Former Disney illustrator Gary Andrews started to "doodle diary" on his 54th birthday. He was happily married and a father-of-two and wanted to remember the joy and beauty of family. Within 3 years he was a widower. Joy, his wife, had passed away from sepsis.
Struggling with ways to cope Gary "opened up his notebook and let his emotions pour out onto the pages" (via).
I was crying so hard it was difficult to focus on the page. I was drawing through tears. Joy had been my soulmate for 19 years. She was beautiful, kind, generous and funny. We did everything together. When I lost her, I felt half of me had gone (via).
Gary has published his work in hopes of raising "awareness for an illness that is often regarded as an afterthought for many doctors. Its symptoms, including fever, sickness, blotchy skin and dizziness, are often mistaken for other illnesses and not recognized until too late. If captured early on, it can be treated with simple antibiotics" (via).
After spending a weekend celebrating my 35th birthday and considering the many (hopeful) boxes I have to fill in, this story and these drawings had me all sorts of choked up.
May we treasure the time that we've been given.
This one is my favorite because, as I've heard it said before, "Laughter is the manifestation of hope." I can imagine how often Gary felt heavy and depressed and just so alone - especially when his girls crawled into his lap and cried for Mom. But then, moments like these, and perhaps, seeing a bit of his wife's humor and hope shine through his little girls, his spirit was lifted.