I am beginning to think I am a constant bearer of bad news. This time, this call, this post is once again about the loss of another amazing mom, another beautiful soul, another friend. They call us the muppet wives, a joke we like to tell about how they could do a reality show about us except we would bore our audience to death with our sappy love for each other. Common interests and unusual careers brought us together, but the bond of family was the bonus, the gift. We became a muppet family as we traveled oceans creating new lives for ourselves in foreign places. And we sadly and proudly watched Marlene, not fight cancer as her husband elegantly described, but lived with it for 5 years. She never wallowed or feared but instead showed us the power of just living...everyday. She continued to love her family and friends. She stayed her true self until the end. My last day with her was a gift of a beautiful spring day, where we got to sit holding hands while the Forsythia bushes bursted with golden yellow around us. I was reminded when I asked her to share a picture of her body post mastectomy for a collaboration to use in my Redefining Beauty Project. Marlene didn't just snap an image. She took her time, thoughtfully sending the most extraordinary image of a woman with one breast standing in a warrior stance. I was in awe, hating to cover or alter her work...a statement reflecting so much about her courage. Her husband text me last week that she could only turn her head towards the pieces of art I made. He said, "she seems to only have eyes for your paintings!" I have never felt more proud or successful as an artist. I have never felt the strength of art more profoundly. The love I poured into the work came from deep within my heart with the hopes of building a link between a soul sister friend. I hope the lesson learned reveals the power of art on healing and connecting. I only wish I could tell my friend one more time what she meant to me.