A Yellow Canary Named Terry

A Yellow Canary Named Terry.

Today’s post is a collaboration with my friend, Gary, from Spearfruit, in honor of our beloved Terry.

Gary wrote this lovely little poem late one night and shared it with me, so I knew I had to create a Terry canary as beautiful as I could, so we could share this little story and our love for a great man named Terry.


There once was a yellow canary named Terry
who had a good friend named Gary.

Terry lived in a birdhouse high in a tree in the city of Tampa
close to his good friend’s camper.

Terry was so full of life with vigor and glee
as he continued to blog in his house in the tree.

Then early one day, Terry became very sick
and from that point forward his health went down quick.

No matter the pain, no matter the grief
Terry always felt better and a little relief

when he blogged to his friends who provided him love
no matter his struggles or thoughts from above.

Then one day when Terry was perched in his tree,
he got a sweet gift from his good friend Jodi.

The gift was a yellow flower that was painted with love
to remind Terry that things are much better above.

From that point forward Terry raised his head high
and did his very best to hold back his cry.

Terry knew it would soon be time to let out his last chirp
so he got himself ready to depart this dear earth.

Although Terry is no longer here perched in his tree
his friends all know that his spirit is with me

Love his best friend, Gary.

Cheers & Hugs,


If you would like a 5×7 or 8×10 print of this painting or a box of greeting cards, you can order at McKinneyX2Designs on ETSY by clicking here or by stopping by Berry Vine Gifts in BradfordWoods, PA.

A Yellow Flower for Terry

Terry's Yellow Flower of Friendship Watercolor 7 1/4 x 8 1/2 Artistico 140lb Cold Press

Terry’s Yellow Flower of Friendship Watercolor 7 1/4 x 8 1/2 Artistico 140lb Cold Press

A Yellow Flower for Terry.

I have a friend named Terry.
His favorite color is yellow.
His husband’s name is Gary,
and they have a dog named Roxy.

Terry is a father,
a son,
a brother,
and a husband.

Terry is a handsome man in the fifth decade of life.
About a year ago, Terry and Gary sold their home in Texas,
bought a travel trailer and had plans to travel the country,
including a visit to Mars, PA, where I live.

About a year prior to that,
Terry began having some pain and health issues.
He knew something was very wrong.
Terry discovered he had cancer.

For the past two years,
Terry has sadly become increasing more ill.
The cancer is taking over his body.
But it has not, cannot, and will not kill his beautiful, loving spirit.

One of the many joys of blogging
is the community of other bloggers
and some very special friendships that are formed,
like the one that I have formed with Terry.

I’ll never forget the special way Terry made me feel one time in particular.
About a year ago and about a year into my new adventure in watercolor painting,
I painted and shared a not-so-great watercolor painting of a red boat.
Terry, in all his sweetness, told me it was “priceless” and he “would pay millions for it.”

So overcome with his kindness,
I offered it to him as a gift.
I sent it to him,
and he posted this beautiful way of thanking me:  It’s a Jodi

Terry and Gary never did get to do the traveling they had planned.
They now reside in Florida, living in their travel trailer,
but Terry has spent more days than anyone would wish
at doctor’s appointments, chemo and radiation treatments, and the hospital.

My sweet friend Terry
is now on hospice care.
He has made the choice to live out his final journey
at home with those he loves in peace and comfort and love.

After seeing Terry’s post yesterday
and thinking of him so much,
I decided to paint a yellow flower of friendship
for a beautiful friend.

Dear Terry,
please know how much you are loved,
what an impact you have made on so many,
and how I will always remember you when I see yellow flowers.


P.S.  If you would like to visit Terry’s blog, please click on any of the hyperlinks provided throughout this post.  I know it would mean so much to him and Gary if you would post a little note to him.  If you do, please tell him how much Jodi loves him!

Watercolor:  Winsor & Newton New Gamboge, Daniel Smith Olive Green, Perylene Green, Perylene Violet.

