Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Every Little Thing

This man isn't in the world anymore. Cancer took him away.


I've known his wife for years, I found her in blogland. It was a rarity, back then - to find another Aussie blogger. A Sydney one at that! Vee and I were trying to fall pregnant, writing about our IVF and how tricky it was. In March 2008, her husband Alex was diagnosed with cancer. I felt sick for her. Two months later, my husband Dave was diagnosed with cancer. She felt sick for me.

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Today, the 11th May, marks one year since her husband Alex passed away. Their beautiful son turned one a few months ago. Vee has been a single parent, all this time. Can you imagine?

I'll never forget something Alex wrote. To paraphrase: People often tell those with cancer to fight, just keep fighting. Fight hard and beat this thing. But what of the ones who fought - hard, and yet still died? Didn't they fight hard enough? Sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you "fight."

I used to quote Alex, often, when people would tell me to tell Dave to "just fight!"

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Last November, in a post called Essays from the Deep ... I wrote this:

"The absolute worst thing about the cancer ward, was the artwork. I remember holding everything together, carrying Rocco in the sling, walking through it all .... but it was the artwork that made me despondent, want to slit my wrists. I'd always told myself that if Dave stayed any longer in that ward, I'd take down some of our art and hang it on his wall.


I still want to. I'll go with Dave to his appointment tomorrow, just to be annoying supportive .... and I will tell him my plan to take new artwork down to his old stomping ground. Something with some light in it, for goodness sake. He'll probably tell me to go for it - he always does.

Imagine if I didn't even ask the hospital, if I just waltzed in with beautifully coloured canvasses under my arm ... and swapped it over with all the bad art. (Bad art! Naughty!)

I think I will."

Computer, guess what? I did. (Vee, go read your comment on that post - I told you it was your idea!)

Vee and I met for the first time yesterday. At Nepean Hospital, where Dave had his diagnosis and surgery and subsequent chemo. Sweet memories, man.

Her beautiful, gorgeous husband Alex was a talented artist. We got some of his art printed up onto three canvasses.

Then we waltzed inside the cancer ward at the hospital and put them up. Just like that. Vee had bought these sticky things and I did the dirty work with my man hands. No permission. We left a piece of the world goddamn less ugly than we had found it, and I am fiercely proud of us for that.



This is the first one we put up. (Dave actually chose this one .. it's a dog relaxing next to a Harley Davidson.) Twenty seconds after, a lady hobbled past, clearly a patient. She stared at it for ages. Vee's all, "So, do you like it?"

"Oh, yes - yes I LOVE art. It's what you see into it, isn't it. Yes. Yes I really like it.

Putting this one up was amazing. We're actually in a room. I was walking past and this guy was on an oxygen tube and I stood at the doorway, holding up my offering, asking him if he'd like some art in his room. He could hardly talk ... but I made out, "This is hospital property." I said oh yes, we were doing an art initiative. But so sorry to disturb, and I went to back out but he wanted to know where the photo was taken. Vee told him in Surry Hills. He stared at it for ages, said he liked it. I put it up - next to the clock. (Who puts a clock in a room of a cancer ward? TICK TICK TICK.) I chose this picture, these birdies on a wire. I looked at all of Alex's wonderful images, tried to see them through the eyes of a newly diagnosed cancer patient. I wanted them to be taken away, somewhere - anywhere other than where they were.



Just before that last photo above was taken, I said Vee .. we have to get out of here now. There were about ten nurses milling around by that stage. Can you believe not one person asked us what the hell we were doing? I love Australia.

This project doesn't stop there. Remember my friend Alexandra?

Here is the story of how we "coincidentally" met. Her verve for life makes me slackjawed like a yokel. We've been collaborating for a while now - Alex stood in LA last weekend and handed out beautiful cards. These cards.



Alex - father, husband, artist. Lost his battle with leio.myosarcoma on May 11 2010. From Sydney to Los Angeles - we're sharing the beauty he saw in the world. Please let us know where you found this card. Every little thing ... gonna be all right."






Strangely, it was the image of Alex's card next to the Royal Wedding papers that made me cry. A big world event, that Alexandra had somehow made him a part of.

Westwood Fox Theatre

Alexandra's tribute post to Alex is here. It's bloody incredible. She stood in busy La La Land, handing out flyers, noticing herself feeling rejected when people brushed past her. (Seriously - who gets shiz printed up and hands them out, for people never "met" yet? I LOVE THE INTERNET.)
 
