Wednesday, September 9, 2009

August BJP Done!

Here is my last month of the BJP project, Hope. Hope is what keeps you going when all other avenues seem shut off. Hope is wishing to stay alive long enough to see your children grow up. Hope is wishing not for a cure, but for treatment that will keep you comfortable and functional. Hope changes constantly, but it never gives up.

Ann drove a 10 year old car 30 miles each way to dialysis because she believed that the director of the program had saved her life (this was a common belief of many patients, I learned). She raised 3 children, who were her pride and joy, and cleaned houses to earn money. Ann was the most generous person I ever met. She would stop if she saw a homeless person to make sure they got a meal or had a blanket. She had next to nothing herself, but she always considered herself more fortunate than others.

Ann had 2 sons and a daughter, Maria. Her hope was to see them graduate first high school and then college. At the time I met Ann, her daughter, Maria, was a college freshman. She often came over from her dorm to sit with her mother for the 3 hours of dialysis. I watched Maria grow up to be a lovely young woman, and I was privileged to be at her wedding and to share in the joy when her 2 daughters were born.

Faith was another dialysis patient whom I bonded with. She worked at the university, although it became increasingly more difficult to do so over the years. We used to have such lively conversations about anything and everything and we both shared a love of crafts.

Ann and Faith both died from health complications. Maria died when she was 32 from an aneurism caused by her kidney disease. A mariachi band played at her funeral. It's hard to be sad when a mariachi band plays, but it was also hard to be happy knowing she was so young and that her 2 children, who were her pride and joy, may never remember her.

From these incredible women, Ann, Maria, and Faith, I learned to never give up hope, and that while hope changes all the time, there is always something new to hope for.

(Thank you to Susan E. for blogging in a style that I have borrowed for this entry. You are an inspiration!)


Anne Marie - Toronto said...

I love the message and I love the piece. Congrats on finishing!

KV said...

Lovely piece, Susan, and a wonderful tribute to those women. Life brings us so many blessings in the folks we meet, doesn't it?

Kathy V in NM

Carol said...

When I saw the pic on the BJP blog, I thought WOW, nice piece. Then clicked the link and found it was yours. I hadn't got to your blog in my roll yet. Anyway, Nice piece of beading.

Yes, I agree that hope is what keeps us going and it is ever changing. As we reach one plateau, we hope for the next. Remember, I did a piece on hope. The sun always represents my hope. There are a lot of things to think about this post. The experiences you had meeting and knowing these women, and also what your connection to them meant to them at a time when they needed encouragement and support. We don't always realize the profound effect we have on others, but its evident that you had that effect. You are a lucky person, some never do.

XX, Carol

Marty S said...

A lovely page and a lovely tribute to the three women. Will you share this with Maria's children?
Marty S
Crackpot Beader

Brenda said...

When I saw your page I fell in love with the colors you used together.
Now after reading your story the page is so much more.
Thank you for sharing your story.

beadbabe49 said...

Wonderful story behind the piece...tanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

Robin said...

What a beautiful way to represent the concept of hope and your experiences with these three women who needed hope to live longer and better lives. As Carol says, your support, encouragement and involvement with them no doubt contributed to their ability to maintain hope. This is a lovely piece, Susan... the way you did the large flower, the concentric rings of the design and the flower/leaf arrangements are so pleasing and optimistic! I like Susan E's style too and it's perfect for this post. Hugs, R

pam T said...

gorgeous beading and beautiful post! Yay, you're done!

Liu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wileybead said...

You work and your words have given me hope. Your words stuck such a cord. They will stay with me forever. What a beautiful tribute to your friends.

Plays with Needles said...

I believe that Ann, Marie and Hope all continue to live on through you and your story. It really is a circle of life and we are all giving and receiving -- sometimes not even realizing which role we're playing. To me, your big blue flower is happiness and joy and must have been how these three women felt to be around you. You have a truly genuine gift that you recognize not only what you are giving through your work but what you are receiving as well. I loved your post. I appreciate that you "borrowed" my style -- but I'd prefer to think that you have had the style all along -- that perhaps my openness just led you to feel more comfortable being open as well?? Bead Inspired is right. xoxo Susan