Sunday, May 29, 2011


Freedom comes in many forms. It is the ability to live without the threat of violence. It is the ability to make decisions and endure the consequences. It is the choice to follow your dream. No matter what the form, freedom is not free. Freedom requires those who drink from it, to commit to it.

I walked with my mother the other night. We walked the length of three hallways, maybe three hundred feet. Each step was an expression of someone committed to freedom. My mother, you see, fresh on the heels from recovering from breast cancer now completed major surgery for gall bladder cancer. Each step, you see, was one more step she had to take towards freedom. We spoke for a while and what she made clear to me was she wasn't afraid to die. She has been an educator her whole adult life and she looked me in the eye and told me her dream was to see her magazine dedicated to education, Spigot Science, become a self-sustaining reality. She told me the irony was she was afraid of success. She felt unworthy of it. She explained, every step she took closer to her dream, she felt her body struggle against it. First with the breast cancer, now with the gall bladder. As we walked, she motioned as if her body was being ripped with shrapnel and leaving parts of itself as she refused to stop.

I smiled and shared thoughts of my sculpture with her. "Freedom" is an eagle that is intended to grace the Lower Makefield Veteran's Monument. During the making of it, I experienced many technical difficulties. One of which was the failure of a mold. After I made a pour, my eagle "Freedom" came out rittled and torn, as if it had flown straight through all the shrapnel one could throw at it. The amazing part to me was, it still held that sense of intensity. "Freedom" held, for me, a feeling that it was not going to stop, regardless of the obstacles life held. "Freedom" at that moment, was personified for me in my mother - walking those three hundred feet, talking about her dream with the intensity of a teenager. This Memorial Day, I dedicate this piece to you Mom.

Thank you to all the armed services who fight every day so people like my mom and I can pursue our dreams. Thank you to the firefighters like the men of Engine 6 who act without hesitation to protect our dreams. Thank you to all the health care workers, those countless angels who work every day to help us live one more.

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