Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Picture On My Wall

I get a kick out of seeing people look at this picture that is on my living room/kitchen wall. Most people think it is a picture of the Savior with a baby. Well, that "baby" is me. I don't know if my cousin Jen realizes just how special and important this picture is to me. Jen drew the picture and brought it to me at a time when I really, really needed it. We had many laughs the day she and some of my other wonderful family brought the picture and visited when I was living with Angie. The stares from Jaden who didn't know what to think of my bald head, the tantrums Addie threw, bonking of the heads, and many great laughs were wonderful and desperately needed at the time. Most of all, I was feeling a deep sense of gratitude for a family who was aware of my needs; and, I believe, a cousin who listened to the Spirit and brought me a true treasure.

Jen used this photograph as the basis of her drawing. My mom took this picture when I was waiting to go have a lumbar puncture. It was a moment filled with anxiety and fear. The lumbar puncture process was very rough for me. Before and during each procedure I would hold my worry rock given to me by Kaden, my faith rock given to me by the Gladwins, and my Diamondbacks dog tag given to me by the Providence D-Backs team. Doing so helped me control my anxiety, focus my thoughts, and find comfort. How fitting for Jen to use this picture as the "model" for her drawing.

While some may think it odd, I made a very conscious decision to enlarge Jen's drawing and hang it in a very prominent place in my condo. You see, I believe it is extremely important for me to always remember the lessons learned while battling leukemia. This picture serves as a reminder of my experience. Most of all, this picture serves as a reminder of the never-ending love my Savior has for me. It serves as a reminder that my Savior was with me and helping me in my darkest hours. It serves as a reminder that my Savior will succor me in my times of need. What blessings!

Today marks the two-year anniversary of my diagnosis. So much has happened since. Lately, my thoughts seem to center on wanting my life back:  wanting my job back, my strength back, my energy back, my body back, my memory back, my mental sharpness back. Yes, I could go on. Yet, I wouldn't want to change my experience.

My perspective is different. My perception is different. My understanding of life and others is different. I know there are very loving and generous people all around me. I know, through the examples of others, what it means to serve. I know the power of the priesthood. I know the power of prayer. I know the power of fasting. I know the power of many praying and fasting for one. I know the feeling of comfort from a higher power. I better understand many things. So many lessons learned!

More than anything, I have learned what an amazing family and what amazing friends I have. I have had so many angels surrounding me. What a blessing!

Yes, I do want my life back, but I am learning to embrace the life I have and to enjoy the blessing of being alive.

Much love,


Cami said...

Beautifully said Mel. I often think about how much you enrich our lives. You are so selfless and thoughtful. You always think of others and how you can help them whether it be babysitting, listening, or throwing a fun party for your nieces and nephews. I'm SO grateful that you are still here with us. Life would never be the same without you. I love you so much!

Hang in there with the "new life" thing. I'm here for you if you ever need me. :)

Bonnie said...

I'll have to look at that picture more closely next time I'm over there! It's beautiful, and you are an amazing person and I'm lucky to know you!

Mandy said...

It was great to see you the other day. We're so glad you're doing so much better and we hope and pray that you will be able to get back to the old things you teaching, because you are an amazing teacher! :)

Marianne said...

Beautiful post, Mel!

{HUGS} <3 <3 <3 <3

rania_ka said...

Love the drawing..
You are always in my prayers..
Love Rania from Greece