Choosing a Rainer to boast about for this month's challenge, hosted by Richie Alan Naggar , was very easy for me. I knew instantly who I was going to write about.
What wasn't easy was how to do it.
Most of you don't even know Michelle Molinari. She has not been active in ActiveRain since 2012. After she stopped blogging, I remained friends with Michelle via Facebook.
Last month while sitting with two of my grandsons, waiting to Skype with my mom, I picked up my phone for a quick peek into Facebook. My heart broke when I read the shocking news:
At some point on Monday January 13th 2020,
Michelle unexpectedly passed away.
She had organic heart disease and was coming down with a cold or flu.
Coupled with diabetes, it was more stress than her heart could handle.
She died in her sleep.
I couldn't fully process the information with the boys sitting next to me visiting my Mom via the iPad. My heart was broken and I couldn't react until the next day when the boys went home.
After reviewing many of Michelle's posts, writing and rewriting this post...
I decided to share one of my own posts rather than try to pick just one of hers to share.
My post, written in 2013, includes links to a few of Michelle's posts.
It is my hope that you will find the time to click the links and check out her blog.
Michelle was an amazing Home Stager. She had a talent and skill unmatched in the field.
" I don't tow the party-line that every house needs staging, but I do wholeheartedly believe that every house going to market needs to consult a stager! "
Her knowledge of color was unbelievable. She once wrote in a blog post:
"I am practically a "savant" when it comes to color. It gets lodged somewhere in my brain and there it sits, waiting to bust out and be useful to someone."
Over the years I've turned to her whenever I needed help choosing paint colors. She always had the answer for me.
When I asked her advice on painting a stone table last year, she actually took a 1 mile walk to a local cemetary to photograph some headstones for me...her way of illustrating the technique she suggested for my table.
I've been witness on facebook, each step along the way, as Michelle made new dreams come true.
In August of 2014 Michelle ended her home staging business and launched a new business based on her LOVE of The Walking Dead tv show.
Zombie Charm School is a mobile boutique spa serving the zombie community, using cinema-quality special effects makeup. Michelle actually created her own very realistic "blood" from scratch.
The business started out on the road, doing zombie make-overs, at zombie-centric events all over the USA....think horror face painting for Walking Dead fans.
She went from transforming homes to transforming humans.
Eventually, she ended up moving to Haralson, Georgia (where scenes from the show were shot) to work with Walkin' Dead Tours....living her dream of transforming fans into very realistic walkers.
She got to meet many of the show's cast and crew.
Her artistic talent won her a contest to attend a Walking Dead Cruise.
Michelle didn't just dream...Michelle made her dreams come true.
Michelle not only impressed me, she made a lasting impression.
She loved and was loved by many.
She was a very special lady.
Today would have been her 51st birthday.
Image by: Anita Ropele aka @smoking_reedus
It's amazing how much loss and grief you can feel when you lose a friend you have never even met in person.
My wish to someday meet her is no longer possible, but I am so grateful that I got to know her as I did via AR and fb.
Randy, the love of Michelle's life, continues to post on Michelle's facebook wall....as her.
It may sound macabre, but Michelle once said that when she dies she wants someone to keep up her fb page to freak people out.
I have no doubt she is watching with a smile, getting a big kick out of Randy following her wishes.