Monday, December 19, 2011
I drove to Vero Beach this weekend to spend Saturday and Sunday with Cherie and her family. We had a great time. Cherie and I enjoyed catching up, eating sushi, and enjoying the warm weather in Vero Beach.
We looked on Facebook at some pictures of "kids" from our neighborhood and people we went to school with. We remembered some stories and people we had not thought about in a very LONG time and it was lots of fun! Cherie and I have been friends since we were about four years old.
I'm SUPER HAPPY to tell you that she has regained some significant movement in her arms (not hands)! She is left handed, and she can move her left arm, from the elbow, in and out, back and forth, and hopes to soon be able to drive her wheelchair with it via a joystick. Right now she is using the head array to control the chair. This is big news, because her injury is C4-5, which is very high up in her neck. The therapists are very excited and continue to use electric stimulation on her hands and arms!
If you are looking for a place to make a small donation that can make a big difference this holiday season, Cherie has a charitable trust in her name: www.CherieStannard.com. You can donate via PayPal or credit card there and any amount helps. Cherie has no health insurance and Medicaid is very limited in what they cover.
If you would like to purchase a wonderful book of art from artists around the world that I put together, Art With Heart is a great coffee table book and 100% of the profit margin goes to Cherie: http://www.blurb.com/books/1854848
I received a very very special gift from Cherie and her sister Sue while I was visiting. Some of you remember that Cherie's mother was an artist, and my first artistic influence. She took me to visit an art museum for the first time, and I used to love to look at her work and watch her use watercolor and pastel at the easel in her studio. This painting, a copy of a Degas, hung in Cherie's home as LONG as I have known Cherie. Jean Stannard painted this painting as a lesson painting, to learn the techniques of Degas. I always admired how beautifully it was executed and was especially drawn to the lighting on the dancer. I can still picture where this painting hung in their home as I always enjoyed walking past it, heading up the stairs to Cherie's room!
Cherie and Sue surprised me and GAVE Me this painting! Jean passed away several years ago, and they said that they could not imagine anyone who deserved the painting more than me. They said that Jean would be happy to know I had it.
I can't tell you how much this means to me and how close I have been to Cherie all my life. This gesture was truly generous and I am much appreciative. I just thought I'd share it with you this morning, as we approach Christmas.