I need to go to bed. I'm writing this out, scared that I'll leave something vital out. I want you to see everything, computer, but I need to publish it before Vee wakes up - it's 2.02am here right now. I would love if you commented, if you could spare a few kind words to Vee. And Alexandra. We financed this whole thing ourselves. I can now put "Bumbling Project Manager" on my business cards.
 
::
 
Later, as we sat in the yucky courtyard in the kiosk at Nepean Hospital, Vee told me that she still can't believe that he is gone, that he is not going to walk in the door. See his son grow up.
 
And I looked up at the hospital and thought of the new pieces of artwork hanging in there. I noticed three birds looking down at us from the awning. Vee's blog is called Three Little Birds. She took some photos of them and I knew why and she knew I knew why.
 
Her man isn't in the world anymore ... but the world is a better place for him once walking it.
 
 
This guy adores his dads art - he cried when we took it out of his hands. I was trying to distract him with a photo of the amazing pink elephant  ... no dice.
 
::
 
Cool thing that happens every year down here - Australia's Biggest Morning Tea
 
Alex was there ... Santa Monica Beach, LA 11th May 2011

137 comments:

  1. I love this. We should do this in San Diego. I'm going to London at the end of June. I will totally do this in London if you get me the art files.

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  2. Sometimes, after I'm here, I just can't speak, with the way you're squeezing everything out of life.

    And I do nothing.

    You are beyond words.

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  3. They look amazing - how many lives will be brightened by viewing those pictures! Incredible. Simply incredible.

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  4. You never cease to amaze me!! YOU are WONDERFUL! I am so glad you did this...thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  5. OMG...you are a gutsy woman. I need to take lessons from you! Do you know how many lives you are going to touch by doing this!! AWESOMENESS!!!

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  6. I didn't know Alex, but I now know he was here, you & Alexandra have stamped his footprint on this big wide world, he lives on, not just in the memories of his wife Vee or in the smile of his son but also by a simple card & his art.

    For that, I am truly grateful, what a gift you have given his family Eden & to me, to have a piece of Alex for a short time, it is now my turn to share that gift with someone else......

    xxxxxx

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  7. I feel there's something really powerful at work here -- something moving through you lady -- truly.


    Beautiful. Send me the art file and I'll pass them through the Upper Midwest of America...documenting all the way......

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  8. oh you bitch, you got me crying at work now.

    seriously, this is fucking awesome.

    how wonderful you and vee could share this experience and know the impact it will have on others.

    how cool for everyone who connects with vee and alex through his art and your actions.

    you are a goddess.

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  9. Love it!! I can just picture it...you two waltzing into the hospital to put artwork up without permission. Hilarious! You have to go back at some point to see if they are stil there.

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  10. Here from Luna's RT on Twitter. What a beautiful and moving post. Thank you for sharing about Alex and Ver and your friendship and those awesome cards and your take on not everyone who fights cancer wins. There is so much to digest in this post and so much beauty in what you and Vee are doing in light of the curve balls life has thrown your way. I love that you two got to meet finally and that you spread some of your beauty and love through those pictures you hung at the hospital! Be the change...

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  11. What Luna said. Except bleeped.

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  12. no comment i could post would do justice to this, so simply… you are amazing.

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  13. What a brilliant idea! I'm so glad you're carrying on his memory and lightening up the moods of cancer patients. I'm speechless.

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  14. Oh, my dear girl! You....you are just a marvel! You've got some serious ovaries to be able to just stroll into the hospital and put up art. Love it.

    I love this project and want to be a part of it. Vee and Alex and Boo are a big part of my life, too. Send me the file, too, and I'll bring him to the North country.

    The hugest love to you...you are the best...xoxo

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  15. I just fell completely in love with you. Cancer took a friend of mine recently, and this resonated with me something fierce. But guerilla hospital art? Simply fantastic.

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  16. please forward the files and I'll do my best with the midatlantic part of our world. use the email address from the last email I sent you.
    you move me beyond words.
    xoxo

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  17. Oh Eden, you are so beautiful. There are really just no words. I love you and I'm so honored to call you my friend.

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  18. What a beautiful thing to do.

    Your an amazing writter, I was in tears by the end.

