This watercolor of a Rainbow Eucalyptus is near and dear to my heart.
In 2019 my father went into memory care. His Alzheimer’s Disease had progressed to the point that he would wander off. I had already dealt with the difficult task of gaining guardianship so that I could have his driver’s license removed. He was livid, but after multiple situations of him getting lost (one time 100 miles away) something had to be done because he wouldn’t give it up himself.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a cruel thing.
I know what it is like to have my father introduce me as his mother, a friend, even his sister (he didn’t have a sister). I heard him ask my mother, his wife of over sixty years, who she was. But one thing he always was, was my father and my mother’s husband. It was devastating to discover that the great stories we heard over and over again were no longer remembered. But there were things that remained. He knew Jesus until the very end. And he loved music, even remembering lyrics. He would walk the halls singing, “Oh, the windows of heaven are opened, the blessings are falling tonight; There’s joy, joy, joy in my heart ‘cause Jesus made everything right…” It was moments like these that reminded me just how wonderfully colorful my dad’s life was.
Enter my discovery of the Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree.
One of the places the Rainbow Eucalyptus is found in the Philippines. Apart from the vibrant colors, here is what drew me to paint this beautiful tree. These trees don’t start out colorful. They pretty much have a typical looking trunk as other trees. But over time, with age, a change takes place. The initial plain bark first begins to peel off revealing subdued colors, but over time as the elements beat away at its core more bark falls away and the eventual result is what you see here. A vibrant Beauty.
Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
A Crown of Splendor
I consider this a type of our gray haired family and friends. They are so beautiful. They have withstood the hammering of the elements and have emerged with this beautiful thing called wisdom. Even as Alzheimer’s disease was robbing my father of his memory there were parts of him that were as vibrant as ever. It was never a drudgery to spend time with my father. He was still my dad, who lived on in my memories and still does today over a year after he went to be with Jesus. Here is my advice to you. Don’t take them for granted. Enjoy every moment. Be grateful for what they have taught you. Take notice of the colors their life has produced.
You can purchase a print of my “Rainbow Eucalyptus” painting here.