Does my life make a difference?
Thank you to painter Phil Roberts for the inspiration to write my following article. "Does my life make a difference?” “Does anyone ever notice me?” "What purpose does my writing have?" These are questions that we have asked ourselves, at one point in our lives. Are you uncertain about your impact on others? Do you feel that your time of usefulness is over? You never know who may be appreciating you as a person or your work as an artist. Ironically, I had not given any of this much thought until June when I learned of Phil Roberts.
In June 2004 I came across a painting on the internet named "Fathers Day'. The painting was painted by Phil Roberts. I was inspired by that painting so much that it sparked my muse. I wrote a poem regarding the painting. Then with no hesitation or thought, I quickly sent it off to Mr. Roberts. A day later Mr. Roberts sent me an email, it changed the way I thought about my writing and life. Here is that following email.
Dear Rose, I'm floored! I am so flattered by your poem. It's beautiful. To hear that the work you do inspires someone else to be creative, makes everything so worth it. And to hear about it is such a gift. Thank you so much for your e-mail, I have the biggest smile on my face... you made my week. The father in the painting is a close family friend and famous Florida surfer Dick Catri and his daughter Kim. I did the painting as a present to Kim when she had her first son, Dick’s first grandchild. Dick’s health is failing as of late, we all are worried about him. I forwarded your poem to Kim; I know it'll make her cry. The painting is even more special now that I have my first daughter and looking forward to the day I take her surfing. The original art was featured in a museum show in Corpus Cristi, Texas and will probably end up in the surf museum in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I would love to send you a print of the painting to say Thanks, if you'd like...e-mail me an address. As my friend / writer Drew Kampion says “Life is a wave, Surf it gracefully", as you have captured so eloquently. Keep on writing.
That was the first email I received from Mr. Roberts I was touched that he liked my poem so much. Prior to this I was feeling disappointed. I was wondering if my life had any value or if people cared. I mean I was always one not to hesitate doing something nice for someone. I corresponded to Mr. Roberts’s first mail and he sent me a second one back. In the second letter I sent him a photo asking if this was Dick Catri. After all I had now known the history behind the painting and I wanted to take a closer look. Yes, that’s Dick Catri! How’d you find that photo? The internet is scary amazing. He's an East Coast Champion and Hall of Fame’r. He was a big wave surfer with the legends, like Greg Noll, in Hawaii during the '60s. I got my first job airbrush painting on his surfboards when I was 15. I've been very close with his family ever since. The tribe of surfers is a tight knit family. I shared you poem with his daughter Kim, she thought it was "extremely cool" and can't wait to share it with Dick on Fathers Day. My heart goes out to you for the loss of your father, but “from where I sit" I see that his spirit is definitely lives in your words. The love you put out there in your writing is already effected myself and others and has come back to you. Again thank you for your poem.
Now I was even more confident and pleased, that Kim was sharing a poem that I had written with her father. It made writing even more of a joy. To think my poem moved someone enough to share it with their loved one. It has been said, “No man is an island.” We should never underestimate the impact we can have on others. If this was not the first of lessons God was showing me, that I had an impact on others.
I received a private message just that day in my inbox that read I don’t know if you remember me, but I was a member of your online group among friends....I really miss talking to ya and I am so Happy I found this site... Hope to talk soon...~KRISTI~
This came from a young woman who was a member of an online community I ran two years ago a web ring for women who I had not talk to sense I closed the site. I was flattered and touched that on her website she still had all the gifts and awards from when I ran my web ring. She then said to me "Rose of course I still have all my awards...they mean so much to me. Another online friend said to me that week Do you know why the Dead Sea is dead? I said no why?Well, because the water flows only one way. It does nothing but take, like many people we know. You are more like the Atlantic. You both take and give. Therefore you thrive and give life to others. Think of this analogy when ever you feel down and if anyone gives a damn. I never thought that I had much of an impact on those around me, but I guess I really do. So next time you are asking yourself,”Does my life make a difference?” “Does anyone ever notice?” You bet they do. You see you may be just writing these feelings down as a way to express your emotions, you might be doing something for someone because it's in your nature to do kind deeds. However it is the over impact that you have on a person that is the most rewarding thing out of life.
When I'm on my death bed, I want to leave this world knowing three things. Did I live my life to the fullest? Did I live my life as I wanted to, not as others wanted and did I touch the life of just one person? Now I can honestly say I have.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rose DesRochers, Canada
Rose is a published author from Canada Ontario and is also the founder of Today's Woman a community for men and women over 18, where writers/poets/columnists meet and exchange ideas, contest, rate and review and help each other succeed in the writing industry. Check out Rose's first poetry book "She is like the wind " here and purchase poetry that is sure to be a world of emotion on a canvas that is her soul.