This post has only tangential mentions of numismatics. If you will indulge me on this occasion I promise to continue writing about various numismatic topics during this week. Thank you.
As we go through life, we lose perspective as to how much our parents had influenced our lives until something forces us to think about it. Since my mother’s passing on August 27, I have been thinking about how her influence has affected me and maybe what I write about on this blog.
Although my mother was not a direct influence in my early entry into coin collecting but she never discouraged me. I remember finding an early 20th century Indian Head Cent in the money I collected for delivering Newsday in the early 1970s. The first person I showed this coin to was my mother, who was cooking dinner at the time. Although the coin did say “United States of America,” she did not know about the coin. I had to wait for my father to come home, but we talked about the coin all evening.
As I grew up, there was the usual parent-child tension that built up that was outgrown as I matured. But she was always supportive of whatever I did as long as I met my responsibilities, such as school or work, without criticism. She was so concerned about me that she would not let me get my driver’s license until I passed her driving test. She finally allowed me to take the driving test two weeks after my 16th birthday which I passed without issue.
My mother started painting and drawing as a teenager and stopped while she had three children, which I am the oldest. She went back to painting in the late 1960s. I remember watching her set up her easel in the kitchen and paint. Later, when her youngest child went to college, she went back to school to earn a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Of course she graduate with honors (Cum Laude).
My mom was diagnosed with Lupus 15 years ago and worked as long as she could doing and teaching flower arranging until her hands couldn’t handle the cutting. She was told to stop oil painting, acrylics, and the polymer clay because of the fumes were effecting her lungs. So she took up watercolors, colored pencils, and charcoal. When her hands were not as steady, she worked on a computer and whatever else she could do.
During her ups and downs, I would buy craft kits, colored pencil kits, books on alternative arts, and send them to her for inspiration. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes her health would not let her do much.
After my first wife died, I found my old blue coin folders and the folders I purchased for the 50 State Quarters and decided to dive back into collecting. My mother, who was feeling better at the time, encouraged me to pursue this outlet. We began to encourage each other to pursue our interests.
Over the last few years, my mother participated with Art Cards Editions and Originals (ACEO). Art cards are 3½ by 2½ inch works of art that are sold and traded. Art cards were a great outlet for someone who loved art but could not do larger work. I know she bought cards with themes she liked and cards from others who were also being challenged by illnesses. She was also ecstatic when one of her images were chosen for the group’s cookbook. She bought a copy of the cookbook for me.
When I started this blog in October 2005, I sent her the link to my first post. I was trying to show her how easy it was to put together a blog. I was hoping she would write about her experiences as someone with a debilitating illness can continue to create wonderful art. She commented on that first posting and I told her how I can help her set up a blog. Unfortunately, she never created a blog.
I know she was an infrequent reader of my blog since she would comment about some of my writing during our many phone conversations. The former English major would comment on my writing style and grammar letting me know what could be improved. The last time she commented on my writing I had to correct the posting twice before satisfying her!
My mother inspired me to try my best at whatever I do regardless of the curve balls life throws. In her memory, I will be working on a few projects for both personal and numismatic satisfaction. I will also continue to write about numismatics and try to maintain the writing standard she inspired. For my mom, I dedicate this blog and all future posts to her memory.
Rest in peace, mom. I hope you continue to be proud of me!
If you would like to help me celebrate her life, please consider donating what you can to the Lupus Foundation in the memory of my mom, Lorri Barman. Thank you.
I do not know who owns the art cards that I posted, but I found these electronic samples of art cards on her computer. I believe both cards were created with watercolor and ink.