Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Golden Birthday, Pink House

Lisbeth's pink house.

Milkweed and Lisbeth.

A bad photo of a portrait that I did of Lisbeth and Milkweed in 2002 (it's under glass in a frame - I really must get someone to take a good shot of it for me...)

Mommy and Lisbeth.

"All the things of Milkweed..."

Lisbeth and Milkweed inspired art by Portland artist Allison Baird: Prayer Card

Kitty kisses.

Milkweed (the blue eyed, pink nosed, white cat) is the center of my daughter Lisbeth's universe. She is Lisbeth's guardian angel, best friend, and steadfast companion. Lisbeth has special needs and lives independently in a house in Topsham that is staffed round the clock by Independence Association, an amazing agency located in Brunswick, Maine. We were able to transition Lisbeth to her house just after she graduated from Brunswick High School at age 21 (at BHS, folks with special needs have the option to attend high school for 6 years). When Lisbeth first became ill, we never imagined that she would one day be able to graduate from school and live away from us on her own. It still feels miraculous. It took years of work and planning with the help of a large transition team. We will be forever grateful to all the people and agencies who have supported us in Lisbeth's journey and to all who continue to support us. God Bless them, EVERY ONE.

Like many adults, Lis enjoys having her own space and making it the way that she wants it (and I can sum it up in one word. PINK.). And she delights in all her knick-knacks and photographs of Milkweed in fancy frames. Lisbeth's house was gold when she moved in and she wished that it could be pink. Alas, even though she pays half of the mortgage each month (and her house mate, a young man with autism, pays the other half) the house is owned by IA and this is not an option. Lis gets her wish temporarily, though, because right now IA is tearing off the old siding on Lisbeth's house and has revealed the Pepto Bismol Pink insulation before the new beige siding gets installed! (Yoo Hoo! Paging Christo!)

These pictures were taken Monday on Lisbeth's Golden Birthday - she turned 27 on the 27th!


Rob S. said...

Lisbeth is an inspirational figure, for sure. Hers is an amazing and ultimately uplifting story.

Ever since I was a kid, whenever I saw a house in this state, whether it was being built or re-sided, it always looked to me as if the house was wearing pajamas. I still pretty much see it that way, actually. Kinda silly!

artslice said...

You can tell she and that cat are 2 pearls in an oyster! What an achievment to finish school and it sound like she must work (?) if she's paying some rent. It's a beautiful thing when people can be independent (with some help!)and live their own lives. Thanks for sharing this story. (you look so cute in the mommy-daughter photo!)

Anonymous said...

Lisbeth in PINK in front of her house and it's in PINK too! Just for her!! Wow! What a birthday gift! The Legos Lady of the Yellow Hair approves!! Very Cool! Thanks for sharing it with all of us, Mart. Love to you and love to Lis.


Don Gray said...

I've loved the works you've done of Lisbeth. "Lisbeth's Beautiful Brain" is so inspired! Nice to see photos of her and learn of her life. How wonderful she can live independently.

martha miller said...

Hi Rob

Yes, Lisbeth is an inspiration! A strong young woman!
A house in PJ's - I like that!

martha miller said...

Thanks Brenda
Yup - 2 pearls in an oyster - they do look alike!

Lisbeth has waver funding for life due to her disabilities that was established when she was in high school. This yearly stipend pays for her staffing, the house auto, food, etc. She also receives SSI and this pays her portion of the mortgage each month. Lis makes beautiful snowflakes that we have printed on items like T shirts and sell. I will post about this very soon!

martha miller said...

Hey, Leggo Lady! Nice to hear from you!

martha miller said...

Hi Don

Thankyou. Lis is an ongoing muse of mine!

Susan Beauchemin said...

Looks like the theme was Milkweed! Also looks like she was in a good spirits for her birthday!

martha miller said...

Actually, her big party is on Saturday at China Rose, her favorite place to "go and get the Chinese food..."

Katie said...

Happy Birthdat to Lisbeth! It was great to see all of you at Kate's wedding!

Lott's of Love,
Katie (and Grey, who should be sleeping!)

Katie said...

That should say BIRTHDAY! Typing one handed with babe... it gets tricky!

martha miller said...

Hi Katie

It was so wonderful to see you, too! Your baby is the cuuutest!