Beauty and the Beast

13 04 2010

A few days ago, in a brief, but beautiful and meaningful response to a photograph I posted on Facebook, my superbly talented artist sister-in-law granted me permission – validated my need – to continue to pursue good and happy things, even as I struggle to help my Jessica fight her cancer. She’d had a restless night, so, finding myself awake at dawn’s early light, I picked up my camera and headed for my garden.   Here is the photograph and her comment:

PKL – No sleep last night meant I was up to catch the best light with my spring perennials. Here is a close-up of one of my favorites, pulmonaria. Its little pink buds open magically to blue flowers and I love the fuzzy silver-dappled green leaves, too.

Marti – You have the ability to see beauty in the worst of times, a gift, far more than a skill.

I always believed in the monster under the bed, just never thought I would come to know what it really looks like. It is the cancer – the pain and the fear it inflicts -within my child. I also know, in spite of (or as a result of) her autism, she sees the beauty in herself and that emboldens her to fight it. 

Seeing beauty is a gift to be celebrated and nurtured.  Jessica understands. She is showing me that life is to be enjoyed, relished – not merely trudged through, but danced.  It is that lesson from my daughter Jessica, articulated so well by my dear friend Marti, that I honor and respect by continuing to seek and celebrate the beauty in the world.

My sweet daughter Jessica, in the worst of times, you are still and always beautiful.

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6 responses

13 04 2010
Jen Daggs

Wow! Just Wow! To the photo, the beauty of the flower and most importantly to the beauty that you find in the world around you. You are a very inspiring woman, Paula. The grace with which you see the world is also how you are managing through such a difficult time. You amaze me! -Jen

13 04 2010
asdmommy

I think your SIL is right. Aside from an ability to see beauty, you have an uncanny ability to write beautifully as well.

13 04 2010
Jean

I did not see the photo or comment, so I’m glad you posted it here. I think there’s something in us as mothers that gives us the uncanny strength to look fear straight in the eye when it comes to our children. It’s built-in, and we don’t question it. Fear – you don’t stand a chance.

13 04 2010
Erin

Paula, Your love is the beauty of your daughters life.
“Nothing is more beautiful to see than the love we feel” E.K..

13 04 2010
Wendy

There is a transformation that occurs in every woman’s life when she becomes a mother which is awe-inspiring. A mother rejoices in their child’s success, and is in anguish when their child struggles. Having no children of my own I cannot understand this transformation first hand; however, having watched so many of the people I love go through this incredibly life-changing transformation, I can only feel humbled as I watch their capacity to love and protect their child grow beyond measure. There is no greater vocation, for it is not a “job,” than that of a mother.

From the moment she was born, I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to watch the transformation that Jessica has brought about in you. The trials, which I cannot even begin to fathom, have been great, but the love is greater and will endure long after the trials have dissipated.

Jessica has always been and always will be beautiful. So are you my friend. So are you.

22 04 2010
Marti

Absolutely beautifully written and the photo is award winning. The monster under the bed is a perfect analogy. It just doesn’t make sense, it isn’t fair, period.

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