Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two wake up calls in one week!

It was a normal Monday morning I woke up and got ready for a meeting at work. A beautiful fall day, the sun was shining and the sky so blue, the colors at peak.
On the car ride I was listening to a local radio station that always lifts me up. They were talking about gratitude... and what we can be grateful for on the Monday morning. Some mentioned sunshine... I tuned it out for a moment and thought about my beautiful mama.

The night before we had made jam. I had my first ever canning experience. My mom taught me all the tips and tricks. She has the biggest heart, and is SUCH a good cook. I look up to her because she has been such an amazing home-maker, I admire that. I was thinking about how lucky I am to have her, she is really a gift from God!

My nose started to drip...
So I reached behind me under my seat... I couldn't feel it.
I know it's there...
I looked up and I was in the other lane (oncoming traffic) I turned the wheel HARD to the right... I was going into a ditch... a field...

I had 
l o s t  
c o n t r o l...

It was feeling of helplessness.
Of fear.
Of surrender.
I saw a green metal yard stake that was about waist high...
I blacked out.
I shut off.
I think I missed it.

The car stopped.

And there I was in tall grass... deep down in a ditch.
I looked up at the road and there were 2 gentlemen pulled over, and out of their cars checking to be sure that I was okay.

"I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay."
Was all I could say.
The car really had no damage, a flat tire and my already broken windshield shattered a little more.

I was alive.

No one was hurt.

When I saw that green stake I envisioned it going through my head...
I thought that was it. My life was over.

All that I have...

my family, my friends, my dog, my life...gone

I was so scared.
When I called my dad the tears came.

"How could I do this? How could I do this?" I cried to my dad.

It's been a week and I'm over the initial shock and shake up of it all.

It sure was a wake up call.

I have so much to be grateful for. My angels were watching over me that day.
If I would have been 10 yards further I would have hit a bridge guard rail and maybe been seriously injured. What if I had hit someone else... What if...

I've WHAT IF-ED the scenario so many times over and over, I can tell you everything that could have happened, but didn't.


That next night I was supposed to meet a couple of friends that I volunteer with at the Maple Grove Arts Center but because my car was out of commission and I was so shaken up I emailed them to see if we could change the date.

We were going to meet on a new program we are going to start at the Maple Grove Arts Center. It's a program to get businesses involved in the art community by featuring local artists' artwork - called "The Art of Business." Another artist - Jacob was interested in this idea too. So Jacob and director of the Arts Center - Lorrie and I were all going to meet to brainstorm ideas. We were emailing a lot but thought it would be best to just meet in person.

I had only meet Jacob a couple of times, but after seeing his amazing sculptures I was psyched to be working on this with such a talented artist. At the last board meeting he had brought this sculpture of a bunny head made out of found objects... I was scolding him for not getting a booth at the ever popular Junk Bonanza - a perfect venue for him to sell his recycled/found object art.

On Friday night I got a message from Lorrie on my voice mail, call me I need to talk to you about Jacob. 

I thought that was kind of weird message... we were so busy we a birthday event and then a wedding all day yesterday, I thought maybe she had emailed me about it.

This morning I hopped on the computer and read on a local website that artist and active volunteer at the Maple Grove Arts Center Jacob Beneke was one of the victims in recent shooting tragedy at a sign shop in Minneapolis.




I had emailed him and Lorrie after the accident. 

He emailed me back and said "I feel for you. I have been in a few myself. Yeah, its a life check."

I asked him about making a sculpture for me. 
Because I'm obsessed with sculpture. OBSESSED.
I've always wanted to make my own found object sculptures...
So I've been collecting and saving antiques and junk. 
I really wanted a "junk" dog (a dog made out of old junk!)
We emailed back and forth a few times - he said he was looking forward to it.
We were supposed to meet tomorrow.

Now tomorrow we will meet as a board to figure out a benefit for his family.
When I went to my email after I read the story on the local news website...
I had gotten an email from the director - Lorrie.

The words felt like a ton of bricks.

I only briefly knew him. I was so excited to be working on the "Art of Business" project with him. He seemed like such an amazing guy.
He was passionate about the arts, and artists... and having them get their artwork seen. I have this same passion. I could help but admire his artistic talent. I barely new him and I really admired him....I just can't imagine what his family is going through.
He seemed like a pretty special guy.

I send his family a prayer for peace
For understanding
For love
For light

How can you recover from the sadness... from the shock of this tragedy?

From my understanding he was married and had a little son, my prayers is that maybe the child can bring joy and happiness to their world as try to put the pieces back together.

My heart is just breaking.

I am so sad that this world lost such a talented and special person.

Two wake up calls in one week...
Life is so fragile. So special. 
Don't wait until tomorrow.
Make it count.
Always kiss your loved ones good-bye.
Tell them you love them.
Make time.
Make memories.
Show you care.

Ya get where I'm going here?
All my love,



1 comment:

  1. Natalie- As always with you I am inspired and left in awe and the wonderful spirit you have inside you. I have been thinking about you a lot and just the other day I found a note you gave me with a fertility bracelet a few years ago sending me love and good energy to get pregnant. Today my babies turn 3 years old! I am so lucky that I had the chance to meet you and work with you! I enjoy reading this blog to see just how you are changing the world and the people around you! Thank you for being here and for writing this wonderful message. I am so very sorry for the loss of this artist and the impact that will have on his friends and family.