THE STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING OF THE BLUE LADY

THE

THE DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK MEDICAL CENTER ART PROGRAM

OFFERS ARTISTS THE VENUE AND VISIBILITY TO SHOW THEIR WORK TO A COMMUNITY OF MEDICAL STAFF, HOSPITALITY, ADMINISTRATIVE, AND ALL THE SUPPORTING EMPLOYEES AT THE MEDICAL CENTER. THAT OPPORTUNITY STANDS ALONE IN IMPORTANCE. WHAT IS OUTSTANDING IS,

THE DEEPER MISSION OF THE ART PROGRAM

FOCUSES THE ATTENTION THE PATIENTS, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, AND EVERY PERSON WHO ENTERS THE MEDICAL CENTER. I KNOW BECAUSE MY HUSBAND AND I WERE ITS RECIPIENT.

THIS IS MY STORY

IN NOVEMBER OF 2000, LEBANON, NH, BECAME THE SECOND HOME FOR MY HUSBAND AND ME AFTER HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH ESOPHAGEAL CANCER, A BRUTAL DISEASE. OUR MOST TRAVELED PATH WAS THE NORRIS COTTON CANCER CENTER CORRIDOR. IT WAS NOT JUST ANY RUN OF THE MILL HOSPITAL CORRIDOR.

THE ROTATING ART GALLERY ALWAYS GAVE US A DIFFERENT FOCUS.

OFTEN MY HUSBAND SAID, “YOUR PAINTINGS SHOULD HANG HERE.” I CHUCKLED. WE DIDN’T SPEAK ABOUT CANCER.

IN JANUARY 2003 CAME THE WORDS NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR

WE ARE SORRY TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR CANCER HAS RETURNED. THERE IS NO CURE. WE CAN OFFER YOU A COMPREHENSIVE PALLIATIVE CARE PROGRAM TO SUPPORT QUALITY OF LIFE AND KEEP THE CANCER AT BAY WHILE YOU MEET STATED GOALS.

“I WILL FIGHT”, MY HUSBANDS IMMEDIATE RESPONSE.

WE ENTERED THE PROGRAM. FOR THE NEXT FIVE MONTHS, THE PALLIATIVE CARE TEAM WAS AS GOOD AS ITS PROMISE TO KEEP THE CANCER AT BAY, AND HELPED US PREPARE TO TRAVEL HOME TO SWITZERLAND ONCE MORE AND UPON RETURN PREPARE FOR OUR YOUNGEST SON’S WEDDING.

HOME FROM SWITZERLAND FOLLOWED BY THE JOYOUS JUNE 2003 WEDDING CELEBRATION, AND THEN,

CANCER STEPPED UP ITS AGGRESSION. OUR TOP PRIORITY WAS

MY HUSBAND’S COMFORT, PAIN MANAGEMENT, AND COMPASSION. THE PALLIATIVE CARE TEAM DID AS PROMISED.

ROOM 107 – OUR LAST HOME SUPPORTED BY

THE PALLIATIVE CARE TEAM AND FLOOR NURSING STAFF, WHO SHOWED ME WHERE TO FIND A COT, THE KITCHEN, FOR WHATEVER WE NEEDED. WE WELCOMED FAMILY AND FRIENDS, TOLD STORIES, SANG, HAD A PICNIC, AND CELEBRATED LIFE WITH MY HUSBAND. LOVE FILLED OUR HOME.

ONE MORNING, I DIDN’T FEEL VERY BRAVE FOR WHAT WAS COMING

MY HUSBAND SAID TO ME, “IT IS GOOD FOR YOU TO GO OUTSIDE AND WALK THE GARDENS.” I DID.

THE

THE BLUE LADY SCULPTURE STOOD WITH

HER HANDS PLACED ON HER HIPS AND HER CHIN-UP. HER STRONG STANCE DREW ME IN. I SPOKE TO HER NOT CARING IF ANYONE NOTICED. “YOU TOO SEEM TO STAND AGAINST TROUBLE THREATENING YOUR WORLD.”

SUDDENLY, I REMEMBERED THE ONE REQUEST

MY HUSBAND MADE OF ME AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS CANCER JOURNEY, “YOU MUST BE BRAVE.”

  

I COULD NOT CHANGE WHAT WAS COMING, BUT I WALKED AWAY

CARRYING THE SCULPTURE’S VISUAL SYMBOL OF COURAGE AND RETURNED TO MY HUSBAND WHOSE COURAGE AND FAITH HAD ONLY GROWN STRONGER.

NOW

NOW I HELD IN MY HAND GOD’S PROMISE

TO UNDERPIN MY COURAGE AND HONOR THE REQUEST,”YOU MUST BE BRAVE.” GOD KEPT HIS PROMISE ON THAT DAY WHEN HE GAVE ME THE WORDS TO TAKE MY MOUNTAINEER HUSBAND ON OUR LAST CLIMB TOGETHER WHERE ON THE SUMMIT HE CLIMBED HIGHER INTO GOD’S HANDS.

*

THE PUBLICITY POSTER

THE INVITATION TO EXHIBIT MY WORK IN THE 2015 SUMMER ART EXHIBITION

THE ART DIRECTOR HUNG TWENTY-SIX OF MY PAINTINGS; INCLUDING THE BLUE LADY AND MY STORY, I THINK IT WOULD BE WERNER’S TURN TO SMILE.

THE DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK MEDICAL CENTER PURCHASED, THE BLUE LADY PASTEL PAINTING AND MY STORY. SHE HANGS ON THE WALL IN THE NORTH ENTRANCE TO THE CANCER CENTER. 

*

THE DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK MEDICAL CENTER’S ART PROGRAM SERVED ITS DEEPER PURPOSE DURING MY JOURNEY WITH WERNER.

 IT MINISTERED TO MY EMOTIONAL STRESS BY THE OFFERING OF MOMENTS TO STEP AWAY FROM ALL THINGS MEDICAL.  A THOUGHTFUL EXTENSION OF COMPREHENSIVE CARE FOR PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

*

 ART WITH PURPOSE, FOR BEAUTY, FOR JOY, AND THOUGHT THROUGH VISUAL EXPRESSION, AND FOR A DEEPER PURPOSE – FOR HEALING.

Leave a Reply