This painting was for Marnie, local Niagara Falls, New York Warrior of Breast Cancer, and best friend to her horse. When Danielle DeMaison shared Marnie's story with me, I was so excited, never painting a pet portrait of a horse before. I watched at least three hours of YouTube videos sketching along, then painting on cardboard boxes, staring at the TV, and Danielle called me to tell me Marnie was placed into Hospice. I remember her painting taking one sitting, of less than an hour to make. Then, I called her family on the phone, cooking back tears to let them know I created a painting that was being shipped there and wanted to tell them how important Marnie was to our project. At first her grandmother was on the phone, then she asked me to talk to an aunt, I told her the story and we prayed together. I had not ever spoken with a Warrior family on the phone before this.
Danielle traveled to Marnie's home, the painting was in the middle of the road, a wind advisory with 45mph winds threw the painting around. But, it was not damaged. Marnie was in her room, on the bed she knew she would pass in. The thoughts that must have gone through her mind, the burden of having no more time, not knowing the joy of motherhood, or marriage. I believe this is when our Warriors are born, surrendering to their mortality, becoming okay with what comes next. Is that not what separates fear from bravery, that she is not afraid to die? Then, there is nothing to be afraid of. The photo of Marnie holding her painting just a day before her passing changed my life
She smiles so big. She says, "thats my boy" and stares at her painting knowing Danielle loves her enough to choose her for this gift. To be the person on someone's mind when they cross painting paths with us means you're being considered. To be remembered, acknowledged, and considered is sometimes all that anyone wants. Did someone think of you recently, or just themselves? Here, Danielle thought of Marnie and in doing so she created a Ripple effect of kindness, love, and meaningful life experiences for all of us. For that, I love you.
Something that tears me apart is how Cancer changes the way someone looks; the fragility in their eyes, their heads shaved, their eyelashes gone, their scars; but it became the look of a true Warrior, today it is the most beautiful look, a look among Warriors that tells the world, "my Warrior-within is out" and it deserves your upmost respect. These women should feel proud of themselves, shame on anyone who looks at anyone twice, unless your second look is of a nod of honor, a look of admiration, and to applaud them. And then you should instantly fall to your knees in appreciation you don't have to see their brutal truths, that you don't have to die with people staring, or ignoring your requests for support. I've seen it, it sickens me that the prayer emoji has replaced real support. Do Something.
Marnie is our Guardian Angel who I pray asking she help with paintings of unicorns and other equestrian art. I am sharing her story because I will be sharing a new story every day, we have enough Warrior stories for every day for the rest of the year. Tonight. I asked Marnie to watch over Naomi's painting, her unicorn in the background. I thought it fitting to pay her the love and honor that everyone know her name like I do. She is so special to us.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and listening to our experiences painting for Warriors who changed our lives, making us better people just for knowing what they've been through. If you enjoy what we do, please support us and donate so we can continue to honor and support others. No amount is too small, and if it is large, you have the opportunity to donate directly to out Warrior relief fund. Email me for information on Sponsor One Warrior, we bet you'll Sponsor again and again.
With all our love
Aubre and Joe
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