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  19. Alex WAS here. And now he's in MY heart. And that's something isn't it? x

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  20. This gave me chills and tears, mainly these three words: baby, sling, chemo. Worst nightmare. How did you all manage? Thank goodness you found each other for support. My heart goes out to Vee and her little man. Alex lives on in him.
    Why wouldn't the hospital want inspiring, thought stimulating, vibrant art on its walls? I think there's more room for Alex's art on many more hospital walls.
    Vale Alex, you're awesome and hopefully this morning someone is waking up to your glorious pink elephant and blue skies. x

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  21. Gah. Beautiful. Ballsy. Incredibly poignant.

    Cancer stole my dad, too young. Hated those dank frigid hospital walls, and we stole him from there as soon as they confessed they could do nothing better than we could. I'm glad they pulled that particular building down — sure it killed many people with its bleakness.

    Guerilla hospital art and sending Alex round the world to strangers and friends-you-haven't-met-yet...love it. x

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  22. To Vee and Eden, to Alexandra - for Alex - it's a cliche but it's true - you make the world a better place.

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  23. OMFG bro - your man balls never cease to amaze me!!! I physically shuddered when I read the bit about the DISGUSTING kiosk with pigeons who look like they're suffering from cancer at the hospital - eeeewwwww. (Still can't believe he HAD it BTW!) Seriously amazing thing you did - you differ from about 95% of the rest of us in that you ACTUALLY DO shit, you don't just talk about it, you know!!! Looking forward to eating a hot dog while riding around on your pony in your driveway - if you build it they will come man. Leigh-leighs xxxx

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  24. Bumbling my arse.

    You have mad me cry. Again.

    Every. Little. Thing. She. Does. Is. Magic.

    ♫♫

    XX

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  25. Smiled and cried all the way through this post. You are amazing x

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  26. What a way tos tart my morning... an AMAZING post. Ptops to both of you. Such a brilliant, moving, perfect thing to do. I lost a close friend to cancer just last month. I am going to send this post onto our circle of girlfriends, who I am having dinner with on Friday night- the first time we have got together since the funeral- and see what they think.

    Oh, and I work in a hospital too, in a dementia clinic. The artwork. It's dark and gloomy. It swallows the light. It makes you turn away. I knwo what you mean. Unfortunately, ours is *nailed* to the wall. I've checked.

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  27. Ugh- *start *Props... Have not had my coffee yet.

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  28. I love you just a little bit more today because of this post! You rock the world! xx

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  29. Wow Eden, you are inspirational, incredible & just fantastic.....I had a nice little cry & lots of smiles while reading this post. What a lovely thing to do, putting up all that new beautiful art! Vee is gonna love it when she wakes up xxxxx

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  30. I somehow miss Alex as well. Sitting here in tears, missing him. Your friendship, you and Vee, is proof that magic exists.

    Art is healing. Bring it.

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  31. Alex, Vee.. Alexandra. Eden! Thank you so much for introducing us (me) to these wonderful souls. I can hardly see my screen for tears. Beautiful. Off to share the love xxxxxxxxxxx

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  32. 3 little birds, outside my window...

    beautiful, gutsy, amazing women. blessings to you especially, vee.

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  33. Everybody who is commenting and tweeting and loving this post ..... you're lifting Alex's art up even more. Vee told me yesterday that he would have been really modest about this, not think it was good enough. It's not only good enough, Alex mate ..... it's fucking spectacular.

    Vee has woken up, and text me big thank you's .... so thank YOU. And mad props for Alexandra. I'm going to meet her in August, to sign the adoption papers to be part of her family.

    I'm so tired right now, and am headed back into Sydney, so will be back online properly later - I have a lot of thank-you's to make.

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  34. Crow - damn straight. "Magic exists, in the world." IT DOES! It's a beautiful Soul secret, and when you discover it, it makes life worth living. XOX

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  35. Oh wow. This is amazing. you are amazing Eden. Vee is amazing. Alex is amazing. I am in awe of you all. xxxxx

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  36. YOU are a force to be reckoned with – the evil in the world stands no chance against you! Everything is better when you find someone with whom you can really share, someone who totally “gets” you. I’m so glad that you and Vee have each other!

    Your post inspires and empowers me. You remind me that doing what is right, while often hard and scary, is the thing to DO. Thank you.

    Now if I can just blink these tears outta my eyes and see, maybe today will be the day when I’m able to make just one someone feel good and strong enough to change the world. I’m off to do what you do/model (and say so eloquently).

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  37. Stumbled over from Kristin's. Beautiful. Will be staying.

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  39. In tears. Again!

