Recently I have had a few surprising messages from spirit. One of my latest blogs, Yesterday Meets Today https://creativepinellas.org/magazine/yesterday-meets-today-ride-down-memory-lane/, highlighted important and special teachers in my life as an artist. The first I wrote about was Michael Mulhern, my high school art teacher, mentor, and friend. I felt compelled to share the blog on a Facebook Page called Growin’ Up in Havertown, PA, where my high school was located. Low and behold, on New Years Day, a message appeared on that post from a woman named Roberta Clune, who lives in Clearwater and was in Pennsylvania, visiting with Mr. Mulhern’s son, Peter! I was blown away.
Roberta’s message read, “Hi Heather! You are not going to believe this but I am actually with Mr. Mulhern’s son Peter right now (in the fb picture). Ironically, I am also from Pinellas County (Clearwater). I’m up north visiting in Lansdowne. What an absolute delight to read your article on this New Year’s Day it is truly a gift. Peter thinks you did a great job on the shoe. From Peter “Just as the canvas brought back memories for you, your kind words brought back wonderful memories for me of my dad. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you so much for a trip down memory lane. I wish you continued success in your endeavors.” He also wonders how many times it took you to draw that shoe.
I replied, “Wow, I am stunned! Mr. Mulhern and I kept in touch and wrote letters back and forth after I graduated. I also cleaned his house many times while I was his student. He talked a lot about both Peter and Max. I’m so glad the post provided Peter with lots of good memories! We drew that shoe so many times! And in every medium! I’m lucky I still have that pen and ink of it! I live in Clearwater too! Thank you so much for sharing. I am awestruck by the serendipity! Peter has some of his Dad’s characteristics. That warm smile, especially!
Roberta and I are scheduling a time to connect in person for a studio visit in the near future! I can’t wait to see what else unfolds from this beautiful synchronicity!
Ten days later, I received the following message from a friend of my paternal grandparents:
Dear Ms. Rippert, I hope you don’t mind, I looked you up because I believe I was friends with your grandparents, Helen and Henry Rippert. I was a teacher at Holy Family School in Manayunk, (1979-1984) and your grandmother was my wonderful classroom aide. We became friends and she was such an amazing help to me in and out of the classroom. Your grandfather, too, was a great help. Since I was single then, they both helped me paint and set up an apartment on Green Lane. Your grandmother loved ceramics and her handmade gifts to me were (and still are) a treasure to me. When I got married in 1985 their wedding gift was a 21-piece ceramic nativity set, which I have displayed every year at Christmas since then. I remembered your grandmother speaking so lovingly of her granddaughter Heather, and I just wanted to write to you and tell you how much I appreciated your grandparents. I am so glad you are an artist. They must both look down lovingly with love and great pride. I have enjoyed seeing your work on your website and some day I hope maybe I could purchase one of your prints. Thank you.
My reply was, “I cannot begin to express how touched I am by your message. I was literally moved to tears as I read about the kindnesses my grandparents offered you and your love and gratitude for them. It somehow reminded me of the line of love I am born of and very grateful for. You gave me a glimpse into the lives they led when I wasn’t with them, and I love that so much. They were wonderful and loving grandparents my whole life.
I don’t know if you ever met my Dad (Hank Rippert) although Nana called him Henry. Dad joined Nana and Pop in the Heavens in May of 2020. We had a tribute for Dad in June last year at an MG event in Atlantic City, NJ. My Uncle, Tom Rippert, is in good health and still with us. I go see him and my Aunt Jaimee every Christmas. Just this past Christmas I added some of my Dad’s ashes to Nana and Pop’s gravesite at Westminster Cemetery.
Perhaps the next time I am up North, we could meet for a cup of coffee. I love to hear about my loved ones who are no longer here in the physical. The stories are gifts for my heart and soul and deeply appreciated. ”
Receiving these messages that simply bowl me over, has me see what matters most. They are reminders from spirit to trust and be present and remember the goodness and most of all, Love.
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