Named after a character from the 80s cartoon series Voltron, the little boy on the right is Keith, while his friend on the left I’ve named Lance, after one of Keith’s best buddies and second-in-command of the Voltron Force.
I read somewhere that when you give something intangible a name, it helps ground that concept, giving it a personality, a life of its own, and eventually owning it / making it your own little version. So, finally after eleven weeks of art sessions, these two cheeky boys are ready to be framed and hopefully i get to see them on display at our art class’ exhibit at @footscrayarts by mid-July.
And what a way to end the term: today, the 28th of June, marks not only my eleventh wedding anniversary with hubby Christian, it also marks our younger daughter’s first year remission from blood cancer.
We didn’t get to celebrate our tenth anniversary last year as Christa had her final cancer blood test last year. The blood test required a lumbar puncture under general anaesthesia to determine if the cancer cells responded well to intensive eight-month-long chemotherapy treatments.
So, a cartoon character, a painting, an anniversary and bloody effing cancer.
Here’s an indulgent post/anecdote I wrote as my anniversary pressie to the man i married eleven years ago who is my own version of Keith.
From days of long ago (sometime in the mid-1980s)…
From uncharted regions of the universe (actually a private & rather new all-girl Catholic high school run by Italian nuns, in the middle of a sprawling suburb)…
Comes a legend (nah, just a geek.)…
Unlike today where geeks rule the world *grin*, back then, geeks were in the lower strata of the social pecking order. Geeky, introverted, bespectacled high school teenagers, who were always amongst the top 10 students in a batch of 80, had one thing to look forward to on Friday evenings…
…to turn on the TV and see our first toon crush: Commander Keith of the Voltron Force. We dreamed of someone who would save us from school bullies, and fly us away in a robot lion, away from our nagging, overly-strict parents.
I was one of those geeks, and I was just 14 back then.
In the many years since there were other cartoons, anime, etcetera, that filled the void left by the end of the Voltron series. We were college students then. We had moved on. Life in the real world happened.
I have been married for 11 years now to Christian. We have two beautiful daughters aged 7 and 3, and we have just gone through the toughest parenting ordeal: our 3-year-old, born with an extra chromosome, (who had open-heart surgery at 3 months of age and almost died ) was diagnosed with cancer when she was 18 months old. It was a long, hard trek, but our little family came out on top. We had gone through hell and back and survived.
I suddenly found myself in a time warp. Just before I hit the big 4-0, I discovered that our beloved 80s cartoon had a new sequel series called Voltron Force. The protagonists had suddenly all grown up, just like we did. Not only did they look older, they had bigger responsibilities, kick-ass new abilities, and seemed a bit better developed as characters, more mature than their 80s versions.
And hubby suddenly remembered what I had told him ages ago (and I’d completely forgotten about), that he was my Keith.
I would never claim to be just like the princess (I am not a willowy blonde, nor do I have green/blue eyes), but I, like many geeky fangirls, would love to have Keith for myself.
Well, guess what? I do have my own version of “Keith”: he is strong, much taller than me, handsome (and he doesn’t even know it), and has light brown eyes. He was my secret crush, who became my best friend, who became my first boyfriend, who became my fiancé, and he is now my husband. He protected me, he never left my side, and he held me tight through the worst battles of our lives.