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Angels Lead the Way In 1998

A fter having lived through a series of traumatic life altering experiences, Donna Terody is prepared to influence children with her positive messages of hope and inspiration for their futures. Terody is a well-known, self-taught artist who has been painting for over 25 years. She began to paint when she was four years old, after having visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her grandmother. Upon viewing a famous Goya painting she felt an inner voice surge within her that stated, "You are a painter…you will always be a painter." She began to cry and insisted to her grandmother that they take the painting home. Her grandmother took her to the museum gift shop and purchased her a copy of the Goya painting of the little boy. That Christmas she received a paint set from her grandmother and has been painting ever since. Now her paintings command $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 each and are collected by Liza Minnelli, Carlos Santana and others.

However, her life has not always been a path of peace. All her life she has dealt with kidney problems. Her father died of kidney failure and she herself has found it a constant struggle in her life. Coupled with enduring an abusive childhood, Terody found refuge in her natural gift to express herself through painting. Now, after having survived kidney problems, a near-death experience and the recent tragedy of a still-born child, Terody is prepared to open up public about her pain and the lesson she has learned from meeting and working with angels.Q: What is it like to have to deal with disease? How has that experience led you to where you are today in your life?

A: I have had problems with my kidneys all of my life. I have been on a lot of medications since I was four years old. I would have really bad headaches and I would feel weak. It was very stressful and painful. By the time I was 25 years old , I was really tired. I had decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. My father had died of kidney failure and had gone blind. He had two kidney transplants, and I was just tired of taking medications all the time.

Q: What did you do then?

A: I started studying different mind-focusing techniques and learned ways to release my stress from some different healers, and that seemed to help. But eventually it all would catch up with me.

Q:What do you mean?

A: A few years later I found myself in a failing marriage and a wreck from my chronic kidney problems. I was traveling from Palm Beach to the Bahamas with my ex-husband and we suddenly got ourselves caught in a terrible storm. The waves were crashing onto the bow of the boat. It was moving roughly back and forth. I felt even worse because of my kidneys. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went to lay down and tried to relax. I prayed to God to please take me. Suddenly I felt my body being rapidly pulled out of it self. I thought to myself, "Where and I going and how will I get back?" However, I kept being pulled towards this huge white light. I embraced the light and found myself surrounded by angels. I felt this incredible unconditional love and peace.

Q: Where you afraid?

A: Oh no, I have never been afraid of death, and during this whole experience –you see when you are in this space you don’t feel fear or anger-I didn’t even remember who I was. All I felt was this complete sense of peace and unconditional love.

Q: What was it like to talk to the angels?

A: It was very comforting and loving. Angels do not judge or pressure you, so I felt so terrific and at ease. I never wanted to leave. But after we were finished talking, the angels said I needed to go back, that my mission was not complete yet. I didn’t want to go, and I tried everything I could to get back to that peaceful, loving place. But before I knew it, I was hovering over my body in the boat. My lips were blue and I was with one of the angels. I didn’t talk about
this experience until years after it happened, but before I knew it I was back in my body.

Q: How was your health after your near-death experience? Where you healed?

A: My kidneys were much better now, and I feel a great deal more energized , trusting and centered about my life and future.

Q: Do you have to meditate to paint your angels or do they appear naturally?

A: Well, sometimes they appear to me in my dreams, some through prayer and meditation and sometimes, as with the rainbow angel, they simply manifest themselves.

Q: What does the rainbow angel symbolize?

A: The rainbow angel is an energetic seven- year –old boy. With my original paintings of him I was able to create the concept for a children’s television animated show that I am currently putting together with my creative team. I have written 13 episodes and am currently in negotiations with various networks to begin production of it in the new year.

Q: What is the show’s concept?

A: To provide hope, inspiration and guidance to children of all ages through a cast of animated multicultural characters representing the rainbow of today’s diverse society. Basically, the series is designed to help children deal with their everyday problems through the experience of the rainbow angel and his friends.

Q: This past summer you experienced the heartbreak of a still-born child. How had this traumatic experience affected you?

A: The death of my son has been a very deeply painful experience for me. I couldn’t believe it when I first got pregnant with him because the doctors had always told me I could never have children. I was so excited to have him. From the beginning, I knew he was a boy. He began communicating to me in my dreams and throughout the nine month process we became very close. We would speak intuitively to each other. He would kick at me and speak, and I would walk down to the beach and sit by the ocean with him. He helped me pick out this home I live in now. He showed me in a dram where to go and what this house would look like and it was here when I found it.

Q: You have said you would like to share some thoughts about unborn children.

A: Children are very sensitive during the pre-birthing process. They are very aware of what is going on outside the womb. Everything you do during these nine months affects the child. Do not assume they are not alive until they are born. They are. Believe me, they are.

Q: How well does society handle miscarriages today?

A; People really brush miscarriages off. These are real babies. Just as if I would have had a two-year-old son or daughter die this past summer, as a friend you would go over to that person’s house and sit with them and comfort them. Miscarriages and still- born deaths are the same. These are real children. I endured 19 hours of labor with Avery, and nine months of him inside of me, let alone the spiritual connection we had made during that time. He told me his name, my boyfriend Rama could talk to him when he closed his eyes. They talked telepathically. The connection was made: My son is a real human. Most of my friends did not know what to do. People think that if they brush it off it will just go away. But it doesn’t. My pain is real and so was Avery’s existence.

Q: What do you recommend for people whose lives are in turmoil?

A: I would offer them the idea of always keeping their eye on the ball or target. At many points in my life, I used this concept. I simply remained focused on my objectives and thought to myself that one day my paintings will be recognized. One day people will be touched by my story and my work. Keep moving towards your goal. Also, if you can make some little physical adjustments in your daily routine it will help you out. For example, if you are an early riser, sleep in an hour later one day. Do some gardening or some other physical movement to change your routine and help you lighten your life.

Persons interested in having Terody’s paintings and contribute to the Halcyon Foundation for children, can attend her art gallery opening on Sunday Dec. 14 at the Robert Bergman Gallery in Santa Monica. The 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. showing is a benefit for the children’s foundation.

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