"She wasn't a sunny day type woman.
Often she would brave a thunderstorm to find me
and sit next to me and hold my hand in the rain.
She wasn't just a flame.
She was a bonfire to the soul.
This painting is the second in my "St. Louis women" series, something near and dear to my heart.
This portrait is of my beautiful friend and neighbor, Beth Vacarro, who happens to also be the mother of my son's lifelong best friend.
Beth is one of those rare gifts to the world, a mental health therapist. She daily goes into her office and willingly takes on the problems, complexities, and hardships of others, to help them find their path in this world, or to make it easier, or to help them see themselves in a new way so that they can thrive. She lends an ear and her heart to let people know they are not alone in this world. Always a blessing and help to others, but in this strange time especially, I think of the vital ways she helps our corner of the world navigate their way through anxiety, depression, financial hardships, sickness and loss.
Her life's work is bringing beauty to other's lives by entering their darkness and confusion to work out a map into light and life. The world is so fortunate to have her.
I would be remiss to not mention the impact she has had on my life personally. I know first hand what kind of courageous kindness and generosity of heart Beth has. She has come to my side at the darkest times, and like a lamp someone brought into the room, stayed present with me in my tears and pain, until her warmth overtook the coldness and fear.
And although one would think this sort of individual would be a serious or solemn kind of person, Beth is full of light and life, witty, and a friend to all who know and love her.
Thank you, Beth, for being a friend to me and a light in our community.