You see, there’s this woman who taught me everything I know. Her name is Ruth Anne, she’s my aunt, she’s my Godmother and she has cancer. She recently had the operation to remove it, but she’s pretty discreet about the details and that only gives me reason to worry. The day before her surgery she gave me my favorite pieces of her old furniture and paintings, which is more than appropriate considering our relationship.
She was the aunt with the band saw in the basement. The one with whom I spent countless weekends making art, painting flea market ceramics and redecorating rooms in her house. We stayed up way past what was reasonable for a 7-year-old, watching home design shows long before Paige Davis, her feathered bob and Trading Spaces (although, because of my aunt, that was eventually my favorite show in 8th grade).
My Aunt Ruth showed such a fearlessness and independence in her ideas that I never knew she wasn’t positive a new project wouldn’t be an absolute mess. I didn’t know that her crazy ideas (like painting her fridge, which was unheard of in the early 90’s) was the result of her taking chances and following her own logic and experience. She still has that same organic confidence and fearlessness that I know can carry her through this illness. I can only hope that same boldness grows in me the way it is naturally a part of her.