The Gift

A Sacred Moment with my family:

My incredible husband teamed up with a legendary artist and friend to create a family heirloom that I will cherish for all of my days! I cried the ugly cry and Lord know we needed this bonding time!

Being in a family is not always easy! Sometimes it dark and difficult to traverse the path under our feet. 2020 proved to be especially difficult on so many families and our family was no exception. It’s hard but sometimes it is bright and full of pleasant twists, turns, and surprises but the unknown often leaves us to wonder if we are aimless in our pursuit of LIFE. Can this journey make sense?

Today, this chapter of our lives made sense. Pieces to our LIFE puzzle were perfectly placed in the snug spot they were designed to fit! My husband wrote the most amazing words that encompassed every person in our family except himself. We will write his after some time to contemplate the words!

First, he had us select favorite colors a few months ago and explain why we love them. I had almost forgotten until our 15 year old Emma brought it up while trying to figure out what dad was doing for us for Christmas. I chose the color yellow because it is a warm happy color full of smiles and sunshine. My nickname in school was sunshine! Abby picked Red because it was fierce! Emma picked grey because of the clouds in the sky! She loves thunderstorms and rain! Molly picked silver and gold because they glitter and Willow picked Pink and Purple because what five year old little girlie girl wouldn’t!

This gift was wrapped and next to it were six frames. One frame was empty and the others had five names and explanations carefully placed inside of them. We looked around as we entered the room and eagerly waited for danny to tell us what to do next.

He opened the moment with a beautiful kind word of encouragement about how our family was divinely placed together for a reason. He talked about how, while we are all independent humans, we all intertwine and form who we are and blend together in a way that cannot be separated from now into eternity. 😭❤️

Raw with emotion and nervous anticipation, he then unveiled the most beautiful custom design that he and Patrick Messersmith created just for our family! He took time to explain each color and aspect of the painting. He then played a recording by Ted Presley of the words written below. 😭😭😭❤️❤️❤️

This is hands down the most meaningful moment of our lives. Notice the white running through the center, that represents the divine! Notice the white cuts through like a hand running through each side and almost forms an abstract heart just as you would if you hold each hand in the shape of a half heart! Notice the dove shape in heart form as well! Notice the E in the center for Ellison! Notice each color beautifully placed and intertwined! Notice the red and grey emerging into their own just as our teenagers are emerging into their own adventures! Notice the circles (circles represent never ending)! Notice the yellow and blue still surrounding the pinks and golds! They are not ready to emerge yet! 😭😭😭❤️❤️! It’s perfect! It’s so perfect! Thank you Danny and Patrick and Ted for working so hard to make this life encompassing treasure for this momma to enjoy all the days of my life!


Stephanie, you are yellow.

As the sun radiates its brightest light on the earth, you reveal all things good within us. Your loving care brings light to our family, exposing and encouraging in us the virtuous and delightful. Like the sun, you burn brilliantly, constantly. Like clockwork, you rise and then you set. In your rising, you cast light on us, teaching us how to love one another. In your setting you radiate light to others, extending compassion far beyond our own tribe.

Then, you always return, faithfully, sometimes just when the night is coldest, bringing warmth as you rise once more.  

As the sun pulls at the planets, you tug on our hearts. As gravity attracts celestial bodies, you hold us together and remind us of our purpose, why we should strive to be true to each other. As gravity establishes pathways for the planets, you allow us just enough room to be free, but hold us just close enough to ensure we do not float aimlessly away.

Yellow is compassion. Yellow is sunshine. Yellow symbolizes you.

Abby, you are red.

As the fiery flame glows red in your eyes, you burn continually on the fuel of grand adventure. You find yourself on the precipice of a new journey, one that belongs solely to you.

You have a love for the stars. As in astronomy, light from stars either presents to us from the red spectrum of light or from the blue spectrum. The red-shift tells us the star is moving away. The blue-shift tells us the star is moving closer.

