Lest we forget

My-DadThis is a watercolor I painted of a hero.

This is a man who survived one of the most brutal events in history. The Bataan Death March. 

This is a man who spent 3 1/2 years in a Japanese Prison Camp.

This is a man who weighed 85 lbs when he was finally released. He had malaria, dysentery, and could barely walk.

This is a man who was told he wouldn’t live past fifty. Eight years ago, he died at age 82 .

This is a man who was told he would never have children.

This is my father.

This is how he started each day  lest we forget the price payed for our freedoms.

I promise I won’t, Dad.

How do you honor the memory of your loved ones who died in combat or have served in the armed forces?

My sister, Candie Blankman,  traveled halfway around the world to retrace my dad’s footsteps.  She recorded the impact of his war experience on her life in the book “Forged by War.”  You can get her book here.

 

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Maybe Tomorrow will be a Better Day

This is a watercolor I painted of my granddaughter Kialee almost a decade ago.   I took this picture of her just after she had been told that swimming was over for the day and later tried to capture her sad little face in this painting.  I remember trying to comfort her as I held her in my arms and whispered, “Tomorrow will be a better day.”

kialee

Kialee

Unfortunately for many children around the world most days are bad days. It isn’t swimming, but food and shelter and survival that are the focus of their days. Compassion International is making better days for tens of thousands of these children around the world. During my shows, we would often show the picture of a little girl named Taciana. This was a face without hope. My mission in using the photo of Taciana was to inspire others to give hope for tomorrow by sponsoring a child. At the time I didn’t even know her name – her little face just reminded me of my granddaughter. One day, after I had shown the picture, a woman ran to the stage. Her name was Julie Patterson.  Julie and her family  had sponsored Taciana for many years and were preparing to travel halfway around the world to see her. Julie was ecstatic as she opened a book containing all the correspondence she and Taciana had exchanged over the years.

taciana1_4

Taciana as a child.

Taciana

Taciana today.

I never dreamed that someday I would meet Taciana.  On a recent trip to Brazil, I saw with my own eyes the difference a sponsorship makes.   Taciana’s once sad expression now shines with hope.  Taciana is vibrant young women who knows the love of God and is passing His love on to other lives.  What a difference Julie and her family made in Taciana’s day… no, in her life. You can make the same difference.  Click here to see how you can make EVERY tomorrow a better day in a child’s life…  forever!  Find out more about Compassion international

It’s All About Perspective

HiRes

What you see in this picture depends totally on perspective!

Someone wrote “When I die, I want to die like my grandmother who died 
peacefully in her sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers riding in her car.” 
It’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it?

A few years ago I went on a cruise with my children and grandchildren. From my perspective it was a glorious week. My daughter had a different perspective.

Give the Best Gift of All!

IMG_4245If you are like me, trying to decide what to give to the people you love at Christmas can be a daunting and stressful task. Here is one gift that comes already wrapped, can’t be put under a tree, and will be remembered long after the other gifts begin gathering dust.