Pella Chronicle

Health

June 7, 2013

Finding Comfort in Art at Pella Regional

Pella — For many years, Sharon Van Wyngarden of New Sharon had set aside her paints. While she was trained as a commercial artist, her priorities changed as a wife and mom. Instead of painting, there were other things to do.

Sharon’s kids would say, “Mom you need to paint again.”

So when Connie Milligan approached her in 2011 to paint a special mural at the Comfort House in Pella in honor of Connie’s mother Jeanette Robus, Sharon decided it was time to pick up her paintbrush.

“It was a God thing,” said Sharon. “I needed a purpose to paint. And if this painting can bring comfort to people who are grieving, then it serves a purpose.”

The Comfort House is part of Hospice of Pella and a department of Pella Regional Health Center. In the Comfort House, individuals and families spend time with loved ones who are dying. Some are there for a day or two. Some patients are part of the Comfort House family for months. Many families spend time in the quiet room, a chapel-like environment where people can grieve, pray, read or rest. Now a large mural of a peaceful farm scene graces one wall.

“My brothers and I wanted to do something special in memory of our mother,” said Connie. “A mural was suggested. At first we talked about doing one in the tub room. But we didn’t move forward too quickly, and it was a good thing,  because that small tub room was turned into a closet. So the chapel was suggested. It’s a good place.”

Connie and Sharon first talked about the mural depicting water or mountains, but it finally came to Sharon that it should be a farm.

“I called Connie and said God laid it on my heart,” said Sharon. “It needs to be a farm. Iowa is a pretty place. People joke about it being all cornfields, but it is really pretty.”

After several practice canvases which Sharon gave to Connie, she was ready to begin the painting on the wall. Within two weeks, it was finished.

“It was an evolving process,” said Connie. “It took two years. But every time we talked or e-mailed, we both talked about how God led us to this. It’s our hope that many will find comfort in it.”

1
Text Only
Health
Features
Facebook
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Obituaries