Mary is the woman who inspired this project- here's the video showing you why
Warrior of Breast Cancer
The 'Lone Cypress' is a tree in California special because it grows in a place no tree should survive. A photograph was taken by Mary's relatives, on the back of the photo they write "to Mary, our Lone Cypress' and mailed this photo to her. Tragically, both passed away. This painting of The Lone Cypress is Mary, one-in-a-million, rare, and grows in places normal people wouldn't survive; this painting is 5 feet long and her relative's names are written on the rocks nearby. Mary is very much responsible for the creation of The WarPaint Project. I appreciate her pulling the artwork out of me. Love Her
Mary and I worked together 19+ years before she popped back into my life one winter day to take me out for an errand; it was winter, my car wasn't able to be on the road so I posted on FB asking for a ride and she answered. She's one of those types of people you can talk to about anything, instantly comfortable around, totally down to earth, funny, and spontaneous...she's Mary.
Mary gave me a new outlook on things; she didn't know that I listened to every word she said, I really needed that Warrior Woman Spirit in my life when she agreed to take me here and there those few weeks. On one day, she would ask me to paint Christmas gifts for her family in exchange for extra canvas. I hadn't painted in years and I had no paint, brushes, or time but agreed. To my shock, the paintings were created within a day, I came alive with new life and purpose; the energy it gave me to want to paint again would last through the next 14 months, and still to this day.
Looking back I think if one of any of the dozen or so strangely timed events didn't happen exactly the way they did, or with the people that they involved, or had I said, 'no' to anything I was asked of, we would never know this project. God is alays at work, but we use our free will to deny his blessings so often. It's in these chance meetings, favors, and especially with generosity to others that purpose is found.
I would also have a need to do laundry and Mary would need help wrapping her gifts; this was the day I would talk with her about living with cancer. I had never been in the room with someone fighting cancer before so I was interested in how she felt, what life was like; it blew my mind how little support there is for her and so many. I would also see her double mastectomy scars. Mary changed my life in December of 2019 creating in me a person who assigned herself to do more for others; I didn't know how for another two months but Mary would also be there on that day too.
To Mary, Warrior of Beginnings; thank you. I owe you this acknowledgement, the person who began it all; whose being herself, being vulnerable and raw with honesty, showed me how to live with strength again; who showed me another side of living with cancer. To you; I dedicate "The Lone Cypress Painting" with all of my love and gratitude.