(original post from Instagram 12/6/18)
On 4/21/17, my husband’s brother Steve, an avid cyclist, was biking downhill in Mill Vally, CA when an SUV suddenly pulled out in front of him. He totaled the car with his body & sustained a massive brain injury, punctured lungs, multiple broken bones, lacerated liver, & more. The doctors did not expect him to live past Day 1. My husband Ed of course immediately flew out there, & while Steve battled for his life in a coma, we waited to find out if he would survive. That first week was a daze; time seemed suspended. The family FaceTimed a lot, keeping in close touch & our cousin Mark even performed a tear jerking rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You” for Steve. My heart was breaking for Ed, for Steve’s wife & kids, & the rest of the family. I kept visualizing Steve, teetering on the delicate line between life & death, struggling for balance.
As I tend to do, I turned to art to process events. In a time where there was nothing any of us could do but pray, this was one thing I could do. When I sat to down to paint, I turned on Pandora, & of all songs, “Fix You” started up. I lost it. Through tears, I painted “Lifeline” - for Steve, for Ed, the family, for myself. After a week, we received the news that Steve would live. 3 months later, he came out of the coma.
It has been a long, difficult journey learning to walk again, regaining memories, surgeries, therapies, and getting to know the “new” Steve. He is a walking miracle & forced us all to take pause and appreciate the fragility of life. The original “Lifeline” now hangs on Steve’s walls. My hope is that anyone who purchases an art print is reminded daily of how quickly your whole life can change. I chose yellow and violet because they’re opposites on the color wheel, originally thinking yellow represented ‘life’, although according to Steve, heaven is one giant bright, warm, welcoming embrace, so maybe I’ve got that wrong : )
Steve’s wife Jenna has been beyond incredible through all of this, with the most positive attitude & heart of gold, able to survive with an outpour of support from her community. She is starting a non-profit to share the love & life lessons she’s received to others if you are interested: @a114love