TRULA ANN GODWIN WHEN SHE ATTENDED VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Yes, that’s right. My sister, Trula Ann Godwin learned a craft in Vacation Bible School, as a small child, and parlayed it into an artform as an adult. Her initial experience was that each child brought a cigar box and painted it, then took the minute pieces of eggshell and glued them on, into a design. Most of the children’s looked like what you would expect, but not Trula’s. She could not be hurried.
When she was in college she tried the art form again making a spectacular modern art rendering in stunning orange background with black abstract musical note and a woman’s torso intertwined. She would not have time to do her art again until retirement as the intervening years were filled with life and five children.
TRULA TOOK UP MOSAIC ART AGAIN IN COLLEGE IN OKLAHOMA
At the end of her career as a pioneer police woman, she devoted herself to full time volunteering for victims/survivors of rape/sexual assault and domestic violence. She also spent untold hours “relaxing ” at her tedious craft. The results were mosaic compositions of various sizes and shapes that she could sell/donate for hundreds, and even over a thousand dollars.
POLICE OFFICER TRULA ANN GODWIN NEAR THE END OF HER CAREER
Her art form is called, “Egg Shell Mosaics”. The one pictured above in this newspaper piece, was my very favorite as it is of the “Dogwood” blossom. Those who know me, know that I love the blossoms and I would loved to have had the rights to that piece to put on my novel cover for, “Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries”. Trula and I as children used to ride the church bus on Okmulgee, Oklahoma First Baptist Church’s yearly tour, into Arkansas to see the complete hillsides in blossom for miles and miles and thousands and thousands of the blooming trees. I loved it enough to brave it every year though I would suffer motion sickness to the extreme ,everytime, on those winding hills. The beauty, no the splendor of those hillsides, is something I never forgot, nor did she.
In her retirement, Trula worked long and tedious hours on her pieces and few realized the long process to make one of those pictures. Our mother who was home-bound sue to declining health, played a role as well. She would “religiously” save the eggshells at her house and clean the membrane linings out, then have Dad carry them to Trula like a “treasure” to be guarded. Trula then created the coloring for the shells to create the picture she needed. She would create the dyed egg shells gently breaking them into precise pieces andthen place them thoughtfully and determinedly onto the palate. It was tedious and required infinite patience; not a quality my sister was known to have in any other area of her life.
I still picture her in her suite atop the hotel where she had windows on three sides of the top floor. She would be sitting at her architect/draftsman’s table, given to her by her special friend Todd Reed, and there would be Buddy Holly music playing in the background. These were her happier moments in life. Her Zen. Her time of being at peace.
She loved to donate mosaics to charity and in particular to the Red Ribbon Aids project. It thrilled her to be able to bring large sums into the coffers of the treasury. We had a cousin who died of Aids and remember our Aunt tediously making his square for the Aids quilt, and also for his partner. This was Trula’s way of “giving honor” to her cousin whom she loved dearly growing up together in Oklahoma. Ironically, throughout her career as an officer she made some enemies who when she got cancer, spread a rumor it was Aids. Trula had a way of dismissing people like that as “little, bigots who are so ignorant, they can’t live life except on the backs of other’s pain; and usually pain the bigots had caused.” She laughed because she knew that as many blood transfusions as she had to have, they would have known if she had Aids. And when one of her surgeons accidentally cut himself during surgery on her breast cancer, he remarked “I’m glad it was with you Trula, at least I know I won’t have to worry about the Aids tests.”
TRULA WITH HER DAUGHTER AMY DURING HER CHEMOTHERAPY FOR CANCER
So next time you send your children to Vacation Bible School and give a percussive look at their work; take a moment and consider its potential.. It might be the catalyst for a career; after all, God did say he would increase the “talents, tenfold.”