- Sharron Montgomery Pena
Beading for pain
Some years ago, Ray was taught how to bead using the "peyote stitch," by our friend Rico Salinas. It became one of his favorite hobbies long before the brain tumor was discovered that has changed all of our lives. It was something that Ray relied upon to occupy his mind during the days leading up to his first surgery. It was a bridge of sanity, a recognizable activity and a distraction, that would soon occupy many of his waking hours as he sought relief from the crushing head pain that he suffered.
This piece that Ray affectionately calls the "train wreck" was one that was started before his first brain surgery, and finished after the surgery, despite all the mistakes that required fixing along the way. It soon became his daily therapy whether he was in the hospital receiving one of many chemotherapy treatments, or at home resting and recovering in between hospital visits. He endured 2 more procedures and yet he still maintained his ability to create stunning design and intricacy.
During the year of surgery and chemotherapy, he cranked out many beautiful masterpieces that are enjoyed by friends and family because of their beauty, but also because they were born out of Ray's desire for perfection and to escape his pain.
As Ray's recovery moved on, it became clear that his battle with pain and nerve damage would continue to present challenges to his ability to live his life in the manner in which he was accustomed. The "neuropathic" pain from which Ray suffers is difficult to treat and the medications used have undesirable side effects, including depression and cognitive (mental) dysfunction.
In the meantime, Ray's designs have become more intricate and elaborate. We have decided to make some of his recent creations available to you, our faithful fans who have known Ray and our amazing birds throughout the years. These beautiful pieces serve as reminders of his struggle, but also of his perseverance and desire to return to the life he loves. We hope you will take a moment to check out the latest beauties that we are offering for sale and be inspired that no matter how dark your journey may seem, let your mind be your guiding light out of the darkness.