What Are You Thankful For?

cute squirrel photo
My precious Bunny squirrel

So . . . What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season? I’m thankful for Wes, my health, family, and friends, including my precious critter friends like Peedeepeeps the wren, Bunny squirrel and the titmouse family, and of course sunshine! But this Thanksgiving I’m especially thankful that my dad was released from Moffitt Cancer Center this past week with a good report! He and my mom have spent the past 5 weeks living in Tampa, where Dad has been battling cancer.  This is the 2nd time Dad has had cancer, both a result of being sprayed with agent orange while in Vietnam.

You see my dad was drafted along with countless others in the late ’60s and sent to Vietnam, where many of them were sprayed with agent orange.  Now hospitals and Cancer Centers like Moffitt, are filled with men my dad’s age, all fighting their own battles against cancer because of it. During Dad’s time at Moffitt, my parents were constantly meeting and seeing men walking through the halls or sitting in waiting rooms, all wearing their Vietnam Vet caps.

rachelle siegrists family
My Mom and Dad during his time at Moffitt

Mom shared with me one particular encounter that really touched me.  She and my dad were just stepping off the elevator at Moffitt, when they saw an older gentleman sitting in a wheelchair alone in a corner, wearing a Vietnam Vet cap.  He was very pale in color and wore an extremely forlorn expression on his face while gazing at the floor. As my dad with his walker drew near him, the man obviously quite weak, very slowly raised his right arm and saluted my dad. My dad returned the respectful gesture to the gentleman, and even though not a single word was spoken during those moments, a multitude was said between them as they understood and appreciated what the other had been through in the past and was going through now. My mom obviously deeply touched by this exchange of empathy and respect, had to look away as she wiped tears from her eyes.

So this Holiday Season and throughout the year, when you see an older gentleman wearing a “Vietnam Vet” cap, please take a moment to genuinely thank them. Most likely they made many sacrifices during that war and are still making them now, and there’s a good chance that many like my dad, were drafted into it and it wasn’t something they signed up for, but are still paying the price for being part of it.

~  In The Studio  ~

I’m currently painting a commission that I’ll share with you later. Wes is painting a collection of miniature songbirds that will be comprised of 6 paintings.  This week he’s painting the Bluebird, Carolina Wren, and Downy Woodpecker. The set will debut at the 38th Southeastern Wildlife Exposition this coming February.

songbird paintings by wes siegrist
Wes’ songbird series in progress

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~ See Our Miniatures In Person This Week ~

A Tradition Of Excellence: American Women Artists
October 21 – December 7, 2019: RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX

86th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature
November 17, 2019 – January 5, 2020: The Mansion at Strathmore, Bethesda, MD

In the Tradition of Audubon Exhibition
September 12, 2019 – January 5, 2020: Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH

Society of Animal Artists’ 59th Annual Art & The Animal Exhibition 
September 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020: The Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

EXQUISITE MINIATURES ~ September 15 – December 3, 2019: Kennedy-Douglass Center For The Arts, Florence, AL

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle


3 thoughts on “What Are You Thankful For?

  1. Hi Rachelle,

    I was very moved by your story about your dad, mom, and a veteran at the hospital. I am always thankful for those brave people in the service. My late father was a World War II veteran in Japan, one of only seven who came back home out of a group of 500 soldiers.
    Whenever I hear about someone suffering from cancer, I always send some links on natural cancer cure. I believe in natural cure because it cured my cat (kidney cancer) two years ago and most likely my brother-in-law (lung cancer) early this year. I’m sure you hear about various cancer cures from your friends, and this is one from me: https://www.1cure4cancer.com/ .
    Have a great Thanksgiving Day!


    1. Hi Akko,
      What a blessing for you and your family for your father to be one of the few survivors, but how tremendously sad for the families of the hundreds of others that didn’t make it back home.
      Thankfully my dad was accepted into the clinical research program at Moffitt where he received Car-T cell therapy treatment. They harvest white blood cells which are genetically modified to attack and kill cancer cells when reintroduce day into the patients body. It’s working very well thus far for my dad, as his last scan showed no cancer hotspots anywhere, and is a much better alternative to chemo!
      Thanks so much for the link and we will certainly read about it! I’m so happy to hear how it’s helped your brother-n-law!
      Happy Thanksgiving to you as well 🤗

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