    You guys did an amazing thing here. Not only did you act when so many others (myself included) merely sit and wish we could do something, you all have managed to inspire others. That is pretty f'ing awesome.

    I'd love to help. I am still not up and about in the world much yet, but I will be soon. Until then, what about creating a paypal account so we could help finance adding more of Alex's paintings to cancer wards? I bet you'd get a lot of support! I'd even be first. :-)

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  40. Beautiful, beautiful post.

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  41. From someone who watched their father die in a light filled room with dark gloomy art on the walls - and a clock - a sincere thankyou for your audacity, your inspired message that art transforms lives and your absolute willingness to risk it all for the right thing.

    All power and strength to you.

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  42. That is brilliant, all of it.

    I truly hope I'll stumble across one of the cards here in LA. Knowing the story behind it will make it all the more special... I will keep my eyes peeled.

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  43. Beautiful, Eden. And Vee and Alexandra.

    I wish you would stop making me cry.

    To think that good men like that are taken away, while arseholes get to survive and hurt more people.

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  44. What a wonderful thing to do. I always found the cancer wards so grim and depressing when visting my mother in law and father in law there - 2 different hospitals, 2 different cancer wards, both grey and lifeless with no happy pictures to cheer up the patients, staff or visitors.

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  45. Absolutely amazing. Beyond words.
    I'm in Sydney too but I'd love to hand out some of these cards. They are a brilliant idea. Let me know if I can help
    And please look in to ways of getting better artworks in to the wards. Maybe legally this time so we know they'll stay there :p
    I'm not a great photographer but I'd quite happily donate some photos.

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  46. This post is reason #183452 why you rock.
    Imagine what you could do with a high vis vest and a witches hat - NO ONE questions the high vis!!

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  47. Just wonderful and wonderful and more wonderful!!

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  48. Wow! Eden that was so powerful to me :-) My hubs has M.H.E genetic rare form of bone cancer and next time i go to the cancer ward for his appt i will also hang some of his art work (he paints as well) Also im gonna take down all there stupid clocks?? WTF!!!??? yes tick tick what are they brain dead arse holes or just could not give a rats arse and have more care!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  49. So beautiful. Alex my thoughts are for you and your family tonight.

    Thanks Eden.

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  50. my brother recently spent 8 months in hospital after pre-cancer surgery went completely insanely just so wrong … it was hard to guess what would claim him first, the haemorrhaging or the depression. how wonderful would your friend's artwork have been, the room would have filled with the vitality that drove it.

    he's in rehab now, and the artwork there. just. isn't … charts and whiteboards and the glimpse of a tree over the carpark.

    thank you on behalf of everyone who has ever spent a long time in hospital, and from their families and friends tearing their hair out, trying to keep them alive and in good spirits. xt

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  51. Read this post at 2am and cried. Re-read it now and did the same thing. Good tears.
    Love you my friend. And what a friend you are. x

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  52. Bugger me Eden - you continue to amaze me. Fab post. Fab idea. Fab Alex. Beautiful work.

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  53. This is a beautiful entry.
    I can agree with the quote 'keep fighting'. My husband was diagnoised with cancer and has been in remission for 3years.. they were the hardest times, but we were fortunate enough to pull through. We were one of the lucky ones...
    Big hugs for Vee

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  54. What an awesome thing to do. Unfortunately I know the cancer ward all too well at Nepean at the moment. My sister is in for her second round of chemo. I will definetely be looking for these little gems. i agree about the clocks...staring back at you.

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  55. I have chills - just amazing, Eden. Beautiful. xx

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  56. I met a girl in third grade and we became forever friends. Thirty years later, I ache for her as her husband is dying of cancer. I have not a single word to comfort her because there is no damn comfort. He will be gone and she will be here. I would love the opportunity to bless her with one of these...To maybe let her know she is not alone. If there is any way I could get one, please let me know. Thanks for making the unbearable seem bearable.

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  57. Oh. Just. Oh. You write so well and do such amazing things. All my love to Vee and her son. What an amazing thing for you both to think of and carry out.

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  58. This is beautiful!

    There is nothing more to say other than this is beautiful.

