Monthly Archives: November 2008

Go West, Young Artist!

This ArtEdventure is a journey back in time and across the American landscape. You’ll meet half a dozen great American artists and learn about their work. Some of what they say is inspired by their words and writings-you can read actual quotes in the In The Artist’s Words box. Other conversations you’ll have are fictionalized-the events are true but the words are invented, based on interpretations by art historians.

Now…

Go West, Young Artist!

The Power of Love and Gratitude

I wrote a little about how we combat the prevailing fear that has been perpetuated by the media and others as of late with love just  last week.   I wish I’d known of young Brenden Foster at the time, but I just learned about him this week as his story has spread across the Internet.

Fear is a powerful force and a normal reaction when something frightening happens to you.  No matter how bad the scenario, it is always easier to deal with if you have some sort of love and encouragement after the initial fear hits.

What if you are an 11 year old boy and you are diagnosed with Leukemia and told you don’t have long to live?  Certainly that is about as frightening as it can get.  What would your reaction be?  Brenden Foster reacted with love.   His dying wish was to feed the homeless and his wish was taken up by others who did just that.    Others around the country took up the cause as well and I know that Brendan was surrounded by love and encouragement from his family.

Another dying wish that Brenden had was to plant wildflowers to help save bees.  A retired pilot heard his request and asked his friends to sprinkle wildflowers around the world.    I know many on my Christmas list will be receiving a wildflower packet on behalf of Brenden.

Brenden Foster passed away last Friday, November 21st, 2008.    His dying wish touched not only my heart, but others around the world who will make sure  that his legacy will live on.

I didn’t know of Brenden’s wish when I volunteered to participate in a benefit for the hungry in the Akron-Canton area of Ohio called Cups of Kindness, but I’m all the more thankful that I did after learning about Mr. Foster and his wonderful example of living life to the fullest.

Brendan was asked what made him sad and he replied, “”When someone gives up.”  He also said,  “Follow your dreams. Don’t let anything stop you.”  Wise words that we can all live by from such a young man and  as fine an example of the power of love that I can find.

You can hear and read more about this inspirational young man here:

My heart and love are extended to Brenden’s friends and family on this Thanksgiving Day.  May we all continue his legacy of love, gratitude and passion for life.

My prayer for us all on this Thanksgiving Day 2009 is that we look beyond the headlines of fear and remember how much we can do with a little love in our heart.  

The Thanksgiving Proclamation of the United States signed by George Washington

The Thanksgiving Proclamation of the United States signed by George Washington.   The original can be viewed here and an easy to read version here.

Of course this did not result in the country celebrating the holiday every year.  That Proclamation came from Abraham Lincoln that can be read here.

The Karpeles Library  also provides many other important original manuscripts & documents.

The Karpeles Library