A year ago, almost to the day, a phone call crumbled my family's world as we knew it and we've spent the last twelve months slowly healing, rebuilding and figuring things out as we go.
A routine food allergy test for my then 7-year old son showed that he was severely anemic and in full-blown kidney failure. He would need a transplant. He would forever need to take medicine and would no longer have the carefree life every kid deserves.
Our family grieved. As parents, we grieved the loss of the life we had dreamed of for our son and the feeling of stability and assuredness that everyone was healthy and thriving.
In a story that I share often, and what I've come to find is a common thread with families that have a member with a life-threatening illness, there is a moment that comes when you least expect it that jars you out of your grief, and propels you forward with hope and love and the feeling that you can handle what comes next.
While sitting in the back seat, heading from yet another blood draw that morning on the way to the Ophthalmologist to find out if his vision was impaired as a result of his disease, Ryan sat in the back seat, with his fresh bandaid in the crook of his arm, tears still in his eyes because it was still so scary for him to get poked by a needle, and started laughing. It began as a giggle and then turned into that belly laugh that only kids can do and is impossible to resist joining in.
Looking at him in the rearview mirror, giggling now myself, I asked him what was so funny. Through bouts of laughter, he informed me that he knew why his kidneys were not working the way they should. Instantly, I began tearing up. Slowly, I asked him why, and without pause, Ryan shared that his kidneys were too busy playing together to do their jobs.
In that moment, it felt as though an icy shell melted from me and as I thawed out I could feel the world again. I decided to adopt his perspective and just be in it with him, and let humor and a child's view of the world be our guide. We laughed...for a really long time. The scariness and sadness were instantly trumped by the thought of two kidneys laughing and joking.
Early on in the year, I was faced with a big decision about my studio and ultimately the business. The owner of the building that my old studio was in decided to divest the property. While, the option was there that I could *possibly* stay at that address, I didn't like the uncertainty of not knowing. So our options were to either move my studio back to the attic of our home or go look for a new space.
We were quite torn on this decision because of the opacity of what was happening with Ryan. Moving back home would simplify things - especially when Ryan went in for his transplant. On the other hand, when I moved out of the home studio, I found out how important community is to me, and the need for a space that allows regular interaction with other humans.
I had also been secretly planning a space for quite a while that would allow classes and workshops in the space - something that my previous studio was just too small for. So, we started looking at spaces that would still be local to Phoenixville as well as large enough to hold my studio and possible workshops and classes.
It was a scary decision in so many ways... but after much discussion with Eric and lots of lists and late-night calls with my besties, decided to move forward with the larger studio that better aligned with my values and needs as an artist.
So, we did the thing and moved into a 2500 square foot amazing space in Downtown Phoenixville. 🥳
So, we did the big thing and moved into a 2500 square foot space in Downtown Phoenixville. I could go into more whys...but it's way more fun to share some of the really cool things that are coming your way because of this space.
1. Large studio space with lots of light and high ceilings for my studio and workshops.
2. Big beautiful gallery area for showing my work as well as some select friend's work. [While it is not my intention to become a big-time gallerist, it occurred to me that I am chummy with some extremely talented artists and I have the space to show off their work in a really cool way - so it was a no brainer!]. Click here to subscribe to email updates on upcoming art exhibitions.
3. Education in the form of workshops and classes for artists to build both their studio skills as well as their business skills. Click here to subscribe to email updates on classes and workshops.
We are so excited to officially open our doors on Sept. 27th, 2019 from 5pm to 9pm to show off the new digs and celebrate with you. More Info