By likemindblog


SUE VanDUYNHOVEN’s wonderful story continues from last week when we were talking about how people react to Sue’s shows:

Last year, one of the times when I was at the Hospital, I was called away from a child I was working with (I had spent enough time that day with the child, so this was possible) to help a child who was non-verbal & shaking in terror from tests that had just had to be run. He was about 7yrs. old, & his parents were with them, & they were Amish people. I was initially worried, because I know there are some religions that think magic is not right, but those concerns were swept away when I saw the boy lying in the hospital bed, shaking like a leaf. At that point, everything else left my mind & I went to work with Boo Bear (a GIANT soft cuddly bear puppet). I stuck Boo Bear’s nose through the bars of the bed, right up by the boy’s head, & Boo Bear just started to talk to the boy in a gentle, growly, loving way. Since the boy was non-verbal, I had to use EVERY cue that I saw & sensed… I had Boo Bear talk to him, & joke gently with him, & sing to him many songs.. and as I saw the boySue's Shows - Hospital 21 (1) start to relax & unwind, & as his shaking began to subside, I pulled his parents into the conversation too (to me, the parents need just as much help as the children do.. they’re in such distress & fear.. & they come second only to the child), & Boo Bear talked to the parents about their lives & their children, & joked with them & sang songs that made them light up & laugh. I will NEVER forget how the boy relaxed slowly & surely ‘til he stopped shaking. I will never forget the wonder & joy in his parent’s eyes & how they talked to Boo Bear like he was completely alive, laughing & sharing with him… not because their son believed the bear was alive… because THEY completely believed the bear was alive. (laughs)  It was an hour that transcended time & space & fear & pain for all of us. Boo Bear ended up wearing the Amish father’s hat, & at the end they gave me & Boo Bear hugs & thanked me with tears in their eyes. When I left them, I literally floated out of the hospital, I was so at peace, so incredibly grateful for the connection that I’d had with them, for the healing that I had felt flow through me to them. So grateful that I had gotten to meet their very special souls. The only thing that stopped me from floating was the bear. He weighs a TON. (laughs)

Another memory… many memories actually, of an incredibly special little lady, Morgan. Morgan has had 2-3 liver transplants. She has been in acute physical danger for nearly all of her life. I’ve been working with her & her family for 7 years, & we have become close friends through this process. When I first met Morgan, she was 7yrs old going on 35. (laughs) An incredible soul.. so mature for her age.. an old soul in a little, fragile body. I was immediately drawn to her & knew she needed the connection that I could give her to the Universe. And it was such, SUCH a pleasure to work with her. I have loved every minute of working with her these last 7yrs., & I treasure her parents, who are wonderful people. And Morgan is truly, still, to this day, possibly the most incredible soul I have ever met. There’s magic in this child. Even when she was 7yrs. old, & in extreme physical distress herself, I would watch this child taking care of other children at the hospital. She seemed to have my knack of knowing who needed a hospital big sister, & took them under her wing. I think the moment I’ll treasure the most, Sue's Shows - Hospital 18though, happened when Morgan was at home (which was rare.. she spent literally years in Hospital), & asked me to perform for her birthday party. I of course went to her town & did the show, & also used her favourite puppet Scooter to talk to Morgan & all her friends throughout the party. At one point, Morgan said to Scooter ‘You’re going to have to wait in the car for a little while now, Scooter’. And Scooter said, ‘Why, Morgan?’ And Morgan said, ‘Because Sue must be hungry, & I want to make sure she gets something to eat’. It blew my mind that this child would think of what I needed, on her birthday, when she & her friends were right in the middle of having a blast with Scooter. (they were writing a rap song just for him… GREAT song by the way) That caring maturity sums up Morgan completely. An incredible soul, wise beyond her years. I treasure her & her family.

Morgan’s Mom wrote this about my work with Morgan, recently. It made my day:

‘It is so awesome to see Morgan being able to dance and sing like this after everything she has been through in her life!! Sue and Scooter and the rest of Sue’s puppets have been a huge part of her recovery and her strength getting through all of these times!!’

Other memories (I must do this shorter.. I could go on all day)..

** A wonderful 11yr. old boy, in London for his 3rd liver transplant, who, one day in my intensive work with him, had Boo Bear call his sister on the other side of the country & talk with her. A hilarious, deeply meaningful moment.Sue's Shows - Hospital 14 - Niagara Falls Show 2010

** A 10yr. old boy in a wheelchair that I met on my way OUT of the Hospital one day, (he saw the puppet & lit up & called to the giant talking mouse) & I ended up working with him & his family in the middle of the Hospital, people streaming to the right & left of us as I felt the connection grow & the healing work happening deeply… his Aunt emailed me after with such love & gratitude… apparently it couldn’t have happened at a better time.

** A little girl who had just nearly died from a reaction to chemotherapy, telling Scooter (I’d worked with her when she was in Hospital many times) that her stomache hurt.. not telling me or her Mom who were right there… telling Scooter. And Scooter told her ‘I know, Skie’, & I had him curl up right next to her face & cuddle against her & Skie fell asleep, & I stayed half crouched beside the hospital bed with my hand in Scooter stretched out to be by her head, for half an hour in that position. (laughs) I was walking bent over like an old lady when I left the Hospital, but I was floating with joy, & I’ll NEVER forget the comfort & healing Scooter gave that child. It is STILL in my soul.

** Two very special little sisters that I’m working with intensively right now, who were both injured terribly in a car accident, changing their lives forever. Their need is the greatest I’ve ever seen or felt, & I take my work with them beyond seriously. I am there for them whenever they need me, even when they were moved to a rehabilitation hospital in another city. For the first time in this work, I feel connected in a healing way with these girl’s souls even when  I’m not with them.. I can’t describe it in words… but I think it’s because their need is so very great… & I will be there for them for as long as they need me, in any way that I can, to help them heal their souls from this incredible trauma. The older sister, who is 11yrs. old, made Scooter a sparkly cape in December. She said it was his Super Hero Cape. I treasure it, & them, so much.

Sue's Shows - Sue with Boo in London Free Press July 20096)  What do you see in people’s eyes that let’s you know you’ve reached them, they’re tapping in, they’re on the journey with you?

Have you ever seen a child’s eyes when he comes down for Christmas & sees all the presents there, or when he sees a treasured relative that he/she hasn’t seen in a long time, or when he, say, learns to ride a bike of the first time? There is wonder & complete joy in that child’s eyes, & THAT is what I see in people’s eyes of all ages when I’m doing my craft for them. And that is the sign for me that I’ve reached them, that they are tapping into the universe with me, that they’re on a journey with me. It’s especially gratifying with adult audiences, because I don’t think there’s many chances in our lives as adults to feel complete wonder & joy. We have so many responsibilities & tough things to deal with on a regular, constant basis. There isn’t a lot of chances for magic & wonder. The arts GIVE that magic & wonder, that connection to the Universe!

Stay tuned for the continuation of this wonderful story next Friday…


Your comments are always appreciated.  Please do not hesitate to visit Sue’s link below!

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Filed in: Health • Friday, April 15th, 2011


By Sue VanDuynhoven on April 17th, 2011 at 6:51 am

Just a quick correction! Morgan has had 2 Kidney transplants, not liver transplants. My brain blipped when I wrote that! LOL


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours