About Me

Hello, My name is Suzanne and I am writing this blog to share my life experience as an artist, designer and person of faith. It is my hope to encourage, motivate, uplift and support those who seek to use their God given gifts and talents to serve. For it is by God we are all endowed with such gifts, and talents, and it is to God's good work that they can be returned. All the artwork and content posted on this site is the property of Suzanne VanRaemdonck. There is a registered copyright and trademark and cannot be reproduced without specific contractual agreement given by the artist and author.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dad & Me

My parents were divorced when I was five years old.
It was bitter and violent.
My father used to beat my mother right in front of us.

You never forget those images.

Shortly after my husband and I were married, my father in-law, Max, had a heart attack and had to have heart by-pass surgery.
My husband and I flew to Michigan from California where we lived at the time, to see him.
I had only met him one other time when he and my mother in-law had come to stay with us for a visit.
When I stood at the foot of his bed in the hospital, he opened his eyes and looked at me. Something happened at that moment that is difficult to explain.
We seemed to connect on some very deep level.
He later said that when he first looked at me, he thought I was his mother.

My husband and I have been married for 22 years now, and dad has been more of a father to me than my own father ever was.
I love him deeply and am devoted to his happiness.

Today is the last day of 2009.
Happy New Year Everyone!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"A Better Today"

In 2006 my mother in-law passed away from pancreatic cancer.
Loosing her was devastating to our family.
She was the glue that held us all together, in ways that I did not yet understand.
It was her wish to be able to stay in her own home while she went through the process of dying. Our family pulled together to care for her every day, taking turns to be with her and tend to her needs as well as offer whatever comfort we could.
She was a fighter to the end, always trying to spare us the knowledge of the pain she must have been in and refusing heavier medication until she couldn't bear it anymore. Every day when we would come to take care of her we would ask "How are you today mom?". She would always answer "Better Today". She knew when they increased the morphine, she would no longer be able to interact with us all...she was right.
She left this world gracefully and because of her faith in God, she was unafraid.

Since that time my husband and I have moved into his boyhood home, to care for his 87 year old father who has required constant care since shortly after his wife passing.
This is not a job for the faint of heart, or a queasy stomach. Everyone I have talked to who has done this work has had conflict in the family...it breaks my heart to say that ours is no exception.

We try to make sure dad has a nice quality of life as well as just tending to his physical and medical needs.
He is doing pretty well, he is comfortable and happy and we are a family, the three of us.
All of this has caused my husband and I to have a desire to help others deal with life problems.

We started a visual arts ministry and named it Artistic Nature.
We have both been artists for many years and we now donate 25% of the profits from the sales of our work to church outreach ministries and charities both locally and in far off places.
We hope that you will help us make "A Better Today"
To view and purchase our artwork please visit our website at www.artisticnature.com