A Girl and Her Chicken

The last months of 2019 are in the rearview mirror, and I’m happy to have them behind me. I leave that time a little bruised and vulnerable, having lost my mother to a rapid decline from stage 4 cancer in mid November. She was a force of nature and a muse to many. I’m learning to live in the world without her, and still wake astonished with that thought.


© Sue Schlabach



My mom was a farmgirl in the forties and fifties. She wanted to be a cowgirl and went on to teach English and work as an editor. She wrote, and organized and made creative, interesting things happen everywhere she went. In these footsteps I follow.

I painted this young girl with a rooster a few weeks before Mom died. If anyone could tame and hold a rooster, it would have been my mom. I imagine this rooster’s name is Henry. Isn’t he a handsome fellow?



Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

January 10, 2020 at 5:17 pm

Sorry to hear about your mom.

Brett Ann Stanciureply
January 11, 2020 at 5:31 am

Thanks for sharing this lovely post. And my deep condolences to you and your family. xo

Marcia W. Parkerreply
January 11, 2020 at 7:53 am

Thanks for this, Sue. It brings both healing and piqued interest in your further sharing.

January 11, 2020 at 10:37 am

Your mom was a warm, generous person–so important to me as a lonely midwesterner in eastern PA in the mid-80s! I’m so sorry for your loss but am moved by the powerful ways you are able to share her with all of us through art. Thinking of you!

January 11, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Henry IS very handsome and your Mom would have him whipped into shape in no time. I see her in you. She will never leave you, it’s just harder to get a hug right now. xo

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