SERENDIPITY – fortunate happenstance, a pleasant surprise or perhaps sometimes divine intervention. “Claiming Victory” was serendipitous from the very beginning of its existence in 2019. I added plaster to the canvas with no plan in mind, randormly and unintentionally. The only direction was abstract and a pink palette. I searched for inspiration, nothing clicked. Until I read an update on Facebook from my 27-year-old niece who had recently been diagnosed with Stage 3, Invasive Breast Cancer.
The update was good news for a change. I then decided this painting would be dedicated to the warriors battling this disease, but especially for my niece and also my sister-in-law, who had just had her left breast removed two weeks earlier to cancer. Soon after, I glanced at the canvas I had applied plaster to the night before. Tears filled my eyes as I saw in the middle of the canvas, in plaster, a ribbon in the exact shape of the breast cancer ribbon. It seemed as though there was a plan for this painting all along, it just took me awhile to catch up to it!
As the painting progressed, many other symbols emerged. A heart, tears, angel wings, blue bird of hope, the resemblance of cancer cells, and many more yet to be discovered. This canvas tells the story of the journey through cancer.
The beginning of the journey is the scariest. Crippling fear upon hearing the words “you have cancer.” So many unknowns, so many emotions, and it’s just the beginning. Fear. Anger. Shock. Anxiety for what lies ahead, but there is no choice but to continue.
Every rock is unturned, anxiously awaiting results. Stumbling over those rocks along the way. Climbing mountain after mountain, not knowing what may be over the next one. So many tears. Even though you blink and time goes so fast, the journey still seems forever long. But there is light.
Approaching the middle, you see hope and strength. Through the outpouring of support, you discover what’s been there all along. Solidarity. Empowermen comes from all those around you telling you that you are not alone. You are loved. They are all on your team. Your faith deepens, you give in to let angels and birds carry you through. You keep your eye on the prize, knowing you will feel joy once again.
At last, at the top, the days are getting a little brighter. The sun is beginning to shine again. The fogginess and confusion start receding, but the tears continue. The tears of fear become tears of joy. The love found during the journey has changed you. You are a warrior. You are CLAIMING YOUR VICTORY.