Friendship in this Peculiar Life

landscape painting by David Borden with the proud owner
Bev with her David Borden original
Recently I was afforded the opportunity to travel back in time.

Savannah's physical therapist for more than twelve years, Beverly, invited us to her house for a dinner party with another family. She and her husband have built a beautiful house in the country. We pushed Savannah into the house through the accessible entrance at the back, so Bev walked me around to the foyer to show me where she'd hung a painting I'd given her a long time ago.

I'd painted that piece in what seemed like another lifetime. I remember how it was one of the first I'd done on an oak panel instead of canvas.  I'd cut the wood for the support frame on one of the large table saws at the Blue Genie, where my studio was located. I remember standing in the heat of the warehouse, working by the furnace blast of light at the open cargo bay. Time melted away as I'd drip sweat and forget to eat.  It was bliss to be away from Savannah, who was mercifully at Open Door pre-school for a few hours each day.

At that time, I painted and pursued printmaking.  I worked a few hours a week at a local non-profit arts organization. We were so poor, struggling with debt, Savannah's constant problems, and sleep deprivation. My time in the studio to paint, to escape from life, was necessary to my very survival.  When this painting was finished, I hung it in the tiny living room of our East Austin house. Beverly would admire it when she came to treat Savannah. We had used up our therapy allowance with the insurance company, so we didn't have any way to pay her. I gave Beverly the painting.  She gave Savannah the physical therapy she desperately needed.

I am grateful to Beverly.  She stayed with us when others left.  She treated our daughter when we couldn't pay. She's been a counselor, a case worker, and a friend. She's stepped up to help in our hours (notice plural) of need and desperation.  She's made innumerable trips to Savannah's school to assist with various issues regarding equipment and positioning.  She's even come to visit in the cold loneliness of the Pediatric ICU.

This peculiar life has taught me many hard lessons... one being that when people like Beverly come along, you have to hang on to them because they are rare and precious.

Thank you, Beverly.

#disability #specialneeds #physicaltherapy #painting #precious #meditation #inspiration #friendship


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