Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father’s Day: “Danae’s Gold”

Several months ago, I reconnected via Facebook with Junko Takeda, an old friend from high school. Junko has always been an incredibly talented artist, but in the past two years has taken her painting to a new level. She began a website, hosted two art shows, and shared her paintings on Facebook. On a whim, I checked out her website and began reading. I learned that she too had lost her mom to cancer at too young an age (for the both of them). It was her mother who originally introduced her to the wonders of art and colors when Junko was just a small child, and her studio is named in her mother's honor. Junko’s ability to channel her emotions surrounding her mother’s loss and the aftermath stunned me. I sent her a message telling her so and we have been writing each other ever since.

One painting in particular resonated with me. Junko painted “Danae’s Gold” after she met and became engaged to her love, Mark, after a whirlwind courtship. She describes the painting as follows: “According to Greek mythology, Danae was shut up in a cell, but Zeus took pity on her and impregnated her, visiting her as a shower of gold. Crazy shit happens. I’m living proof. One minute you’re living your life, alone. Another minute, you’re in love, and engaged."  This so reminded me of how fortunate Ed and I felt about finding each other and having such an amazing child (and the painting itself was stunning)—I decided almost immediately that I was going to buy it.

That was back in February. I figured I would buy the painting on the sly and hide it at my dad’s house until Ed’s and my fifth wedding anniversary in September 2011 or his 40th birthday the following February.

Then Hudson died. Suddenly, like almost everything else in this unfamiliar world, “Danae’s Gold” took on new meaning.

So I changed my plan and gave the painting to Ed for Father’s Day. It will hang in Hudson’s playroom where we will see it every day as we enter and leave the house. Now it is not simply a symbol of all the ways in which we have been blessed, but a reminder that although many dark days lie ahead, we will be blessed again

Happy Father’s Day to my dearest Ed. Hudson was so lucky to have you, and so am I.


  1. What a beautiful story. You two are so lucky to have each other.

  2. So beautiful, Mandy. It was always very obvious to me how very special your and Ed's love is. I am so happy that you were able to give that painting to Ed for Father's Day.

  3. I thought of you and Ed nearly nonstop today.

    I really love the painting--it's so and magical and emotional. I'm sure its presence in your home will bring you much hope and strength.

  4. I've been thinking of you and Ed and Hudson so much today. It's so terribly unfair in every single way, and I'm not sure there's any meaning to be found in what's happened. After watching the video on your blog to Compassionate Friends, it seemed to me that there would be great comfort in talking to people who have been through such a loss themselves. One person said that the feelings, as you're experiencing them right now, won't be exactly the same forever -- and maybe that's a good thought.

    If only there were some way we could take some of this suffering away from you and Ed, Mandy.

    Not that it makes you feel better, but (as you well know) the intensity of your pain reflects the depth of your love.

    Thinking of you -- Patricia

  5. Mandy the painting is even more beautiful than you described. You are always in our hearts and in my prayers.

  6. Thank you for being strong to one another. That's got to be one of the hardest things in a time of loss. You two are amazing - please continue to lean on each other, grow together in a new direction, and continue to be strong.