The Story Behind the Painting

In the fall of 2008, while I was planning my wedding, a strong, courageous friend of mine was fighting for his life.

Photo of Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

At age 34, Daniel Smith was vibrant, healthy, and full of promise. He was finishing medical school and running more marathons than I could count. He seemed to have his whole life ahead of him. On October 22, Daniel lost his 6-month long battle against squamous cell oral cancer.

I heard the news after coming back from my honeymoon. I know I cannot adequately describe how this news affected me, but I will try:

I experienced deep sadness, sympathy for his family and the painful sting of loss, all of which is to be expected. What I did not expect was to be confronted with the fear that Nate could be taken from me in a similar way.

Life was now fragile and unpredictable….fleeting.

Of course, it always has been, but now I had this new person in my life that I wanted to hold on to so tightly.

Our Wedding Day photo

Our Wedding Day

For days, I considered the possibility of losing Nate. How would I be able to go on without this amazing man in my life? But this couldn’t really happen, could it? After all, God had given him to me; wasn’t that a guarantee that my next 50 years would be wonderful?

As naïve as that sounds, it really is how I felt. The evening I heard about Daniel’s passing, I was struggling to balance loving fiercely with a willingness to let go.

Then something happened that I can only attribute to God’s leading.

I saw my next painting in my mind, as clearly as you are seeing it now on your screen. It was an image of a girl playing in the field with her father. He had just let go of her hand, and she was running away, but smiling back at him. I knew I was supposed to get it on canvas.

“Mine For a Moment” is my answer to the struggle. It’s my reminder that we must not love less in order to avoid the pain of potential loss. The people in our lives, our children, spouses, friends and family members, are here with us now, and “now” is really all we can hold on to.

Nate is “mine for a moment,” and in this moment I will love him completely, knowing that his life is not in my hands, but in the hands of his Creator, who has seen each of his days before even one of them began.

I hope you will share this painting with someone who may need to see it.

You can donate a 28×22 lithograph of this painting for as little as $5.00. “Mine For a Moment” is dedicated to Daniel Smith and to little Sadie Isabella Stout, whose life ended just 9 days after it began. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those whose moments here on earth seemed too few.

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