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  • A picture worth a 1000 words? This one...maybe one or 2 more.

    This painting - Great Aunt Marie - 1890. A wedding gift for Grandma and Grandpa. Never met Marie, nor Grandpa for that matter. He left 3 weeks before I arrived. I have often felt his presence, though, living on through Dad's many stories, and his unresolved father issues. Like me, he loved music and baseball. While I had many of my own father issues for most of my life, I often felt a kinship with Grandpa - we would have gotten on famously! We had a common source of our issues, after all! Alas, he died before his time.

    Marie lived on in many family stories, a patron saint to the many artists in the descending clan. Traveled the parlors of Europe with her trunks (now our coffee tables), her paints and her canvasses. Left us the Rock (and her trunks) to remember her by.

    It's a dark, industrious scene - reminds me of Pittsburgh growing up.! Lots of smoke, and dark, but always industrious. Like me.

    This very painting hung above Dad's death-bed, those last months as life ebbed out of him - he, too, died well before his time. But he was ready, as he industriously prepared himself for that journey. "1, 2, 3 - go!" He’d open eyes..."Oh…still here, huh?" Not that he was anxious to leave – he was more looking forward to arriving! He’d Look up - see that Rock - smile, just knowing they were waiting by the waterside, on the other side. Sigh…."Maybe I'll join them tomorrow." His work here was done.

    Cruising from Barcelona to Gibraltor, approaching the Rock. It's 5:30 a.m. I've been awoken in my cabin - by what? A call, perhaps? A dream. Coffee. Stumble through the dense fog and the darkness topside, to the stern. Gaze out upon the salty darkness and dense fog. Then, through the fog emerges this scene...127 years later - much different - but much the same. Same Rock - still industrious scene below - less smoke - still dark. But a recognition - I'd known this scene all my life! A Connection... to Marie - to Grandpa - to Dad – to me.

    The painting now hangs in my house – still connecting me. A wedding gift ... yet so much more.
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