A Sign

2015-07-20 12.09.32

This greeted me as I arrived for work this morning, and being an extremely literal thinker, it made me laugh.  My Uncle Frank, who was a sign painter, and worked as an artist for the Workers Project Administration (WPA) during the not-so Great Depression, would have loved this, too. Some of the murals he painted during the Depression are still on display in the hidden board rooms of NYC. He worked from the late 1930s through the 1960s, and because he was crippled by depression and anxiety, he settled on being a sign painter–and he was a good one.

One of my earliest memories was sitting on his lap in his studio with a paintbrush, his hand wrapped completely around mind, guiding the brush and the paint on the paper as letters magically appeared. It was thrilling, and I so loved Uncle Frank. I guess he sensed we shared the brain-wiring that carries depression and anxiety from one generation to the next, and he probably felt I would grow up to share his journey as an artist (in my case music and poetry) with the same issues. He was so kind to me. I wish the medications we have today, the ones that let me lead a “normal” life, were available to him. I know that his life would have been very different–and perhaps more joyful.

Depression is a sometimes fatal disease that no one seems to want to talk about. If you, or someone you love, has depression and/or anxiety, please reach out to the healthcare community. It’s not an easy road to feel better, and sometimes there is a lot of try and try again–but treatment today is an option that my Uncle Frank didn’t have, but luckily, you and I do.

Take this post as a sign.

Author: Virginia Wagner Galfo

These are scary times. Prepare yourself to take a stand for what is right. God damn it, just be kind!

2 thoughts on “A Sign”

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