A talented friend passed away June 19th. It has been a blow to her family, friends, and her extended artist family. I loved her dearly. We had a wonderful week exploring London together and great times at various shows over the years.
When I pass a particularly beautiful horse, I will think of her. When I see a pastel painting or one which captures the essence of the western experience, I will think of her. When I watch Star Trek or Galaxy Quest, I will think of her. When I see any of the places we visited together in England, I will think of her. When I want to talk to a friend about art, life, and the new bird out my window, I will think of her.
I will miss you Vikki.
My words are inadequate. If you'd like to get a feeling of what a great lady Vikki was, this request by her family says it all.
To honor Victoria Wilson- Schultz, her family asks that you pursue one or more of the following that were of great importance to her:
1. Give to an animal rescue in your town (with one big caveat): do your research as Victoria so meticulously did. Don’t just click-and-give. Research, or better yet, visit the facility. Meet the people running it and the animals. Get involved. Then give – time, money, items for auction, toys, feed, or any combination of these.
2. Shop at your local farmer’s market and/or organic farmer’s stand. The quality of the food is amazing and you’ll be supporting a hard-working family. If you think your job is tough – try being a farmer.
3. Support education of the arts in your local schools - even if you don’t have kids or your kids are older. Donate materials and/or your time. Attend plays, concerts, and art exhibits. And vote.
4. Support your local community arts – community theater, plays, musicals, art guilds, galleries, art shows, orchestras, symphonies, chorales, and more.
5. And finally, spend some time each day making the world a little better than it was when you awoke. Here are some things that Victoria tried to live each day:
• Be kind. Always. Especially when others make it difficult.
• Laugh. A lot.
• Cry. A little.
• Wag more, bark less.
• Pray for those who cause you to lose sleep, regardless of the reason.
• Support your friends.
• Buy a meal for someone who really needs it.
• Be the light in the room, especially when things are not going your way.
• In friends, colleagues, mentors, and leaders, follow actions more than words. Many people say the right thing. Far fewer do the right thing.
• Treat relationships like a good wine. Give them time to mature. Let them breathe. Don’t judge simply the first sip. Stay for the finish. Savor the complexities.
• When you reach the next rung of the ladder, turn around and help the person behind you reach their next rung.
• Be humble. Never believe you have learned all there is to learn in your chosen field.
• Try something new. Learn from those who are gifted at something you’ve always wanted to do.
• Teach others what you know – sharing your knowledge doesn’t give away your secrets, it opens new possibilities.
• Help and encourage those just getting started.
• Do something that will cause someone to talk about you at dinner tonight.
• And finally… Love. Unconditionally.