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  59. At an age where I have been steadying myself to face the mortality of my friend's parents and my own parents, the last 6 months have crept closer to a confrontation of my own. I am accompanying my little people as they farewell their friend's mothers and fathers. Just yesterday, my 6 year old climbed into the car and my heart stopped. My cherub was informing me of another angel. His friend's Mum had become one the day before he said. I shakily opened the envelope to read the newsletter. I couldn't believe she would tie no more bows in her little girl's hair or sign off on homework or stand in the cold at a sports carnival. Cale was more philosophical,scanning the sky with optimistic eyes, "i think I just saw her wave." My daughter's best friend's Dad is also very ill, a cancer warrior too. My cousin's daughter passed away Christmas Day. I still have no words. Grief has me in a strangehold still. In my tiny piece of this world, it seems to be everywhere and I almost feel like I have no right to even comment on the god awfulness of it. Then your post comes along......and in the bleakness, comes light and joy. Thank you. We all who possess this life need to embrace it. To laugh long and hard. I will smile thinking of the art laden ninjas on their hospital extreme make over. Keep making the world a prettier place. I know I intend to.
    Awestruck and inspired.

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  60. Everyday it seems I speak to some one that has cancer or has a loved one with cancer or knows of some one that has cancer..... its so utterly sad. But if some how art can help people when they are feeling so sick and devastated ..... well my drive to promote art everywhere has Just skyrocketed! It has an endless force to help and return people to the emotional connection of creating to soothe and possibly heal some of the pain of.....well.... life. very special eden.

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  61. What beautiful souls! I have no words. The world is a better place with kindness and love, that you possess.

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  62. Gorgeous post. Fantastic deed. Beautiful photos and yet another chance to marvel at your honesty in print. I love it. Thank you. Keep 'em coming. :)

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  63. This is a big post. An excellent one.

    We can all hope to remembered and loved as much as Alex.

    But I just so love the art removal and replacement work you did. Really!! So brave, so fun, so unique and gutsy and wonderful.
    Well done.

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  64. You, Vee, Alexandra... amazing. beautiful. inspiring. All things, I believe so strongly, happen for a reason and as horrible, painful and heart-wrenching the passing of a loved one is somehow you have made it poetic, inspiring, passionate, loving, courageous. I shall live my life each day in remembrance of this beautiful act of friendship and love, and remember to live this life 100%, in respect to those who have moved onto a better, grander, more wondrous adventure.

    How great will be the number of people Alex will be able to touch, love and inspire through his passing, then should he have stayed with us? Limitless.

    Love knows no bounds.

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  65. You are truly amazing. Thank you for doing this for Vee.

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  66. You all are amazing, inspiring woman. I read Vee's blog and even though I don’t comment much I have cried many tears with her. I ash he was still here, I really do!

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  67. as i posted on Vee's blog just now - what you and her did and then alexandra as well - there are no words but it's when people do things like you did that change the world - so we must keep doing them.

    you touch so many lives eden, more than you probably realise.

    your ability to tackle life head on, to ask the questions that no one else dare ask and to do the things others only talk about but never put into action - thats what makes you more fabulous than words can ever convey - i wish to live my life like you appear to live yours, with no rules and breaking the ones that do exist if it feels right.

    ~x~

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  68. AMAZING. Eden. You ARE amazing. I love sitting down and going on a ride through your posts and I love your good heart.

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  69. Eden is just awesome and even more awesome in real life. She made this amazing thing happen, she has a HUGE heart and is so inspiring and I will never, ever forget it.

    Thankyou for all your lovely comments of support, they mean a lot to me and have certainly helped me get through this difficult day. xx

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  70. If I wasn't already crying over my (petty, in comparison) life issues....this would have done it. This is beautiful. Extraordinary. I have no other words.....

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  71. My God Eden...seeing the beautiful card photos made me cry. People you like you and Vee make this world shine a little brighter. Here"s to Alex!

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  72. To Eden and Vee.....What you have done together is awesome, what a fantastic tribute to Alex and you have made that Cancer World at Nepean just a whole lot brighter. Well done ... Eden told me I would cry and I cannot stop.... Eden you are truely an inspiration to everyone you come into contact with, whether in Blogland or in life.... You make the world a much brighter place. You are an inspiration to all of us. I love you very much and I am very proud to be your Mum xxxxx

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  73. The best post I have read all year. Eden, I had no idea about your hubby or your IVF. You have lived 100 lifetimes, my beautiful girl. SawHole

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  74. Amazing. Touching and humorous. I want to read this post over again.

    I'm familiar with nepean hospital. If I have cause to go there I will look for the artwork but remember why it is there.

