Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beauty From Within

A few weeks ago I got an invitation to The Heart of Billerica Awards: "A hero is defined simply as one who sees what needs to be done and just does it... "
Much to my surprise one of the mom’s of a student at my art center, Jen Croce, had nominated me for this award. Last night as I sat with my friends listening to the amazing stories of the nine other recipients for this award, I felt so honored to be amongst the beautiful people of this town. The disabled man who picks up trash on the sides of Boston Road everyday so others will not get hurt riding their bikes as he did. The wheelchair dancers who do not let a silly thing like a wheelchair stop them from dancing and then turn around and give funds they raise to others in need. The mom with an autistic child, who in fighting for her child’s better tomorrow, creates a better tomorrow for others like her own beautiful son. The couple who give their time coaching baseball for special needs children. These are just a few of the stories of the everyday heroes I heard last night.

Here is an excerpt from Jen‘s speech: “I am truly grateful to Colleen for all her help and support with the home schooling movement. Colleen has not only helped me and my cause. She also helps this town by sharing her time and talent. Her gallery is a safe haven to learn the joy of creating art. Her paintings are scattered throughout town at places like the library, here at town hall and on Enterprise Bank. Her art has brought happiness to cancer patients at Mass General Hospital and helps people relax at Logan airport. I find myself feeling inspired each time I look upon something she has created and I am sure I’m not the only person that feels this way. Thank you Colleen for all you have done for me, the home schooling community and this town.”

I listened as my eyes and filled with tears and my heart with the joy of knowing my life is making a difference in the lives of others. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember. Thirty-six years ago, at the age of seventeen I was voted the prettiest girl for the class of 75. I was told by the yearbook staff before it was made public. I remember feeling sad about it, wishing I had gotten friendliest or something to that nature, something that had to do with what came from my heart and not how I looked. I believed that true beauty came from the inside-out. So I spoke with the teacher who headed up our yearbook and told him to please give the prettiest award to the next girl with the most votes. From that day forward I set my heart toward loving others and being beautiful from the inside-out. Sitting there last night, listening to Jen, receiving citations from both the state and the town along with The Billerica Green “Heart of Billerica” award, I realized I am creating just what I set out to do. My sweetheart calls me “The Queen of Love” and this beautiful award was one I humbly accepted with joy.

A special thank you to my dear friend Liana, who created this amazing evening of love. You, my friend are a shining example of “The Heart of Billerica” and I love you.