An unexpected commission

Some works of art stay with you.

I recently received the following message on Etsy:
Hi John,
My husband and I visited your studio when you were in Alexandria, VA. I fell in love with your painting "En La Cocina". My husband encouraged me to purchase it at the time but I did not have a place to hang it.
I regret not buying it at the time as it reminds me of my own family. Is there any chance that you still have it for sale? We would like to purchase it, if so.
Please don't stop creating your beautiful art.
I was incredibly flattered to receive this message as I have lived in St. Pete, FL since 2014. If my math serves me right that means Cheryl has been thinking about my painting for almost a decade. En La Cocina depicts a very intimate piece of my childhood. It portrays the 3 pivotal women in my upbringing my mother (upfront/right), my aunt (behind me) and Mami Luisa, who I consider my grandmother (left). I peek, curiously from behind the table, which is crowded with Caribbean foods and ingredients.
These are the women who taught me the importance of self expression. They protected a little boy who was "unlike" the others while never discouraging my antics. They helped preserve and nurtured the creative I would become.
As with many families most interactions revolved around the kitchen. En La Cocina translates to In The Kitchen. The smells of spices, sounds of sizzling salt pork and "chisme" (gossip) flavor my most cherished memories, pun totally intended.
The painting lives in St. Pete, as part of a private collection not too far from me. I do get to visit the ladies and say "hi" now and then. Being it was sold years ago I offered to create a kitchen piece tailored to her own experience and memories. "Why don't you send me a photo of your family and perhaps share some memories with me?" I offered. These will serve as inspiration for a brand new take on the original work. This time the piece will speak directly to Cheryl's upbringing.
I always feel honored when a client is willing to open up to me and share a part of their story. I feel as if I am entrusted with delicate precious jewel. It is now up to me as an artist to respectfully and caringly transform it into something that will hold a place of honor in a family's home.
I am excited and inspired to go on this journey with and for Cheryl.