    M

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  75. I have no fucking words, just tears. Absolfuckinglutely amazing x

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  76. Awesome. This right here is what it's all about. We should all be doing more of this; building community; leaving the world a better place for us having been in it.

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  77. There are people in life who wish they could and people who do. It's obvious which you are, Eden. Go you x

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  78. Eighty fricken comments.

    I'm exhausted from the biggest week of my blogging life - thank you for taking the starring role, Computer. Vee and Alexandra and I are overwhelmed by the response. Thank you for making Vee have a rainbow on a shitty day.

    Right now, I'm sitting up in bed, waiting for Dave to come in so I can read it to him. I know he will love it just as much as we all did ... he's even stopped saying, "Hon, what IS a blog?"

    Thank you thank you thank you.

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  79. I read this post with a huge lump in my throat. Vee's pain, your pain, and something so simple as hanging beautiful artwork. Incedible. I also love the cards Vee made what a wonderful tribute to her husband, rather than crumble you guys took action, I'm still in awe. My friend is dying of cancer, she may only have the summer left. I don't know what to do, but if it gets to the point where she enters the hospital I will make sure she has beautiful artwork in her room.

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  80. This is just gorgeous and is making me cry. Kudos, well done ladies.

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  81. This was such a wonderful act of friendship and compassion. So creative too! Alex's artwork has now been, and will continue to be, seen by so many people. :)

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  82. The power of one, then two who made a difference x unknown in a drab public place called Nepean Hospital ... Today. You did a brave and beautiful thing.
    You
    Are
    A
    Great
    Woman.
    This is my reason for blogging..... Meeting you, hearing of this, sharing the stories and making sense out of the stupid.
    Guts
    Glory
    gold!
    A friend of mine took a notion of Art makes a hospital wall become a better
    view ... She began Operation Art thru NSW Dept of Education schools. Kids make artworks which are framed and added to the walls of Children's Hospital Westmead.
    A change of scene can be like a kiss from a loved person.
    ART ... Can We Do More of this NOW...... I'll help organize & plan any ideas .. Xx it is a great move.... Let's go with it! You know I'm not far from you either.. Xx

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  83. Wow. Just found your post via Vee, who I found via Stirrup Queens... amazing. You are amazing for having done this and for your kind soul.

    Thank you for sharing yourself in this world. You make my heart happy. :)

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  84. i love this. i love your gall, your desire to remember him, to make the world a better place.

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  85. England salutes you Eden, Vee Alex and Alexandra....beautiful

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  86. So awesome. I love that you guys just waltzed in there and did a good deed for all those patients. Such a wonderful way to honor Alex. And those cards...super cool.

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  87. Ahh geez. You split my heart open then fill it with loss and pain and wonder and beauty and change my whole day for the better.

    To you and Vee, and especially to Alex...you leave this a world a much better place.

    I thank you from the bottom of my tear stained heart.

    xxx

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  88. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! Every part of this. You are an amazing friend and person!
    *HUGS*

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  89. I only just found your blog, this post & story is amazing, inspired & sending you massive thoughts about what you're going through, with your dear friend by your side too. Love Posie

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  90. Security! Security! Oops. A bit late.

    A wonderful 'gift' for the cancer ward. SOme beauty. Some hope. A little piece of Alex.

    An inspiring story.

    You are a complete nut you know?

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  91. You are beyond amazing, my friend.

    I bow to you.

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  92. what a truly amazing thing to do. Hospitals are such soulless, sterile world which is crazy seeing that it is a place filled with people. Those paintings are beautiful and your friend's dedication to keeping her husband alive is so inspiring. Love to you and your friend. Truly gorgeous... all of it xx

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  93. wow. you are all amazing and inspirational women.

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  94. You people are awesome! More power to you, and here's to replacing bad art everywhere.

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  95. Words escape me .
    Such a beautiful, amazing story thing.It should be shouted out to everyone.

    Vee,you and Alexandra are amazing and Alex so talented.

    This resonates with me so much.


    When my Dad was in Westmead hosp just before he died (Leukaemia) his room had a poster of Dreamworld and the white tigers.
    He told me a few times wanted to go see them when he got out of hosp next - but he only left that room to go ICU and die.

    There was no artwork in his room but the poster- it inspired him.

    By the way Monday/Tuesday was a year since my husband's malignant cancer diagnosis.

    He is ok. More followup next week and I get what you say about the artwork in some places. Woeful !