His Love Will Live in our Hearts Forever

first mate

In my job as a Director of  Corporate Communications for Hospice and Home Health, I know all the right things to write… to say… to do… when explaining the journey at end of life and the experience of loss and grieving.

But when it is your own grief, it is quite different.

Yesterday, which was a day that filled my heart to overflowing with all of your kind words and comments and love on my One-Year Blogiversary, we also experienced a great deal of grief.  We lost our best friend, our furry son, our first mate, our floor cleaner-upper, our company greeter, our deer chaser, our lap warmer, our walk companion, our dinner moocher, our tomato caper culprit, my first watercolor portrait inspiration, my sweet guest blogger….

Mikey – you have forever changed our lives.  Your spirit will live within us always.

You taught us unconditional love and exuberance over the little things.  You brought us humor and warmth and showed us the joy in a simple walk or a brief ride.

Your eyes had been telling me for a little while now, but I didn’t want to admit that though your heart and mind were strong, your body was ravaged by that ugly “C” word and causing you more pain than you deserved to endure.

From the moment your eyes locked with your Dad’s at the animal shelter that rescued you from being destroyed well before your job on this earth was done, to the day your eyes pleaded for relief, you were loved and you gave more than you received.

We are a better family, and I am a better person for having you in my life.

As your big brother Jake said, you are now in the ground giving back again.  Your beautiful cells and spirit will nourish the grounds you tromped and protected and frolicked in and create the beauty that was you.

Dad said you can now chase all the chippies and deer and squirrels you want without pain.

And brother Nick finally admits you ARE a GOOD boy… the BEST boy… the BEST Dog we were privileged to have as part of our family.  (You always knew he was just teasing you, and you simply loved him back!)

We are so sad, and we miss you so much, but we are happy for your relief.  

Thank you, my sweetness, for all that you gave us.

Rest in Peace, Sweet Mikey…

Or run like the wild wind.

Your love will live in our hearts forever.


One Lucky Momma

Love Life

love life bird yellow

So it’s Friday night – though you are reading this sometime after 6:00 am EST on Saturday.  (If you haven’t caught on yet, I schedule my daily posts for 6 am EST, but I typically write them the evening before.)  😉

And for this particularly exciting Friday evening (as I am fighting off a head cold that is trying to get the best of me and a little bit of a sore back – did something at the dang gym – grr!), Marty and I ate Chinese take out (I indulged in my favorite 8-treasure rice from Jimmy Wann’s and a nice glass of Red Zin – my first all week!) in front of a warm fire… and I got to pick the movie.

I rarely even care what is on television, but I love to pick a movie on Friday evening for some reason.  ( I know – really exciting stuff – eh?!)

So, as I write this, I am not only sniffling from the nasal drip of this cold, but from literally bawling my eyes out.

We watched “The Fault in our Stars.”

I know – a little late to the game on this one – eh?  But – wow – what a beautiful story…

Ok – maybe a little mushy, a little cliche, a little predictable.

But also so life affirming, thought provoking, and a reminder of how precious life is.

A story that shows us how we need to discover that a good life does not mean we have to be famous or accomplished or published or world-renown ….

One of my favorite lines is when 16 year old cancer patient, Hazel tells her boyfriend Gus, an 18-year old young man who is dying and disappointed that he didn’t do something greater with his life:

“You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.”

My BFF, Jill, and I have often said to each other throughout the years, “What’s it all about?”

I think it’s about loving…

Loving life – and the people that are in our life…

And isn’t that enough?

So what a coincidence that I had made this (yet another – been on a crafty kick this week) card with this crazy little bird that I can’t even tell you what colors I used, because I kept combining and mixing and blending a million colors until I liked it, from the SU stamp set called – of all things –  “Love Life.”

So Discover how to love life.

It is worth it.  Every cherished moment.

Cheers & Hugs,

And P.S.  I’ll be baking tomorrow… look for a new recipe I’m trying for Orange Slice Cookies.