My life lately has been filled with fundraisers. As I wrote about in a past blog post, I am shy and introverted and these events are difficult for me. So, though I would probably never say I look forward to these events, at times I do find myself relaxing and having fun or meeting someone unexpected and having an incredible conversation. This happened last week. I arrived at the home of David and Andrea Matthiesen. They were holding a fundraiser for Ann and it was one of three we had that week. I walked in, feeling shy and nervous as usual but the first thing I noticed was the incredible art work in their lovely home. I walked into the foyer and was immediately drawn to a beautiful piece. It was then I met Andy who told me the piece was done by her 26 year old daughter Kate. I remembered Ann telling me the Matthiesen's have a daughter who is an artist and was also born with a profound language-based learning disability and speaks and writes with difficulty.
Andy showed me around her home and I was just amazed at what I was seeing. Kate is an impressive artist. I love her style, the colors she uses, and the emotion that comes through in each piece. As Andy and I spoke, she told me how Kate's journey into art began and how far it's come in the last 5 years or so. As an artist, I was impressed but I found myself even more interested and touched by her story because of my own nephew. Avyn is 4 years old and was born with a rare genetic disease called Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome. No one knows what causes it. It's been a difficult journey for my family. He does not speak though he can clearly tell you (in his own way) what he wants and needs. He is a happy, sweet, loving boy. I love him more than I can clearly describe. My sister and her husband are amazing parents and so very strong. As his aunt, I only want him to be happy, taken care of and understood.
Andy told me that Kate's art teacher once showed Kate a piece by artist Cy Twombly, upon seeing the Twombly piece, Kate remarked, “He talks just like I do.” Sometimes the most difficult thing for people is communicating. Imagine doing so with no speech. Kate speaks through her art work. I don't know what amazing talent Avyn has hidden inside of himself. He loves music and somehow no matter what kind of music is playing, he is clapping his hands and moving his body to the beat. All I know is that I will be there to support him, love him and help him in any way I can. Andy said to me that she only wants people to understand that Kate is who she is, just like Avyn is who he is and you are who you are and I am who I am.
We all need love and support and understanding, some more than others.
I have linked to Kate's website below so you can learn more about her and her amazing work.