    On Monday I wanted to shout it out. I didn't want to say anything ...
    I didn't know whether to remind him or not , to celebrate or NOT. My emotions were all over the place.

    I am so inspired by you & your friends. I will go and check it out !

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  96. Such a beautiful thing to do....
    I really love the pic of the little fella with his Dad's art....
    I know my kids are very passionate about Every Single Thing that their Dad did / made / said and it's become such an important way to keep his memory alive.

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  98. Such a beautiful story and thing to do..
    You are all truly inspiring.

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  99. So much beauty Eden, truly...
    I've followed Vee as a fellow Aussie blogger from the sidelines, never having the 'right' words to show my love, support, pain... My son is only a touch older than hers and so many times I've wanted to sounds something, but feel awkward and clumsy and all those things - thank you for giving me those words for her and for giving the beauty of Alex to the world... x

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  100. Magic. Happens. And it's you Eden, it's you. Love what you do and love even moore who you are xx

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  101. I hope you don't mind I put a link to this post on my Twitter feed. I am so touched by this and by you. You are fucking brilliant. Thank you.

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  102. Oh man to Vee I'd like to tell you that this is an amazing way to honor your husband, his memory will live on.
    To Eden for the love of pete woman...tears here for the courage you all have.
    If you'd like to spread the word of Alex here I'd be happy to pass those out in Toronto

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  103. Eden Eden Eden. How could I have missed this? There is so much to comment on but I will just say this: My friend Ashne who died from melanoma secondaries when her first child was 4 months old wanted to live. Desperately. I wish people would stop telling those with cancer to fight. They ARE fighting, but it is not in their hands. If you die, it doesn't mean you didn't fight hard enough. If you live, it doesn't mean you were stronger. The world is unfair. Life is unfair. But people like you and Vee are making our very unfair world a better place, which is all any of us can hope to do. Much love to you gorgeous. xxxxx

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  104. Another post that mde me weep! Eden, you blow me away with your articulate take on the rawness of life.
    x

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  105. And here I was pissed off because Collingwood lost last night and it was $35 and two and a half hours in the freezing cold I was never getting back. Smacked straight back into reality.

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  106. Tania Hankin14 May 2011 10:07

    Such a beautiful piece and likewise I also wish people would stop saying its down to positive thinking, I have come to realize it's about the journey not the result, thank you having the courage to brighten up the world for everyone everyone. I feel blessed to have read this

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  107. What a beautiful post. I often had the same thoughts when people told my wonderful mum to 'fight'. She would usually smile and remark that she didn't like to fight fire with fire. It's not fighting that got her through her ordeal, it's hope, love and bloody good luck.

    Thinking of you all.

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  108. You are truly an inspiration - all of you involved. I love that you had the guts to do this...I'm such a sticker-to-the-rules I'd be too self conscious to do it. You're spreading beauty and love and that is to me about the most important two things to spread in this world. I applaud you all for your spirit, creativity and strength in surviving so much bullshit that you should not have had to.

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  109. Argh, my comment was removed. Well, no matter, here it is again (what I can remember):

    I hope you don't mind that I put a link to this post in my Twitter feed. I am just so touched by this story and by all of you. You are fucking brilliant. Thank you.

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  110. I am back. I forgot to mention Alexandra. You sweet woman you. Your pebble was tossed and I felt the ripple from here.

    A question for whomever. Is there a place where the postcard print can be purchased? I would love to hang one over my desk. I bet there is quite a few folks out there, who like me, would love to capture the spirit of Alex's amazing art which now contains the energy of Vee's bravery and perseverance, and Eden and Alexandra's compassion and grace.

    Add my gratitude to the art,
    ~crow

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  111. :::tears::: Beautiful. Words fail. Thank you for being part of my mornings.
    I do agree with Crow - is there someplace this artwork can be purchased? Or somehow that we can share Alex? I'm an ER nurse - I would loooooove to do some 'guerilla artwork' here in Arizonz! Think of it - this could and SHOULD happen!

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  112. WOW, and no one asked why you guys were there hanging art??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA. Love that. So freaking awesome. And you are awesome for your amazing writing!. You make my brain expand a bit each time I read your posts. Keep painting the world with your rainbow of colors! Lisa

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  113. This is the most perfect and amazing come together moment. Seriously beautiful telling of a SERIOUSLY beautiful event honoring the incredibly SERIOUSLY fucking beautiful love story between Vee & Max. I feel like the two of you became soul sisters on this day - and watch out world!
    xo

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  114. It is a miracle and a savior to me, this blogging. There was a time that I, sitting here in Minnesota, would never have known about the art caper and you, and Alex and Alexadra and Vee. But I do. Amen.

