red hearts and brown bears and a story

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She ambled over to the table to paint the heart necklace. “What color would you like to make your heart today? We have a variety of colors.” She explained that hearts are red so she would definitely paint her heart red.

As she painted we were engaged in conversation of the past since the past is what she remembers best. We traveled through her younger years studying music in the United States and France and then teaching in colleges and publishing her own musical creations. She explained the difference between writing Greek and our alphabet and she also spoke French and Spanish. Her family of five children and her husband who was a lawyer with high military rank entered into her story. Their children grew and had families of their own as we traveled on through her life.

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She studied her heart, declared it finished then licked her red painted fingers and wiped them on her Kleenex. I gave her a card with a big teddy bear holding a heart and she asked, “What color are bears? Aren’t bears brown?”We talked about real bears being brown but a teddy bear can be a color of your choice. She explained that bears are brown so she would definitely color her bear brown.

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With bright twinkling eyes and a beautiful smile she told me about their farm, the state taking land right out of the middle of the farm for a highway, the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren and then moving into the little log cabin on the edge of the farm after her husband passed away. Her story ended as she finished her brown teddy bear card and the red heart necklace was dry and ready to wear. Art supplies were picked up and put away until next time. I smiled and waved as she walked away to join her friends for the January birthday party.

Today I learned that hearts are red, bears are brown and everyone has a story to share if we just take the time to listen.


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