Abby, you are at a place in life where you are red-shifting away from the days of your childhood, quickly. This is as it should be. You constantly chase after your destiny. We see you, in your glorious shades of red, reaching toward your future. Your family believes in you. You cause your family to swell with pride of you. Your family looks forward to the stories you will tell about your red adventures.

Perhaps someday, years from now, you will occasionally return to us in reminiscent blue, changed by your life experiences, just as Bilbo was changed by his great adventure. We will sit in that fleeting moment, captivated by the story of you.

Then, I imagine, we will see that familiar red flame flare once more in your eyes as you lean into yet another adventure, one we will look forward to hearing about on your next blue return.

Red is diligent. Red is intense. Red symbolizes you.

Emma, you are grey.

As the rainclouds hold life-giving water for the earth, deciding when and where it will gently fall, you hold our memories deep, waiting for just the right moments to release their sentiment upon our family.

A quiet observer, you take pleasure in solitude, happiest when, in your private space, you reflect on your life experiences, secretly taking in the moments happening all around you, for the posterity of our family, your family. The depths of your thoughts will grow exponentially along with your years.

Grey. Infinite blends of variety exist between black and white. Grey makes room for the subtleties in life, those wandering truths which can elude most people. We appreciate those truths best through a lens of interpretive flexibility, not rigid or static conclusions.

You best express yourself, Emma, through the medium of humor. Your grey understanding of the world allows you to masterfully help others see the comedy, the absurdities, happening all around us, wherever we may go. Your grey also permits you to accept others just as they are, without requiring revision in exchange for your acceptance.

Grey is depth. Grey is wisdom. Grey symbolizes you.

Molly, you are gold.

Your worth reaches beyond understanding. Your value stretches farther than treasured and rare.

As gold has forever represented a standard for wealth and prosperity, you approach life with a high standard, determined to get all you can out of this opportunity you received.

Like gold, you will make a huge impact on the world around you. The drive found within you remains different from others, set apart, sacred, holy. Your shining, metallic, golden hue reminds us that we must allow you to rise to that which you have been called, buttressing your efforts along the way, leading you from behind for this brief period of time, knowing you will soon go further than we have ever aspired to go ourselves. You will live fuller. Laugh harder. Love longer.

You dream in colors of gold and silver, sparkling and other-worldly, hopeful, euphoric. This is the kind of world you endeavor to invent for all humanity to enjoy, beginning with your family, and reaching out across the vast sea of humanity, a humanity that reaches desperately for the hope which resides within you.

You possess a drive in your inner being as strong as diamagnetism. Where others may be drawn by magnetic forces to see the world in a myopic way, you resist this force. You gently pull away from outside forces, staying true to the direction you intend to go, uninfluenced, unaffected. You forge a new way.

Gold is power. Gold is precious. Gold symbolizes to you.

Willow, you are pink.

You demonstrate gracious empathy, endless imagination and surprising fierceness.

Through your boundless consideration of other’s feelings, you offer the simplest of gifts, rich with meaning, like a ubiquitous leaf, pink in hue and fallen from an autumn oak. You used one to express your gratitude for pausing during our walk in your moment of pain brought on by a sticker in a shoe!

Willow, you seem magical, mystical, veiled in the fleetingly esoteric concealments of childhood, like a vignette in shades of pink and purple. You take pleasure in play, alone with your imagination. In these moments the pink world comes to life around you and invites you to become its One True Queen, a moment animated by your beautiful child-like spirit. This capacity for fantasy will always remain a unique part of you, no matter how old you are, no matter where life takes you.

You ferociously guard yourself from negativity, defending yourself from that which threatens to change your paradigm of wonder to a lesser form of human experience. Resisting that which says pinks eventually must give way to duller palettes. I pray you never let your guard down. Protect that which belongs to you. Promote your pink authenticity in a world of dull ambivalence.

Pink is perfect. Pink is pure. Pink symbolizes you.

Danny, you are Blue…

To be continued!

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