THE JOURNEY – Framed dimensions are 26.25” high x 33.75” long – This is a very poignant and meaningful painting to me, which I hope will be for others who view it as well. My daughter, Major Alexa Carlo-Hickman, has been a space fan all her life. She got her first telescope for her 12th birthday. Together, we explored the moon, saw Venus, Mars, and Jupiter with its many moons, and the rings of Saturn, watched the space shuttle hurtle across the night sky, observed comets, meteors, constellations and far-away space nebulae, much from that first telescope in our back yard. In her adulthood, we’ve shared the Space X launches, photos from the Hubble telescope, and other space phenomena. Alexa is also passionate about her military career. I was pleased and honored to pin her first “butter bars” of Second Lieutenant on her shoulders when she graduated from college and ROTC, and have watched her ascend the ranks over the years. I watched proudly as her husband, Patrick, and commanding officer, Col. John Monihan pinned the oak leaves on her uniform. Afterwards, I had the honor of meeting Col. Monihan, for whom my daughter had great admiration as a leader, a mentor, and a friend. We spoke at length about Alexa and her career path. He had great faith in her ability to succeed in whatever she put her mind to, and seemed so proud of the leader she was becoming. He was sure he’d be promoting her to Lt. Col. in a few short years, and she was looking forward to him doing so. I was grateful she had such a good mentor to instill outstanding leadership values in her as she began her journey towards Lieutenant Colonel and took on new, greater responsibilities for those who served under her. When news came that Col. Monihan had suddenly passed away from an unbeknownst health condition, Alexa was devastated. My heart was broken not only for her, but for his wife and children, too. He was only 45 years old, and left behind not only his wife and two preteen kids, but also an incredible legacy of leadership for those following after him. A few mornings later, as I was still in shock from this news, I awoke to a piece of music by Kevin Keller, someone I never heard of, called “New Beginnings”. It was the most reverential yet joyful music I’d ever heard. This, I knew, was what it must be like as one was being ushered towards Heaven and coming into the presence of God Himself, in person, for the very first time. It was awe inspiring. There shot across my vision a scene taking place as if I were making the journey and wearing a go-pro camera, recording the path as I traveled along, and seeing what lay ahead as the journey unfolded. The path lay along clouds of space dust, weaving around star clusters being born in the nebulae “nursery grounds” all around as far as the eyes could see. Far off in the distance was the New Jerusalem of Heaven as described in Revelation 21, with its city and streets of gold, walls of jasper, gates of pearl, foundations of all manner of precious stones, and glowing with its own inner light from God, where there is never night’s darkness. All of it was surreal, with beauty beyond comprehension. I was impressed with the knowledge that I shouldn’t be sad for Col. Monihan, because somehow I knew he had just taken this amazing journey. That realization brought me a great deal of comfort. I knew God sent this to me to paint it. It is my heartfelt prayer that it brings comfort to the broken hearted after the loss of a loved one, and gives them a vision and a hope for their own futures moving forward. I’ve dedicated this painting to the memory of Col. Monihan, and I thank my daughter, Alexa, whose sharing of space adventures with me inspired the visuals. Also, had she not chosen to be in the military, neither she nor I would have had the pleasure of meeting Col. Monihan. And to God, I give all the glory.
Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Jerimiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans for good, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
This painting is framed to strict museum conservation standards. It features an elegant, yet classically designed coppery gold and silver frame, with navy blue suede outer mat and metallic copper inner mat. Framed dimensions are 26.25” high x 33.75” long. This original painting is offered for sale at $3,395.00
Paper and canvas giclee prints are also available.
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