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The painting that was almost abandoned — suzanne-mcrae.com

The painting that was almost abandoned

It was one year and a bit more than a week ago to be exact. What a week it had been. I had three family members at the same hospital that same week. Mom in ICU, and my husband had three health crisis that week, and our daughter also ended up at ER.

It all started with a call early the morning of July 31st, it was Dad telling me to get over to their home right away. The ambulance had been called for Mom. I live the closest to my parents, only a few minutes away, so it’s always made the most sense that I get called.

Thankfully, I never had to leave my autistic son home alone while I rushed over to my parents home when they had an emergency. But it was a stress for me, because I was often wondering how our son would be supported if I had to rush out the door on a dime. But every single time he was cared for by someone, or away, my prayers were being answered.

That summer morning Mom went by ambulance and was later admitted to the hospital. Shortly after being admitted she suffered the worst crisis yet. Thankfully she was at the hospital when that happened. My sister, Dad and I stood there feeling so helpless as staff called in an emergency code. Eight to ten emergency staff came rushing in to help Mom while we got whisked away to a waiting room, where my brothers got called to come in.

I’m sure that Mom knew she had a close brush with death on that day.



I can’t remember if that was late that night when I returned home from the hospital, or the following evening that I decided that I had to paint. I felt that I was losing Mom. I wasn’t ready to lose her. I was also really worried about my husband’s on-going health issue. I prayed. It was the only thing I knew how to do with regards to any of this.

On the canvas late that night I began dripping and spreading paint around with my hands. I didn’t care what it looked like. It was more about the feeling of the paint and the action of moving it around on the canvas that felt important to me. It didn’t matter what colours I was using or what anything looked like. All that mattered was that I get my hands in colours. Because how I was feeling inside of me didn’t feel great. Minutes later, all the emotions that had felt trapped inside of me, now laid mostly out on the canvas. I went to sleep.

The days that followed, when I would enter my studio and when my eyes would go to that painting, I remember thinking, jeez that’s ugly.



Then one afternoon about 10 days later, I had piles of papers that needed to be sorted. I decided to bring my piles of papers in my studio, and sat myself on the floor sifting and sorting papers.

Then a nudge came out of nowhere. Something, someone, was trying to get my attention. I remember finding it odd. The voice, or energy, whatever it was that was, was trying to get me to look up from where I was sitting. At first I felt annoyed. I’ve got things to do here. I don’t have time to be distracted I kept thinking. Then the voice, energy, wouldn’t leave me alone. I looked up. I thought, now what? What do you want from me? I looked around the room in front of me. I had paintings hung on the wall in front of me, and I had several paintings also sitting on the floor leaning against the wall. The voice, energy, directed me to look at this ugly painting in particular.

I remember thinking, I don’t want to look at that painting. It’s ugly. Then the voice, or energy, kept me there. It wanted my attention and it brought my attention to that painting. So reluctantly I started looking at the ugly painting.

At first, I allowed my eyes to roam around the canvas. Thinking, ok this is truly boring. Then I can’t remember exactly in what order or what part of the painting it all started with, but something got my attention. It drew me right in.

I recognized what seemed like silhouettes of people.



Then I saw a mouse looking up in the painting…



then on the bottom left corner, a jester.



The orange colour reminded me of fire for some reason. Which made me think of fire element that shamans work with to bring transformation.



A huge glob of copper colour I had rubbed all over that was off to one side of the canvas, but I wasn’t sure what that meant.



There was some sort of meaning to this painting. I kept my eyes roaming around my painting… all of a sudden my eyes were drawn to the middle of the canvas. It stopped me in my tracks. I gasped.

There in the middle of my painting, a girl, or a young woman was kneeling down in prayer.



A presence greater than me had been working through me. I will never look at this painting as being ugly, ever again. I’m in complete awe of how Spirit, God, or whatever divine presence worked through me late that evening, made all these symbols and messages appeared in my painting.

It’s been a little over a year since that time and I’m as much in awe of this painting now. It has taught me so many things, but one of the most important messages that I received is that I’m ALWAYS SUPPORTED, no matter what is going on in my life. I need to do is pray, ask and be open to receiving.


My mother survived that ordeal that took place a year ago. I went on to see her after for months after that time, she had one foot in our physical human world, and the other foot in the spirit world. It was absolutely fascinating for me that I be able to see her weaving in and out of our earth-plane. For a long time I thought she might pass away. It seemed like she was getting ready in a way, and that brought me some sort of comfort. I prayed often, asking that she be guided on her journey.

Then something changed. I began seeing a fierce energy in her, coming from deep within. It felt like things were turning around for her. Even though it remained that Mom’s health and her physical body were very fragile, what I saw was a determination, will, and inner strength rising up in her.

About 3 months after Mom’s hospital stay, Dad began to get really ill. Months went by, and things got worse for him. For me it felt like a déjà vu, because in similar ways there were similarities from the prior year with Mom’s health that was unfolding with him. Sadly, Dad passed away on July 14th, less than a month ago. I couldn’t have imagined that Dad would be the first to go. You can find a blog post here that I wrote about losing Dad. I wrote a few. Dad departed from his earthly life at peace.


This weekend, Mom was over for dinner at our home a few times. She was looking at my paintings in my studio, then went to our Reiki room and saw some of my other paintings there. I showed her this painting in particular, and began telling her about how it had come to be and what symbols and messages I received from it. Mom immediately got goosebumps as I talked to her about it.


I truly believe that there’s been a greater presence, lots of healing and so much divine help happening for both of us.


Now I need to go and give my painting a title.

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  1. I got goosebumps when I read this, Suzanne, and saw the beautiful painting! Still got em! 🙂 Angels all around us!

  2. Suzanne, my arms are still full of ‘frissons’ from reading about what you eventually saw in this beautiful work of art! There are definitely no mistakes or ugliness in what inspires us! So awesome! I am so sure that you will come up with a wonderful title for this extraordinary painting! xoxo

  3. Catriona says:

    How moving, Suzanne. Thank you <3

  4. Yes, yes I see it. Oh Suzanne, you are so supported
    and now I feel the support, too, as your words cause me to
    wake up to the same loving arms holding me:) Thank you:)
    I love, love, love your heart and the painting it left as a gift for us all.
    Much thanks,

    • Thank you Jennifer for sharing. I’m so happy to read that this helped you also feel the loving arms that are holding you. How beautiful. <3 I didn't realize that by sharing it might help someone else experience what I have. xoxo

  5. Dawn S Conery says:

    wow, this is so inspirational to me. it is somewhat like a communion with life, even when not being able to identify what is going on inside. such a gift and a prayer creativity can be. thank you for sharing Suzanne, huggs my friend.

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