Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Birthday My Love and a Commission Almost Done

16x20" oil on heavyweight canvas
SOLD Private Collection

The kids above are a commission I'm just finishing that I'm very grateful for. I got a call last August from a client who wanted a painting done of his kids for his wife's birthday. I wasn't feeling that focused but thought it would be a good opportunity to get back in the spirit of working again so I accepted it. And, as it turns out, it's just what the doctor ordered. Or as Tim said, through George, the medium..."get back to work, you think too much. It will be therapy for you and you know I'm right." And, as usual, even from a different plane, he was right...again. I used to hate when that happened.

I have some more work to do, but I'm thrilled with the canvas surface. I'm going to use this heavyweight surface for everything. There's just such a nice finish to the paint with it. I just heard from the client and he's happy, so that means I am too.

 Tomorrow is Timothy Berry's 45th birthday. Last year, when he turned 44, we as usual, didn't make a big deal. Who would have even guessed that it would be his last?

This was a Polaroid snap I took back in '93. We were all pimped out because we were on our way his folks house for Easter dinner. Our first outing as a couple at the 'rents place! I was nervous as hell but it turned out really well. They were very warm and welcoming and we enjoyed ourselves. He's simply perfect isn't he?

Such an incredible human being. So warm and giving. Such an amazing partner. I was so fortunate. I decided, just yesterday, that even if I knew it would end like it did, I wouldn't have changed a thing.

I'm feeling better. I miss him more than I can express but each morning and evening I talk to his portrait and kiss him good morning and good night. I feel a bit like Cloris Leachman in Young Frankenstien kissing "Wictor's" painting, but somehow I think he's there and he appreciates it. I know I do.

I've started awake more than a few times of late, sure that I'd open my eyes and see him standing there, at the side of the bed, smiling at me, telling me he loves me.  I'm grateful that there was nothing left unsaid. Nothing either of us needed to correct or change. It's strange but I realized that because of the way we appreciated each other, at any time we were prepared to be separated by death without any regret or longing to change what we said or did. I'm very grateful for that. We were always sure to express the love we felt, the appreciation for each others presence, for the things we did for each other, the things we said.

"I'd love you if you were a head on a plate!"

That was the most romantic thing he ever said to me and at the risk of being cheesy, we were always telling each other how much we cared. I'd been fretting about looking older, gaining weight, whatever and he just took my face in his hands, looked into my eyes and said that. I'll never forget it. What freedom! What joy! I wasn't relegated to being just the "wife," always looking my best. I was his best friend and he was mine. We trusted each other completely. There would never be a cross moment where a previously shared weakness would be attacked or pointed out. We felt completely and utterly safe with one another.  I consider myself most fortunate to have had that kind of relationship, even though it's no longer shared on the physical plane.

So again, thank you all so much for caring. I'm doing much better than I ever expected but that's because he's here. He's with us. Happy Birthday my love.


  1. Every time you write about Tim it makes me wish I had met him, that I had met both of you in person (although I am so grateful for cyberspace!). I am happy that you are doing better and painting. And your painting is simply wonderful catching the smiles of two very cute boys. Please post it when completed. hugs ......

  2. I'm so glad you're feeling better and are working. It's nice to see and hear from you in cyberspace.
    The commission is looking good!

  3. Excellent commission work, Suzanne. The parents will be so pleased. I've always felt that painting is the best therapy for whatever ails us -- and never so much as when we're doing a commission. A real test of strength and patience. :) I'd say you're doing very well!

  4. Dear Suz,

    I'm so happy that you are sounding strong- at least for today. Still the best plan is one day at a time. One foot in front of the next. You are doing it. I'm so proud of you.

    And Tim knows and he is proud of you. He is "always with you".

    Happy birthday to him.

    XO Nicki

    ...And what a lovely gift for a mama! She will love having your portrait of her babies.

  5. Dear Suz
    We love it when you talk about Tim. We say "Happy Birthday" to him too- and of course he can see us say it- and read these words.
    Your gaining strength because of the love that will keep on forever.
    The painting of the little boys is just adorable. Look at those smiles! You have captured the moment Suz- yes you did.
    Will you reach out and take this hug that I have for you?
    We send you love!

  6. Your commission is perfect, Suz. So beautiful and I know those parents are happy.

    Tim is indeed gorgeous. I envy you that you have no regrets and you were able to infuse each other with love and a knowledge of being loved. I know I would have regrets were I to lose my Michael. Shame on me.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings here, Suz. I hope and pray that it helps you as much as it helps me to know how you are doing. I'm sending virtual hugs and a kiss on the cheek.

  7. Maybe your next series should be self portraits on a plate? What a riot that Tim told you that. What a gift..and pure love you shared.

