the eyes of a young woman ready to take on life and all its offerings. It was a good omen.
Time was of the essence as this was to be a gift - not only to mark that special day on the calendar that each of us calls our own, but to bring sunshine and laughter during the dark days ahead.
Here is the photo, the portrait, and the caricature of a young woman who captured the heart of a very special young man...and his friends in a faraway land.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. This project has been profoundly life altering, an experience I will not soon forget.
Please join me in wishing this sweet young woman a Healthy and Happy Birthday - she deserves both.