Tribute to Albert J. Russell

Maya Angelou wrote:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Simply put, my dad made me feel cherished.  Four years after his death this feeling remains.Watercolor painting of the word Cherished, adorned with flowers and hummingbirds

He treasured his family.  I think he actually thought all five of his children were perfect, or maybe he just treated us that way.  He lost his mother at age seven and learned early the power of family.  Shortly before his death he told my husband that life had turned out so much better than he expected.

I believe when he met and married my mom, in Japan of all places, life began again for him.

Pencil skectch of father and daughter, Artist:  Barbara Bromley a.k.a. artfulbarbI’ve included the drawing I did after his death.  As usual art helped me to cope.  The drawing was done from a snapshot taken at his surprise 82nd birthday party.  Normally there would have been lots of photos from my own camera.  Unfortunately I landed in the hospital the night before.  When I finally arrived at the party unshowered, exhausted, and bedraggled, he looked up at me with pure joy.  As always, even at age 82 and wheelchair-bound, his strength of spirit lifted me up.

Pencil sketch of old man walking away, carrying a flowerI’m so glad that I agreed to the photo because it captured how I felt toward a dad who was/is my hero.

I read this quote recently in a greeting card:

“You honor him by the way you live your life”

Dad, I’m still trying!!

Watercolor Hummingbird Signature

A Grandma’s Legacy

Grandma grand daughter mothers dayIt’s been almost twenty years since my mother-in-law died and yet May, her month, still fills me with memories.  Her birthday was May 9 which seemed so appropriate with its proximity to Mother’s day.  She was the consummate mother.  She always remembered the little things that really are the big things.  Birthday cards were never late!!  Her journals were filled with positives;  not one critical word.  She saw only the best in people.

She and I shared a love of birds, flowers, family, and even the name Barbara Bromley.  She is missed by all who knew her, but the memories remain.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Watercolor Hummingbird Signature

Seven Rules for Life

The following “rules” have been floating around the internet in one form or another.  It seems appropriate to consider these as a guide to navigating life’s passages.

  1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present.
  2. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  3. Time heals almost everything.  Give it time.
  4. No one is in charge of your happiness.  Except you.
  5. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them, you have no idea what their journey is all about.
  6. Stop thinking too much.  Its alright not to know the answers.  They will come to you when you least expect it.
  7. Smile.  You don’t own all the problems in the world.

Think these guys know the rules?  🙂 - Chasing Dogs

Happy 59th birthday to me!

Welcome to my blog!

Come join me as I celebrate my last year in the “frantic fifties” and document my “Artful Passages” into my sixties and beyond.   In my artful blog/journal I’ll use writing, painting, drawing, and photographs to chart my blog-journey.

Since its my birthday and all, I deserve some cake don’t you think? In lieu of the real thing, let’s serve up a couple watercolors instead.  Lots less calories! - Watercolor Birthday - Watercolor Birthday Cake

Thanks for making this passage with me!


Watercolor Hummingbird Signature