During her second bout with cancer, Terry banished her first-time chemo wig and sported a variety of adorable hats.  Eventually she came to the conclusion that she didn’t care to hide her nearly bald head anymore.  At the gentle urging of her friends in art class, Terry removed her cap and as a great favor to me, allowed me to take photos of her.  Terry’s beautiful face never required the embellishment of hair.  While we talked, she graciously posed for my camera.  Her eyes shone, and her smile widened into her quintessential Terry glow, her features merging with the light around her.

Even in the throes of the devastating illness assaulting her body, Terry’s spirit still managed to radiate warmth and joy.  This phenomenon I think, was an outpouring of her capacity for fathomless love.   Love that she so generously shared with absolutely everyone and every living thing.  And this was almost always evident.  I am in awe of Terry, though until now, it was impossible for me to attempt to describe her extraordinary grace with my clumsy words.

Terry endowed us with a well full of incorporeal beauty.  A smidge lives, as a cinematic-like image of Terry in my mind’s eye.  She appears to be absolutely luminescent.  But the greater portion of her largess is free to anyone who cares to look for it.  You can feel it, in the light.




Comments on: "For Your Birthday, Dear Friend" (64)

  1. A beautiful portrait with special words. For sure a special person.

  2. settleandchase said:

    You are the perfect artist for this wonderful, shining person..x

  3. These portraits say it all. Light and warmth streams out towards the viewer. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute, Elena ❤

  4. Completely gorgeous portraits! You really captured a radiant spirit.

  5. I think this is beauty. Wonderful. I’m so sorry for your loss x

  6. Great painting Elena 😉
    but so sorry for you friend 😦

  7. These are exquisite portraits Elena. You most eloquently show her spirit with your words too. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. x

  8. Terry’s inner beauty and glow shine through to her outer beauty. You have captured this essence, wonderfully. You are a great artist, and she has made you even better. Even though I did not know her, I feel like I got to know Terry, just a little bit, from your warm and moving tribute.

  9. What a beautiful tribute. I would have read the same amazing light and beauty from just seeing the portraits. Thanks for sharing the love and inspiration she’s given you.

  10. Such dignity, Terry’s soul shines though. The love you have for your friend is there in every brushstroke. Wonderful Elena.

  11. amazing portrait , Elena! You captured it as you described it – her eyes and her smile tell a lot….great job!!!

  12. You are so good at what you do! You have shown us a woman more beautiful than any so-called “beauty salon” could ever produce.

  13. That is wonderful 🙂

  14. It’s love that radiates through these images, Elena. I didn’t even know her but think the world misses her.

  15. You have wonderfully captured her spirit in each painting

  16. Your words and artistry flow with loving grace Elena. Happy Birthday Terry. Elena’s love for you has captured your essence for us all to share. ❤ much ❤

  17. completely beautiful – all THREE portraits – thank you, Both

  18. How beautiful, Elena.

  19. I have, up to now, resisted EVER using the overused-to-the-point-of-meaningless word ‘awesome’. I do so now, because it is entirely appropriate. I am moved by your friend and by your portraits of her.

  20. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to your beautiful friend.

  21. Oh, now, my dear Elena… what a beautiful gift to a beautiful friend! Ah, that smile… Remarkable work, my friend – as always. 🙂

  22. Extraordinary work! Beautiful and full of love. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Truly amazing portraits for a wonderful person.

  24. A wonderful tribute to an inspirational person and a magnificent portrait.

  25. I’m profoundly touched by your words and your grace with the brush. Your love for Terry, (yes, she is so very beautiful) comes through your words. In her place of vulnerability you honored her and I’m sure she never forgot that. She was SEEN. We all long to be so seen. For Yoshizen above who wrote that she wondered why Terry got ill in the first place, I can only say: perhaps you haven’t lived long enough to know. It can happen to anyone. Please never forget that because it eliminates any subtle judgment. Thank you for this Elena, I will share it with many who have had the courage to remove their wigs and be seen. At a writer’s workshop for women with breast cancer recently, everyone removed wigs…and danced.

    • Thanks so very much, Susan. I agree, we are all too vulnerable to illness. Sometimes those who give most forget to leave a reserve for themselves. I salute all of the brave women who dance without wigs! They are even more beautiful celebrating their life force! Very much appreciated.

  26. AND…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TERRY!! I hope you have a lovely day. 🙂

  27. Elena, you are so sweet and thoughtful to do this tribute for your friend, Terry! Absolutely lovely portraits as always! I hope things go well for Terry; her bright spirit will surely help!! She is beautiful. 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  28. What a great portrait ! Her almost Powerful liveliness overflowing from the canvas, together with her good earlobe made me wonder why such woman with a power of life got ill in the first place ?

    • No one is immune from illness, death. We all succumb eventually. And sometimes when one gives away to others more than they can afford, sadly it can happen sooner rather than later.

  29. What a lovely, tangible tribute. I don’t know her but now through your brushstrokes and words, I feel that I do. That’s what’s so special about your talent. It can convey so much emotion and truth. How lucky are you to have known her. Thank you for sharing this.

  30. I am now accused of hero worship

  31. Beautiful portrait, Elena – of a beautiful person. Pictures tell things that words are inadequate for and I think that also it is a way of loving someone to study and paint them and try to capture their spirit…Powerful work indeed.

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