Close

Roots

Give the ones you love wings to fly,

roots to come back and reasons to stay.

Dalai Lama
My Mother, NY, April, 2019

Disclosure: This post will be a little more personal than others…however, I believe that the people I write about have a lot to do with the work I create.

I’m almost 60 years old and I still get to share my parents. They are both in separate nursing homes in New York. My mother has dementia and my father has Parkinson’s Disease.

When I go to NY, I drive to each home on Long Island and spend time with each of them.  My mother doesn’t answer the phone anymore so the only way to communicate with her is to see her in person.  My father is sharp as a whip, and was working up until last year. He is 88. Mom is 86.

Playing Bingo with my father, NY, April, 2019

Last week I used some miles that I’ve saved and jumped on a plane to surprise my folks. My dad was recently in the hospital and I almost got on a plane then. But he rallied and went back to the home to convalesce.  

I’d been saving those miles for an emergency. However, it dawned on me that I didn’t want to wait until an emergency. I wanted to see my parents now.  

I walked into the dining room at the home to find my dad sitting by himself at a big round table. It was Easter, and the other residents were with their families. It broke my heart… and then his eyes lit up.

My dad was so excited to see me… telling every aid, “Hey, Esther (Michelle, Lisette, etc.), this is my daughter from California, she surprised me with a visit!”  He even said to one, ‘This is my baby girl… and then quickly added , that’s some baby!”  Dad still has a great sense of humor.

These are the Baldwin Dollies. I’ve known one of them since I was 11, and the others since I was 14. We were all in High School (and Junior High) together

I lost contact with the dollies for about 30 years. We took different paths. They got married and had beautiful families… and I was playing rock and roll in New York City.

A few communications here and there, but not really connecting…until, I was urged by one of them to go to our 40th High School reunion. I was so glad I did. These girls have become angels in my life and it’s as if we didn’t skip a beat. I love learning about their lives and what happened in the years I missed.

I was planning on going to NY a week later than I did… but when I saw a text that they were getting together for one of the ‘Dollie’s’ 60th Birthday on an earlier date, I decided to go early and join them for this wonderful occasion.  

It was such a terrific visit. SO much connection and love and I left feeling full of gratitude for the chance to se my parents and my sweet New York Soul Sisters. (Missed you Abi!)  I knew that things here in California are going to get busier with the gallery and the prep for my solo show so I wanted to make sure I got in a visit and I’m so glad I did.

I also got to see my brothers, sister-in-laws and sweet nephews and niece. We got to have dinner with dad.

This is the sunset on Easter from the house of my very generous and amazing friend. When I go to NY she provides love, morning walks, laughter, an apartment above her house and a car so I can see my folks during the day.  Pretty amazing, eh?  They ALL offer me help and fill me with so much love and support. I even get picked up from the airport…. and once, with a tuna on rye from NY!! 🙂

On top of all of this I get to see ALL the dollies after a day in two hospitals… it is the perfect antidote to the sadness that comes along with seeing my parents sometimes. Of course, there is great joy as well… but the inevitable becomes well, even more apparent …

Now that I’ve returned, I have resumed my place in my studio creating work for the upcoming shows at Brittany Davis Gallery in Ojai. I know that all of the love in my heart will now be transformed into the work I create.  I am so excited about the upcoming shows. There is an opening this Saturday and I am honored to once again have my new work to be part of it.  

I am already preparing new work for my solo show in July, but more on that later.  The schedule for upcoming shows is below. I hope to see some of you whenever you can make one. The art is quite unique and I am continually blown away by what other artists are creating.

Opening and Closing Schedule for Brittany Davis Gallery

Thanks for indulging me with a little more personal post for Raw from the Road.  

At Saturday’s gallery closing fr April’s exhibition, I was interviewed by a lovely lady, Lucy Williams McDaniel and if you’re interested in seeing it it’s on Instagram TV.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful new season and many opportunities to connect with those you love as often as you can.

Love and light,
Robbie