Bonne Fête Silvio!

It’s Silvio’s birthday today and an appropriate time to thank him and Teresa for their creativity, kindness and friendship.

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Silvio, Teresa and the girls arrived in Jeffersonville in the Spring of 2008. We first met when I had brought a bookcase outside to sell and Silvio, who was setting up his studio in the Village Sampler building, walked across to see it. We immediately noticed each other’s French accent and began speaking in our native tongue.

Roderick, my husband, was still alive at the time. He liked Silvio immediately. I was not surprised. Both are extremely creative and good-natured. Silvio is an individual with an incredible mind. But, of course, those of you who know him know this also.

If I were asked to give an example of a person who is truly well-liked and respected in their community, and rightfully so, Silvio would come to mind instantly. This, too, goes without saying.

We became friends instantly and it is thanks to Silvio that I took part in the Festival of The Arts that summer and two more summers after this. It is in great part thanks to him and Teresa, also, that I was able to keep my act together when Roderick passed away.

Sometimes, it is the simple things that make all the difference. By inviting me to have a display in his shop, Silvio provided a reason and outlet for me to keep art as a significant part of my life. By including me in Holiday dinners, they took me out of isolation. And the girls’ smiles when I see them… wow! There is no sorrow in such moments; only well-being.

For over a year, Silvio crossed the street twice a day to take Roderick’s dog, MacGregor, out of the house for a moment while I was at work. I did not work from home at the time and this was a true blessing, for while I briefly considered the logistics of keeping a dog on my own, giving up on this creature Roderick and I had welcomed in our lives would not have been an emotionally sound choice. Silvio sacrificed time away from the workbench every day so that Mac could stay home and I could be worry-free while at work.

We joke a lot, in French, much like college kids talking nonsense and giggling. This silliness brought levity in my life at a time when everything could easily have fallen apart. It is not easy to lose a soul mate.

Every day, when I stop by Ornament Studio and when I write for Silvio’s blog, I see how much people in this community and abroad enjoy knowing him. This is the sort of person who, just by being himself, truly makes a difference in the world around him and I am so grateful to be lucky enough to call him friend.

Merci mon ami. Bonne fête!

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