Dolly, my breast-cancer “Overcomer” friend is on her second to last treatment today! She was happy to see that my painted ceiling tile has taken up a place on the ceiling there for her and all those who cross the threshold to receive chemotherapy treatments to enjoy. I am so honored to have been able to paint it for her and that it came out well enough to hang, viewable to those receiving cancer treatments.
I will now confess to the great deal of anxiety I had when working on this painted ceiling tile. First, because I was not sure what kind of uplifting message/image I could come up with to bring to these patients. What if what I painted was just ho-hum to them? Worse, what if it was unintentionally offensive to some? I stressed and delayed and finally talked to Dolly to find out what was important to her. I figured if I at least did something that resonated with her, that would be enough.
I had only met her a short while before taking on this project, but knew from LaTarsha, our mutual friend, that she was a beautiful, uplifting soul. She takes on life with gusto and joy and shares that with all those around her. In fact, my first meeting with her was at a Zumbathon held to raise money to cover some of her medical expenses. She was right there in the midst of a crowd of 100 or more, dancing away! I loved her from the moment I met her and saw she was an absolutely adorable dynamo!
So, the image that came to me – and that’s really how it happened as I opened myself up to my “geni” – was of Dolly and others in their Zumba garb dancing in joy in the rain. The words I found actually defined the image I decided on:
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
The second part of my anxiety was over the material I’d be working on. An acoustic ceiling tile. Designed to absorb sound, I knew it would be difficult. But somehow, again, thanks to “my muse”, I instinctively knew how to lay the paint on. I wanted bright colors but figured other works in the room would be the typical pink symbolizing breast cancer.
I’m so pleased with how the painting came out and hope it brings mounds of joy and happiness to all who enter that room. Especially Dolly. All along, she’s battled with very low white cell counts and has had to take on the insurer too, to convince them to cover a special injection to boost her count so she could receive the treatments. Well, she HAS overcome so much, and I cannot wait until next Wednesday. It’s Dolly’s last treatment and I will be there with LaTarsha as Dolly “rings the bell” to symbolize the big occasion. She’s so inspiring and I am so excited!