February 19, 2016. The day my world went up in flames. Literally. My parents' house caught on fire and it was a total loss. This was the house where I grew up, had slumber parties with my friends and unwrapped Christmas presents. I remember the day that they poured the concrete floor in the garage. My dad picked me up early from school so that I could leave my hand and footprints there. Sadly, that's all that's left now.
I was in Macon this past weekend on the one year anniversary of the fire when I saw this new pet portrait of Jack displayed on my mom's dresser. It's weird how you keep remembering the random, little things that you miss once they're gone. For my mom, one of her favorites was the original portrait that I painted for her birthday a few years ago. Jack was my "furry little brother," and sadly, Jack went to doggie heaven in 2015. I'm sure you can imagine how attached she was to the piece. So for her Christmas gift this year, I re-painted the portrait and personally, I think it turned out even better the second time around.
It's crazy how things can drastically change in a year. The lesson that I learned from all of this is that material things come and go. And, material things can be replaced. However, things that can't be replaced like people, pets and relationships are what's truly fragile. Life should be about building relationships and enjoying every second with the people you love while you can. I plan to start investing more time in what really matters and exploring ways I can use my artistic talents to serve others.