  8. Everything changes. These babies are growing and changing daily; your life with Tim changed drastically. We humans don't like change but we are forced with the reality of it every day. I am glad you have no regrets and you have made me realize that, I, too, am blessed with a very special man in my life, and should treasure each day together here in this world. Happy Birthday, Tim! And he's right - work is the answer and knowing you did everything you wanted to do with him at the time. Take care of yourself always!

  9. Do you know, I always breathe a sigh of relief when your thumbnail appears at the top of my side bar! It means you haven't given up and you are still battling on. I am so glad that you can feel Tim's presence - it must be of so much comfort! He is a very handsome man, I must say! Though I can't bring myself to imagine suffering such a loss, I can imagine what I would feel if it were me that passed on. I would still love my Paul with all my heart whether I was physically alive or not. And if it were possible I would be with him and the kids at every minute. So though Tim has passed on, his love hasn't. And what a lesson to us all, to never take our husbands/wives for granted.
    The portrait is absolutely stunning! You might disappear for a while from time to time, but you never fail to come back with a bang! :0)

  10. Hi Suz. Nice to see you posting your commission. Very nice. Always wonderful when the client's happy! Your words about Tim are beautiful and I'm sure he's smiling his love down on you. For someone who supposably doesn't express herself well, you certainly expressed your affections for each other very eloquently. Hugs and smiles my friend.

  11. Suzanne, straight from the heart, sincere birthday tribute to Tim. Knowing Tim and how humble he was, he was probably all embarrassed when he read it.

    Love you.

  12. Suzanne, You know you're always in my thoughts and prayers and so glad you posted today. Your portrait is absolutely beautiful..and had no doubt that your client would like it!! It's such a blessing to know that you don't EVER have to live with "if only"..!! I hope to see another portrait do them so beautifully!!

  13. So great to see your post and read what is pouring from your heart and to know you are painting again, as Tim wants you to. Such a beautiful painting! Thanks for the reminder to let those we love know how much we love them. Hugs!!!

  14. Suz, you are so blessed to have known and be loved and love Tim.
    And your commission is, of course, fantastic! The two munchkins look ready to come right off the canvas and play.
    It is so very good hearing from you!

  15. Hi! Wonderful portrait, is a beautiful scene. Congrat! :)

  16. Suzanne, your posts are always so inspiring. This is a wonderful portrait and it's great to see you working again. Happy birthday Tim. ;)

  17. Hi Suz,

    Wonderful portrait, I'm so glad to hear you are enjoying it.

    Happy Birthday to Tim, and yes, he is simply perfect. You are one very lucky lady to have had such a love in your life.

    Keep on keeping on, the first year is the worse.

  18. Hi Suz! First of all, wonderful portrait, as always! Secondly, yes, he is perfect! You've both been so blessed to have found one another, even if your physical time together was brief. Such a perfect marriage. Anticipating seeing him must only mean that he's actually standing right there beside you...and I totally understand you kissing his photo, too! It makes him feel closer. So glad that you did visit George Anderson and I speak about your experience to family members when we are being faced with a loss, also. Love and Peace XO

  19. Hi Suz, yes, this portrait is brilliant. So happy you are listening to Tim and getting back to work. I also believe he is communicating with you, stay the course and we all look forward to your future work.

    All the best to you,

  20. Suz, you do rock the skin tones in portraits! I feel like breaking my brushes sometimes when I see your work. I know this commission will be so well received and become one of those heirlooms to be treasured.

    Tim and you had/have a unique connection that time and space cannot break. Every day and every important event will find you both close by and that is how it should be. Keep talking to him, and to us. Keep creating your beautiful art.

    I'm happy that you're starting to feel stronger.

  21. My heart stopped beating as I read your post. My greatest fear happened to you. Thank you for sharing your pain and courage,
    Your artwork is wonderful and I wish you peace of mind as you do it and keep on kissing Tim goodnight

  22. Suzanne, I'm so happy to read a blog post from you:)) I'm not sure how I missed this one. I love that you are painting and finding surfaces that you love working on. This portrait is amazing I'm sure the clients are beyond thrilled. Happy B-day to your other half. I'm so happy you have him in your life and that his spirit is so strong.

    Carrie Waller

  23. This is fabulous, Suzanne. Painted with such feeling and softness. These parents and boys will always cherish this! Glad you are painting and very happy the Medium helped you. I truly believe all they can pass on to us, such a great confirmation your love is here with you!! Unfortunately, we miss all their little signs. (I've smelled my mothers perfume go by me). Keep talking to him, he's listening....

  24. i'm sure tim would be very happy to know you finished this portrait ...have a good w-e suzanne ..beautiful work

  25. Oh, Suzanne, what a beautiful post. I love the photo of Tim and, again, you're creating.
    Glad you can hear him through the medium. I'm a total believer.


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