Cartooning Like You Mean It

Cartooning, Teaching & Living – by Tom Hart

Rosalie Lightning

with 3 comments

Dear friends, as many people know, my wife Leela and I lost our most precious life force, our most generative, beautiful, gorgeous daughter, Rosalie, this past month.

Her passing was shocking, ripped a hole in our hearts, “My heart is a blast site” Leela said. A friend offered, “Rosalie opened a capacious space in your hearts” – capacious, capacity. I get it.

We had just moved from New York City to Gainesville, Florida, in search of a simpler, less stressful life. Rosalie loved, absolutely loved it here. I will tell more of this story some other day.

Leela and I will be spending time traveling, first to the Golden Willow Retreat in New Mexico, for people grieving and suffering from loss. Leela first heard about this on the radio show Snap Judgment, when the founder of the retreat told his story of losing his wife, then his mother and children all successively. That show was broadcast on my birthday earlier this year.

After a return to Gainesville, which we too, love and are committed to staying and working in, we’re going to spend a week in Hawaii, where we’ve been offered a small free artist’s cottage in Makawao, Maui, at the Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center. This is a place we taught at when Leela was pregnant in 2009, and it is where we were happiest during those first 9 months. It also gave us the kick we believed to move to a more beautiful place and to start a school and center dedicated to making art.

In Maui, we’ll scatter Rosalie’s ashes there in the ocean. I always said she was a water spirit. I still believe it.

We’ve had an outpouring of generosity and love from you all. We have cards and emails and postings of all kinds still to open and read; the deluge of support and love from you all has been our greatest strength.

We certainly didn’t wish it would take a tragedy to remind us that we are loved among our friends, and even strangers, but reminded we have been. We thank you so deeply for your words, contributions, prayers. All that was sent our way helped bolster us, strengthen us in this time when we were so deeply deeply in pain.

Leela and I have been together on a long path. Suddenly diverted, shocking, terrible, but the path out is still forward. In the darkest times, your support meant everything.

We are feeling a lot of bruised and conflicting emotions throughout all of this, but one thing has remained consistent: our gratitude towards the people who reached out to us. We honestly could not, and can not, make it through without you.

Love each other, and thanks.

If you ever met Rosalie Lightning, keep her in your hearts, and send us your fond stories or reflections. She was special. We miss her immensely.

Tom Hart

About these ads

Written by hutchowen

December 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Thanks for posting this, Tom. Best of luck and much love toward you and Leela.

    Todd Alcott

    December 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

  2. Tom, I’m thinking of you and Leela all the time. Rosalie was such a wonderful person and there’s no way I’ll forget her. Thank you for letting us know how you are doing…so many of us wish we could be there with you.

    Sarah Glidden

    December 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm

  3. tom you and Leela have my deepest sympathies for your lost. and thanks for letting your feelings out over this sad event.for rosalie no doubt sounded like a joy to have made you two parents.

    demoncat4

    December 6, 2011 at 5:43 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers

%d bloggers like this: