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Magical Places of My Mind by Patricia Caravona Gayle

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S: Magical Places of My Mind by Patricia Caravona Gayle

BC: A portion of all sales will be donated to Scleroderma Research | I was born with Cerebral Palsy and was confined to a wheelchair my entire life. As a child I wasn't able to go out and play in the sun and run through the grass like other kids. As I grew up my body got weaker but, my mind and imagination got stronger.In my 40's I developed Scleroderma a disease of more pain and more physical deterioration. There were many times in my life when there was just too much suffering to handle. My only escape was to go to the: "Magical places of My Mind". In this ‘magical place’, there is all beauty and no pain, a place where I can walk and run and sometimes fly, free from my wheelchair and my crippled body.

2: [ 2-1] Patricia and Suns | 2

3: 3

4: [ 4-1] Only the Beginning | 4

5: 5 | This book was transcribed by Patricia's loving husband Reu'ven

6: When I was young, my grandmother was my source of creative inspiration. She used to make all my outfits with lots of colorful flowers on them. Some of the flowers were bigger than me. She also made bright colorful hook rugs and let me help her pulling the yarn. I couldn't go out and play. Whatever I did as a child, I did on my own. I stayed in my room and only came out for dinner, because my parents would argue terribly. They never encouraged me. My world was in my room with my phone extension and my 4 in 1 Radio/Record Player/8 Track/Cassette player. My sister played games with me once in a while, but preferred to go out with her friends. Writing was my first interest. I started out in school in a writing class when I was 9. I got into writing stories about my teachers. My mother didn't like what I was writing, so she wrecked my room to get me to stop. She said I only went to school to go after the teachers, but it seemed that they were the only ones talking to me. When I did get out, my mother took me out to baseball games [Mets], ice shows and oldies concerts. There were other times when I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t. My sister had friends. She could leave when she had a fight with my mother. I had no friends, so I could only run away into my mind, where no one could find me or yell at me. I remember when I lived in Brooklyn when I was about 5. I used to walk around on the sidewalks wearing my heavy metal braces with 2 quad canes. I never went far, just walked around in circles. I didn’t have a sense of direction and I was afraid of getting lost. Walking was difficult because locking my braces was extremely painful. As I grew, my braces kept having to be adjusted. Every time it took longer to get them back. Each time was like starting over again. One time I didn’t get them back for over a year. My mother never bothered to call for them. Then when she finally did call up, we found out that my braceman had died. When I finally got my braces back, I had lost my balance. They wanted to put me on crutches, but all I knew was my canes. I was afraid. Then around 16, after 11 years of cold metal braces and many failed surgeries on my legs and feet, doctors gave me a choice, more surgeries, more pain and more braces, or to stay in my wheelchair. Since locking my braces and walking was so painful, I chose less pain and stayed in my wheelchair. | 6

7: One day in school, when I was 21, a handicapped artist named Les Woolley, came into my class to demonstrate several painting techniques for artists with disabilities. It involved using a stick. He showed us how to blow, drip, drag, flow and throw the paint. It was messy, but fun! I was one of the few people to take an interest in it. I got pretty good at the techniques. It sparked my interest in painting. Someone offered me $500 for one of my paintings, but I wasn’t interested in selling at that time. [but I should have!] After 21, my mother signed me up for day care programs for the handicapped. They were so boring, I had to take my sketchbook with me, so I could draw and keep from going crazy. Life was just routine for the next 5 years. Then, in 1986, my cousin Fran found a Section 8 apartment for handicapped, but needed me to be able to move in. So we got the apartment in my name. We lived there for a year and a half as best of friends. Then Fran started to change. She wanted the apartment for herself on the weekends. So she had my mom pick me up on the weekends to take me back to her house. If my mom didn’t come, Fran would get mad and yell how she wanted her freedom. She said if she’d known how involved it was to care for me she’d never have agreed to do it. On my 28th birthday, Fran posted a singles ad in the newspaper as a present for me. From time to time, she put an ad in the paper for herself as well. Fran was surprised that I got a response. She was happy for me at first. Then she got annoyed when one of her dates seemed to like me better. Then Reu’ven answered the ad. Our first meeting was at my apartment. I was really nervous. I wanted to talk, but the words wouldn’t come out. Fortunately for me, Reu’ven was doing most of the talking, so I didn’t have to say much at all. I told Reu’ven about my poetry and writings. I asked Reu’ven if he knew where I could get of my 200 writings printed and he said he could get it done. I nervously gave my writings to Reu’ven. I hoped that I could trust him to bring back my originals. They took me most of my life to write. Two days later, Reu’ven came back with the originals and all the copies. I was relieved that he was a man of his word. Fran was jealous from our second date. She started laying down the rules, like I was a kid or something. She said I could only date 2x a week and I had to be home by 10:00. One day Reu’ven came over because I was sick with bronchitis. When Fran came home she yelled at me after Reu’ven left. On one date Reu’ven got mad at Fran for smoking around me because it was making me sick. Shortly after that, Fran moved out because my name was on the lease. | 7

8: I lived alone for about 6 months with aide service 8 hours a day. Reu’ven would come by and visit in the evenings and then go home to his apartment. There were several times when I called him late at night for help. I heard noises that scared me. One day while trying to get up, I got my big toe stuck in the spokes of my wheelchair and I couldn’t get it out. I called Reu’ven for help. It felt like my toe was getting cutoff. Reu’ven came over in a hurry and helped me out. After that we decided it would be better if Reu’ven moved in to take care of me. We lived happily in that little apartment for the next 4 years, painting and writing together. By 1992 we had saved enough money to buy a house in Mastic Beach. I had always been a self-taught sketch artist, but I learned a lot about painting from Reu’ven. I was a nature artist, but I always loved to paint out of my own imagination, painting flowers, trees, birds and fish. What was funny was I would always find real things that looked like the things I painted. Reu’ven said I was getting ‘pretty good’. Then in 2004, I was diagnosed with Scleroderma, a disease that very few doctors knew and there is no cure. Gradually I lost the ability to hold a paint brush because my hands were becoming contracted. I thought my life was tough before, but Scleroderma has made my life a living hell. Drawing was difficult enough with Cerebral Palsy, but it’s my only outlet, a way to show the world the beauty of the world in my mind. Now, Scleroderma was affecting what little mobility I had. It makes every movement, every line I draw pure pain and torture. In spite of it all, somehow I manage to find the strength to work my way through it. Then in 2008, we found a lump in my right breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer – more pain!! But still I continued on. Over the last 8 years, with a lot of practice and difficulty, I’ve learned to use the computer mouse to draw and paint. My challenge is to put onto the computer, the things I see in my mind’s eye. Because of the Scleroderma, it’s all I can do to hold and use the mouse. | 8

9: Having Scleroderma is a real downer. The pain is so intense that I cry every day. I can’t sleep much because the pain keeps me awake. It’s really important to have a sense of humor. In 2008 I had a mastectomy of my right breast, but that didn’t stop me for long. Through the force of pure will and determination, I was back at the computer drawing and painting within a month, with even more pain. On Nov 6, 2011, while Reu’ven was making the time change on a clock, I reached across my chest with my left hand to flip the light switch and felt a twinge and a snap feeling in my left shoulder. The pain was intense. We thought I might have pulled a muscle or a tendon as it was hard to judge which pain was which since I was already on large amounts of pain medication.. My shoulder continued to hurt for a couple of weeks. By the first week of December, I started getting intense pain in my left hip and then in my right a week later. I couldn’t sit or lay, as any movement was excruciating. Reu’ven called my pain management doctor and she suggested Reu’ven take me for an x-ray. The next day we went to the local radiologist and managed to get my shoulder x-rayed. When we got home, Reu’ven checked out my x-ray DVD and said my collar bone looked messed up, but it looked so weird that he wasn’t sure. The next day, Tuesday, Dec 20th, Reu’ven got the call from the pain management doctor telling him that my left collar bone was all fractured, possibly due to cancer. Reu’ven left work and came home. He told me about the results of the x-ray and that the doctor recommended taking me to the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, NY as she knew people there and that they had a good reputation. In the ER, I got a cat scan to my hips that revealed I had multiple fractures to both hips as my bones have become brittle because cancer is eating them away. I’m in terrible pain. There is not a move or position I can be in to stop the pain. They checked me into the hospital room that night. They began heavy pain medications to ease my pain, but I still scream and cry when I’m being moved. After 2 days of testing and seeing dozens of doctors, they told me there is nothing they can do as there are no treatments or surgeries. The cancer is in my bones and is too advanced at this point. | 9

10: Reu’ven is devastated. He has been by my side through it all. He can’t stop crying. The doctors are saying I have about a month left. I don’t believe it. They can’t really know. Once my Uncle Chuck was told he had spinal cancer and had only 3-5 years. He lived 10 years. He was in his 70’s when he died. On Thursday, December 22, after 2 days in the hospital, I met Denise D’Ambrosia, a palliative care person. I knew I liked her from the minute I met her. She introduced herself and asked me if there was anything I wanted or anything she could do for me. I said I wanted to get married. Then Denise looked over at Reu’ven and asked him if he wanted to marry me and he said yes. Denise was so happy for me. She held my hand and said she would take care of everything. She arranged for a minister and asked the hospital kitchen to cater. Then she asked me if next Wednesday, [December 28th ] was good. I said, “YES” and Reu’ven said, “YES”! Over the weekend Reu’ven called my parents and sister, his sister and our friends and everyone we know. I was so excited I couldn't wait for Wednesday. It was a very unusual Christmas. It’s rare to get married in a hospital. Monday everything was closed, so Tuesday around 11a.m. Reu’ven went to the town hall for the wedding license. Because I can't sign, there were problems. Then Reu’ven had to go to the court to see a judge to waive the 24 hour waiting period but the judge couldn't grant it because Reu’ven wasn’t given the license by the town. Then he had to run to the clerk to pay for something then back to the court. By then it was too late in the day [so he had to return the next morning]. Wednesday, December 28th, Reu’ven had to run around again to the court and clerk's office. He finally got the license and got back to my room only 20 minutes before the wedding at 1:30 p.m. The wedding was really nice. There were about 15 people attending. It was like I had imagined it should be. I was so happy that I cried. Everybody had cameras and was shooting in every direction. Reu’ven brother-in-law made a dozen mini cheesecakes for everyone. Denise had a photographer take pictures for some paper. I am so happy I am finally married! [ too bad it took something like this for us to get married.] Patricia was moved to hospice care December 29th, 2011 Her IV’s were removed and she is being given large doses of Morphine and Dilaudin to control her pain. Despite her terrible circumstances, Patricia's outlook remains positive. She is happy. She says, ” I have accomplished what I set out to do many years ago. I got married and it was my plan all along to create this book.” A portion of the proceeds from any sales of this book and or any posters will be donated to Scleroderma research. | 10

11: [11-1] Birdbath

12: [ 12-1] Reaching High

13: [ 13-1] Orange Cream. | [13-2] Colorful Jackets. | [ 13-3] Dressed In Green. | [ 13-4] Catch Them.

14: [ 14-1] Relaxing By The Waterfall. | [14-2] Splashing Waterfall

15: [ 15-1] Glory Glory Star light

16: [ 16-1] Nature And Light. | [ 16-2] Walking On The Moon.

17: [ 17-2] A Splash Of Color. | [ 17-1] Sky Bird. | [ 17-3] Water garden | [ 85] Splashing Waterfall.

18: [ 18-1] The Golden Garden | [ 18-2] A Greener Tomorrow

19: [ 19-1] The Big Pick Cherry | [ 19-2]A Big Burst of Sunshine

20: [20-1] The Flowing River

21: [21-2] Swallowing Bubbles | [ 21-3] Stained Glass | [21-4] Turn | [ 21-1] Silly Flowers

22: [ 22-1] The Butterfly Mask

23: [ 23-1] Pink Butterfly | [ 23-3] A Flight With Some Friends. | [ 23-2] Chains | [ 23-4] The Fan 5-19-08

24: [24-1] Vier Zonnebloeman

25: [25-3] Butterfly Floral Tile. | [ 25-1] Sunny Days | [ 25-4] Sunflowers Through Glass | [25-2] My Earlier Sunflowers

26: [ 26-2] SILK Was Just A Dream | [ 12] Adventure | [26-3] The First Sign Of Spring. | [ 26-1] Purple Eyes

