Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Dream That Will Never Die

Bob Ross, Inc sent me this video about a week ago...

I thought it was a cute tribute...very sweet. Well done, PBS.

I almost ugly-cried watching it. God knows I would give anything to be able to return to teaching. I miss my students and my life as a Ross instructor more than anyone will ever know. I've needed to pack up and put away my supplies for over a year now, but I can't bring myself to do it. Maybe this week. I don't know.

Leaving the corporate world to teach people how to paint like Bob was the craziest and most joy-filled thing I have ever done. Like him or not, you can't deny that he made people happy. He truly did, and still does today nearly 20 years after his death. As for me, it was an awe-inspired wish that began in kindergarten. At the ripe old age of five, Bob's technique was the most incredible thing I had ever seen, and I remember thinking I would never be able to do something so magical.

I am humbled to tears every time I think about my journey. Following my dad's death, abandonment and divorce, Hurricane Katrina, an accident that tore my leg apart, changing my life forever...all of the above in a 13 month span...then the relapse and serious decline from systemic disease the following year...I've been through a stress-laden wringer that is sometimes hard to believe. When I was forced to resign from my jobs, I knew the clock was inevitably ticking, and I came to a quick conclusion: life is short, people. Too short to merely exist. Too short to not follow your dreams. Too short to not do what you've always wanted to do. Too short to not do what makes you truly happy.

I am grateful for the experience, although it ended much too soon. I will never forget that little girl in 1983, being introduced to The Joy of Painting on PBS, wishing I could do something like that, and in spite of chronic illness by the grace of God, twenty-five years later, actually doing it. A childhood wish, granted. How lucky am I? I will remember forever.

It may be over now, but the blessing remains. Bob gave me a dream that will never die.