I want, first of all, to thank this lady for the use of her "Frozen Charlotte" photo. I have one too, and mine is a little different, having wings and no body, but a head and a flat
piece of metal with a piece of writing paper inside so that a message of condolences
could be given to a parent or relatives who had lost usually a child or baby. These
Frozen Charlottes were a late Victorian art form for Children mostly and they had bodies
with solid forms and no movement at all. The fad lasted into the 1920's, but the idea
of people preserving memories of children that had died very young or perhaps were
stillborn persisted into the 1950's. One of my best friends had a photo taken holding
her stillborn baby, I am sure something she would always preserve.
A friend with stage 4 cancer made mine for me and for years it has sat on the edge of
a ledge with my collection of angels and beautiful crosses. I am spiritual, but I
don't attend churches, and I have always loved these things. But for years, these lovely
things in my collection have sat protected on shelves and on top of a shelf and hanging
on the wall. They sat there, inanimate and going largely forgotten but still loved,
as happens with many of our collections.
As I took them down one by one to pack up to go to our new home, a transformation
began to take shape in my mind. I intend to put my Frozen Charlotte and all the birds
of all kinds I have collected for years into my peach tree, where they can move with
the breeze and bring life to the area. As for my angels and crosses, I intend to put them
up on a high cement wall behind our home that separates us from neighbors way
above us. It will become my Garden of Angels, and when one of our beloved pets
passes on, I will have a box to put it in and bury it there and it will have an angel or a cross above it. In this way, I can keep my family with me, and someday when I pass from
this plane, I told my significant other, Richard, to put a cross down near my family for me
too. I am donating my body to Life Science, and I really believe in that, for it will be used
for study if not for replacement parts for others, and when they are through studying
or using it in important ways, they will cremate it at no charge for me. Richard will
do the same, and if a person is a male or female vet, they can have their ashes transferred
to a VA cemetery. I have their number and they come and pick up the deceased at no
charge to anyone. In this time when life is changing so much for all of us, perhaps one
of the best ways we can manage is to find ways to help others. I am glad to see that happen.
Something about transforming things into a sort of living "Garden" really appeals to me.
Over the years, I have received a lot of bullying from grade school to being a senior,
but I am letting go of that too as my personal transformation. Like my Garden of
Angels, I want to live a life free of unnecessary worries and anger at others for having
power over me. No one has power over me except me, myself, and I. I am ready for
the future and whatever comes from it. Being a lifetime victim serves no one, and
definitely not me.
Some of my goals right now are to become a volunteer for CASA (Court-appointed
Special Advocate) for foster children. I just finished reading two books I could
not put down by David Pelzer, who was one of the worst cases of child abuse
to ever happen in California, and I have read another tragic story of another foster
child who became a victim of the system, which happens often. If I were not older
than dirt, I would definitely become a foster parent myself, but since I am a senior, I
will be an advocate instead. I have already done my training and they have advocates
in every state almost. I also want to become a volunteer tutor again for special needs
children and young adults and ESL students, as well as illiterate adults. And I want
to finish some of my art projects to donate to worthwhile charities. There are so many
needs today, so I feel that is the best use I can make of whatever art I can finish. And
I want to finish a book I am compiling of all the poetry I have written over the years
and hopefully benefit some worthwhile cause with my earnings. Having goals
in life is important. Whether we can realistically finish them all or not, the key
is to have goals and dreams to reach for as we go forward in time.
You all likely will not hear from me again until we are through moving and I think
we take possession of our home on the 29th, but whether we have our computers
hooked up or not is unknown right now. Because we are just moving in, we have
to show proof of our title and our ID but they say they can turn everything on
in one day. We will see. It will all work out and things tend to do. Love and
hugs to you all always, Anne
I am the Editor of a book filled with the writings of the lives of 23 physically challenged fiber artists: Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating, and another called Pumpkin, Pumpkin: Folklore, History, Planting Care, and Good Eating. I am also an advocate for anti-bullying of any age, any race or belief system. I say what I mean and mean what I say, and I have a huge heart for any child or adult with physical challenges of any kind; this includes those with developmental or emotional challenges. These challenges, after all, are not out-of-body challenges.
View all posts by Anne Copeland
7 thoughts on “Preservation/Transformation”
Good luck with the move. I believe the Victorians used to dress up a newly deceased child and have a family photo taken with them!
I wish you well on your journey, Anne. You well be a gift to children when you become a volunteer. Looking forward to hearing from you when you arrive and settle into your new home. The adventure and new phase in your life awaits! 🙂
Reblogged this on Campbells World.
Hi Anne, did the move go all right? Are y’all settling in? Looking forward to hearing from your reflective, spiritual self.
Hi Anne, just checking in to see how you and your husband are doing. Did the move go okay? Hope all is well. -Jennie-
Hi Anne! I wanted to wish you a merry Christmas. Thinking of you, and hoping all is well.
Hi Anne. I have thought of you and your husband often. I hope the move went smoothly and hope you are both well.