27: [ 27-3] A Huge Easter Egg Hunt. | [ 27-1] Birthday Gift | [ 27-2] Specialty Flower 3

28: [ 28-1] Water Dance

29: [ 29-1] Angel Smile | [ 29-2] Stairway to Heaven

30: [30-1] The Garden Path

31: [ 31-1] Image figure | [ 31-3] Great Aunt | [ 31-2] The Fountain Of Youth

32: [ 32-2] Sunflowers In The Fall | [ 32-1] Only One | [ 32-3] Colorful Bird | [ 15] Another Halloween Gone By

33: [ 33-3] Fish Plate. | [ 33-2] Santa Word 2010. | [33-1] Sunrise

34: [ 34-1] Over The Edge

35: [ 35-2] The Gift | [ 35-3] Another Halloween Gone By | [ 35-1] Dancing With The Butterflies

36: [ 36-2] Hot Air | [ 36-3] Big Eyes | [ 36-1] Mother And Baby | [ 16] Balancing Act.

37: [ 37-2] Balancing Act | [ 37-3] Basic Black. | [ 37-1] Adventure

38: [ 38-1] Golden Waterfall

39: [ 39-3] Cat Heads With Christmas Balls 2009 | [ 39-1] Purple Bouquet | [ 39-2] Happy Birthday flowers

40: [ 40-1] Blue Mist

41: [ 41-1] Rosia In The Rose Petals framed | 41-2 Birthday Request

42: [ 42-1] Big Flames | [ 42-3] Dinner For Four | [ 42-2] 16 Candles | [ 42-4] Black White Grey Cameo.

43: [ 43-2] Tree with Top Star | [ 43-3] Now You See Me Now You Don't | [ 43-1 ]Yule Log

44: [ 44-2] Photo Tree | [44-1] Night Sky | [ 44-3] Purple Cream

45: [ 45-2] Butterfly Kimono | [ 45-1] The Return Of Butterbunn

46: [ 46-2] Mystery Door | [ 46-1] Make A wish | [ 46-3] A Special Hideaway

47: [ 47-2] Sienna Face Mask | [ 47-3] My Jewel | [ 47-1] Cameo

48: [ 48-1] Butterfly Ride

49: [ 49-2] A Slice Is Nice | [ 41] Dancing With The Butterflies. | [ 60] My Earlier Sunflowers | [ 49-3] Sunburst | [ 49-1] Curtain Of Water With Split Rocks

50: [50-2] A New Day Is Dawning Light up The Night | [ 50-1] My Birthday Request | [ 50-3] Butterbunn Circle Of Friends

51: [ 51-2] Royalty | [ 51-1] Feeding Frenzy

52: [52-1] Circles and Stars | [ 52-2] Angry Clown

53: [ 53-2] Fish Love | [ 53-1] Color Blocks

54: [ 54-3] A School of friends | [54-2] Three Rings | [ 54-1] Tile

55: [ 55-1] Starburst | [ 55-3] Blue Moon | [ 55-2] The Leaders 7 Finished.

56: [ 56-2] Blow Out The Candles | [ 56-1] Met Colors Design Bird Talk | [ 56-3] Met Colors Design 1

57: [ 57-1] Wedding Day 12-28-11

58: [ 58-1] Dancing On Air

59: [ 59-1] Gliding Through The Clouds

60: Drawn by Reu'ven 12-24-11

61: For updates on Pat or to just say 'Hello" and or to inquire about obtaining prints of her artwork, please email: Magicalplacesinquiry@gmail.com

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Patricia Caravona Gayle
  • By: Patricia C.
  • Joined: almost 8 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 2
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Magical Places of My Mind by Patricia Caravona Gayle
  • Patricia Caravona Gayle was born with Cerebral Palsy and later developed Scleroderma. She uses Microsoft "Paint" since her hand crippled up where she could no longer hold a brush or pencil. She shares the beauty of her imagination through her art. Recently Patricia was diagnosed with advanced bone cancer and this book is a compilation of her works and her biography. Portions of the proceeds of sales will go to Scleroderma research.
  • Tags: Patricia Caravona Gayle, cerebral palsey, digital art, art, artrave, scleroderma, courage, cancer
  • Published: almost 8 years ago