Carol Gloster had never considered painting for artistic pleasure until she moved to The Village of Glendale Crossing and participated in a class presented by a recreation team member. Nearly eight years later, her room is filled with paintings, canvases, brushes and the trappings of an artist who is regularly inspired to create something new.
There is purpose behind her efforts, not only because art is an emotional outlet, but it is also a way she can give of herself in appreciation for all she has received in life. For 25 years, Carol has been living with Multiple Sclerosis and this year she’s selling various pieces in her collection with the proceeds destined to support her local MS Society.
“The MS Society helped me when I was first diagnosed,” Carol says. She was only 31 at the time, and the diagnosis was difficult to handle at such a relatively young age. The MS Society helped with her mobility devices and for the necessary renovations she required in her living space; she remains forever grateful for that support.
Her mobility is now seriously compromised from the waist down, but she remains active at Glendale Crossing and does everything possible she can for herself. She’s an ambassador for the Village she calls home, recalling how she was welcomed by residents when she first arrived and carrying that sense of hospitality forward every day.
“I’ve made a lot of friends here, not only residents but staff, and over the almost eight years I’ve been here, when I see new people coming in, I welcome them. It’s made a big difference in my life.”
She’s an active volunteer in The Village and hers is a common face along Main Street. Her paintings have become well known.
After she shares her story she disappears for a while before returning with a fresh canvas in hand. It is a simple painting, the legs and shoes of a dancer lining the centre of the piece, and the paint is not yet dry. It’s another she hopes to sell to add to her growing donation, and she looks forward to marking her birthday not with a gift she will receive but one she will give to an organization that does much for so many people living under the shadow of MS.
Kindness, as they say, has a way of coming around full circle.