Warning: Below is a super personal post and I hope all who read will remind those who they love, that they love them.
In October of 2018, we said our final "see you soon" to the elder of our crazy bunch. Walter was a brother, son, father, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and husband. He fought a silent battle against multiple cancers for almost a decade that many did not know about, not even his family.
He fought for another day to go to coffee dates with his best friends, he fought for another holiday, birthday, and celebration with his family, he fought for more time, and he never gave up.
He is the prime example that it is never too late in life to start over, to make amends, to forgive the past and learn from mistakes, to take every day as a blessing, and to think of others before you think of yourself. Walt had a joke to tell you regardless of the conversation. The way he told his jokes were more funny than the actual joke itself. He had a way of looking at you that just made you feel like you were home.
Life is unexpected and unexplainable at times. Love grows old but never dies. We will never be able to treasure life enough. Tired hearts will mend but life is going so fast.
This man was the biggest supporter of my art. For as long as I could remember, all my holiday and birthday presents from him were art supplies, new easels, and anything that I could use my creative mind on. The best part was that this art interest of mine formed a bond between us that I could never explain, but this will be my best attempt to do so. Walt was an avid oil and water-color painter throughout his life. He was a member of the Doylestown Art League. Growing up, I remember admiring his paintings that hung around his house in awe and inspiration of what I could do one day with as much practice and dedication he devoted to his art making. If it wasn't for his support of pursuing art, I do not believe I would be sitting here today writing a blog about him on my own website that I created to sell my art.
Now, I am dedicated to keep his spirit and name alive through his art.
While packing his studio up, I found many unfinished water-color paintings. My goal is to complete these water-color paintings and place them for sale on my website with a percentage of all sales to go to cancer research. In addition, there will be a monthly featured oil painting by Walter that will be available with all proceeds to be donated to cancer research. My hopes for doing this is to spread his art to as many homes as possible, support the community that he fought alongside with, and provide hope that a granddaughter one day will not have to say good night with the thought she'll get one more tomorrow.
Not only will his art survive, his drawing board is being put to good use in all my art making. The foundation of who I am as an artist is because of my grandfather. Now, every piece of art I make will be made with his support. From his studio to mine, all my art will be made by his side from here on out. Physically he may no longer be in this world but he will forever live on in the memory of my heart, and the heart of all those who loved him. His support did not die with him. My mission is to ensure his love lives on through something he loved the most, his art. Help me keep him and his love alive.
A detailed picture above of his drawing board, along with a sketch book from his studio. The doodle shown is the only trace of Walt left behind throughout the entire sketchbook. The board is also covered in traces of him through the name of colors, sizes, math, thoughts, doodles, and his presence.
This man is one of the main reasons I am who I am today. He taught me love, understanding, patience, and growth. Without his love of art, I doubt I would have any love or interest in it either. If it wasn't for the endless supplies, countless art camps during my summers, technique advice, and praise from such an incredible artist himself, I believe I would be on an entirely different career path right now. He gave me tools when my idea of projects were too big for my own tool box. He texted me reminders that he loved me, and when it was national ice cream day each year. He never turned me down when I asked him to dance and still led the way on the fancy footwork. For all of this and so much more, I am thankful and blessed. I want to share my story, who I am, and how this man influenced me in so many ways. In your own words pop, you were a cool old guy and you'll always have a special place in my heart.
I miss texting you any time I felt like it, just to hear your goofy self text back. I miss the way your hearing aids would ring in my ears whenever I went to hug you. I miss you starring into space and snapping out of it with a joke, knowing you sat there and thought about the joke for a good five minutes before delivering it. I miss your hands holding mine and I miss just walking beside you. I miss you pop and I will every day, for the rest of my life, as long as I live, I will miss you. Until we meet again.
From then, to now, he loved us all. His daughters are some of the toughest women I've ever met, his grandkids are chasing all their dreams, his friends are so kind and warm hearted, and there are no bad words spoken about this man. I am proud to be in living memory of him and will be sure to spread his name and his love every where I go.
What a life he lived with plenty of souls who loved him and his name left behind for serving our country, in the hall of fame for football in his high school where he also served as class president, as an artist, a hard worker, and so much more.
Please never forget to love those that are still here because none of us are promised a tomorrow. If we’re lucky enough, we won’t be forgotten. Help me keep my grandfather’s inspiring love alive.
I thank all those who have read, reached out to our family, and supported my continued journey to be half the artist he was. I can’t explain how incredible and supportive so many of you have been.