Such a talent our friend, Paula Gaskill, had for making roses from polymer clay. Don't they just look like spun sugar? Masterful at blending color, she could make them in any color you wanted. It brought her such joy!
I remember one day a couple of years ago, Paula called me to ask me about her roses. "Do you think people would buy them? Should I try and offer some for sale?", she asked. BUT OF COURSE!! I recall telling her, why don't you pierce them side to side on the bottoms, so people can use them to do cagework beading, too, as an option.....so they can also wire them into a design.
She did so and they worked perfectly. Paula got so excited that she set about to making enough for every attendee of last year's annual B'sue Boutiques Workshop, to make sure we had some for our cagework class. She was not able to come but she wanted to be sure that she was represented. Everyone delighted in the little rose treats she sent for each and every one.
Paula was able to come to the first workshop....here is a little collage of special photos:
That's Paula in the top center photo, the one in the middle. That year she had brought us all little polymer clay owl pendants. She really was a master with her clay creations.
She also loved to make mixed media jewelry:
More of those wonderful roses!
Paula also loved to play along for as many Work Table Wednesdays as she could:
Just like the button in the photo, Paula lived her life with joy and had a wonderful sense of humor. She loved her family, she loved children, she loved her jewelry making friends and her craft....so much.
This morning I received some difficult news:
"Hi Brenda, this is Ashley, Paula Gaskill's daughter-in-law. Her husband, Stuart, wanted me to reach out and let you know that sadly she suffered an aneurysm and the family had to let her go peacefully. She was very fond of you, thank you for being a great friend and presence in her life. Stuart asks you to please pass this news along to the ladies in the jewelry group."
I couldn't even react to that news immediately. Paula was not up in years, she still had a lot of living to do. Gone? Really? It cost me a bit to consider it, and then I sat down to figure out how to tell you, her creative friends, in the best way.
Paula would want us to celebrate her and to go on creating and being joyful, as she certainly was. She would not want to see you despair, or let your hands drop down. If you have some of Paula Gaskill's roses, put them in a special place and promise yourself to use them in worthy creations. Don't just save them all back. Use them. This keeps her memory going.
We all have our own way of dealing with loss and the differences between us must be respected. But I must say, I always find the words of John the Apostle comforting when things like this happen:
"He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning not outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away." --Revelation 21:4
We were never created to be sick or to die. That was not in the original plan. One day what is wrong will be made right and we will see our loved ones, like Paula, again. They are not forgotten by us, nor are they forgotten by the Creator.
Until we meet again......our Paula, the way we should remember her:
Much love to each one of you and especially to the family of Paula Gaskill who are undergoing this loss in the most personal of ways.