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  115. Bloody amazing. I was lucky that my cancer clinic was very new. They even had a tropical fish tank, the staff looked forward to seeing my baby when we came in.
    It's so amazing for you to spread his beauty throughout the world.

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  116. Very cool. You guys rock.

    Bea

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  117. Awesome idea! I love the collaboration and the heart that went into this. From hanging art in the cancer wards in Australia to passing out copies of the art on a postcard in the U.S.A. How cool!!
    I'd love a copy of the postcard so that I could take pictures of it while I am traveling for business. I suggested to Alexandra that she should post a PDF of the postcard so that people could download and print it and then email her the photos of the "Alex was here".

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  118. Hi Eden. I've been reading your blog for awhile now even though I don't comment. This post was amazing to me when you first posted it. Now even more so. My mom was diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago. We had our first appointment with the oncologist last week. When they led us into the little room the first thing I noticed was a crummy painting on one wall and a clock on the other. I couldn't help but smile a little. I don't think I ever would have noticed that if not for your post. Cancer sucks! But thanks for your beautiful post. :)

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  119. I am so sorry to have only just found this most amazing post now. Eden, to say you write so beautifully is an understatement - I feel your every word as if its being whispered in my ear. You have such a great talent in painting a picture with your words.

    Three birds, gives me chills... Alex was watching over then and long will he continue to do so xx

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  120. Dear Eden, Eve, Alexandra and Alex and all the other influences on this blog....

    Thanks so much for this post. It renews faith in humanity. Yeah I'm a grown man and I cried... a lot actually but I'm blaming that I had just cut up onions and garlic for the slow cooker and my left eye cried more than my right... so must of just been the onions right :-)

    As an artist myself it's such an awesome priveledge and ego trip to be able to leave heartfelt art wether it's writings, images, video or any other medium for the whole world to enjoy.

    Alex would be super chuffed I'm sure that his art is making art and touching people's hearts.

    The world is mysterious and humans more so...

    Keep being mystified.

    Michael.

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  121. Beautiful, you made me cry. I will remember it always.

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  122. Sitting here past midnight, crying. Feeling everything you wrote. One of my closest friends lost her husband from cancer too just over a year ago. He also left behind three little children that yearn for him. He too left the world a better place for having been in it...miss him so much...if you like you can read about him here http://chroniclescamera.blogspot.com/2010/09/in-memory-of-trent-skinner-lot-has.html
    Thanks again for sharing your story xxx

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  123. I am only new to your blog, but your work is awesome and your voice is universal. So glad you rocked them in San Diego!

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  124. Oh Eden.
    The world is better for having someone like YOU walk in it.
    I simply do not have the words to describe the emotion in me. Such a mixture of hope, dispair, love, sadness, happiness and anger.

    You are one in a trillion.

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  125. So glad I found your blog.
    So glad you got to share it at BlogHer.
    Such a beautiful idea to share Alex's work with so many.

    As an ex oncology nurse I know how bad hospital artwork can be, and I love what you guys did!

    Thank you :)

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  126. Your post made me cry actual real tears. Just. Amazing.

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  127. I can't find the right words.

    As an art teacher, I was so moved by your gutsy actions to put Alex's work up in the hospital, and brighten the lives of those who need to be there.

    Creating art is a bond my mother and I share, especially during the time she had breast cancer.

    A post hasn't moved me to tears for so long. You inspire me xx

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  128. I got chills reading the card you handed out. Absolutely beautiful. He made the world a better place by being in it and creating his art. Your ability to take that and spread it across the globe is astounding. I can't even imagine the stories that have come from those cards. The people who saw them, picked them up, how it affected their day and lives. Its little things like this that make this big world seem smaller.

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  129. Watching you read this post out at BlogHer11 was absolutely the most moving thing in the world. Eden, you are a force. A redheaded force to sail along with. x

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  130. Love your post...every little word is so touching and you certainly got me into tears.

    Your project is so inspiring, so brave!

    My prayers will be with yours and Vee's family.

    Take care!

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  131. Wow, this is awesome! Well done, for sharing a piece of Alex, to people who need a bit of hope - amazing post! Art rebellion! The world needs more of it!

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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