Art & Poetry
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ASHWORK

The following work of art [20" x 24"] was produced with the use of some of Mom's cremains incorporated into the media. A wonderful artist named Daniel Ortega was kind enough to create this family treasure. In addition, he has volunteered to bury a biodegradable smaller piece of art (i.e., with her cremains that were not used for the larger work) in Sedona, Arizona (a place we were scheduled to visit with Mom in 2008, but changed to NYC after we learned of the graveness of her illness).

In his own words, "I would like to create a smaller piece which will be 100% green biodegradable work, using my green seal paints, stapled canvas and a fixative made from nopal cactus. I will document it as my first Bio Art for burial. It will leave no carbon footprint and breakdown and return to the earth. I will send you a photo of the finished piece and of the burial of the piece in Sedona."

Daniel is quite the outstanding artist and individual, and on behalf of the entire Johnson family I extend our warmest thanks to him.





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"Just attached several photos of your mothers Bio-Ashwork buried in Sedona, Arizona. The weather was perfect and the view from the site was awesome. We hiked about 500 feet up from the highway of Oak Creek Canyon. After the work was buried we put stones on the red earth above the piece."

November 27, 2010
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By: Daniel Ortega

A true man of his word...we sincerely thank you.


The Johnson Family




The Dash Poem
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

1996 Linda Ellis




The Rose Still Grows Beyond The Wall

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God's free light:
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding its sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall,
Through which there shone a beam of light.


Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice length,
And unfolded itself on the other side.
The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before.
And it lost itself in beauties new.


Breathing its fragrance more and more.
Shall claim of death cause us to grieve,
And make our courage faint or fall?
Nay, let us faith and hope receive,
The rose still grows beyond the wall.
Scattering fragrance far and wide,
Just as it did in days of yore.
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore.

By: A. L. Frink




Give Me Your Flowers

I would rather have one little rose

from the garden of a friend,

Than to have the choicest flowers

when my stay on earth must end.



I would rather have a pleasant word

in kindness said to me,

Than flattery when my heart is still

and this life has ceased to be.



I would rather have a loving smile

From friends I know are true,

Than tears shed around my casket

when this world I bid adieu.



Bring me all the flowers today,

whether pink, or white, or red;
I'd rather have one blossom now

Than a truckload when I'm dead.


--------------Author Unknown

These sentiments were how Mom lived her life when it came to treatment of others...she was the truest of friend till the very end.






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