Profiles in Courage

Art, Inspiration, Leadership, Commitment

My tiny colorful rocks have been driving with me through my life, sitting in the black cup holder  below my elbow in my black car. Such a contrast to my car and my color pallet, where everything is always black, grey, red and now camel; but mostly black (and stripes).

In 1998, when Carrie Kubi-somthing was diagnosed with breast cancer (we were both in our twenties at the time) J.B. started chiding me about always wearing black, never a color. Carrie's diagnosis and treatment seemed so scary, so far away. As I look back, it was far away both figuratively and physically. The disease and its process fascinated me. I always wondered what it would be like for me should I be in her shoes one day. I remember her long hair, I remember it cut short, I remember her amazing boyfriend shaved his head and hers, and I remember her wig. I remember the make-shift bed in her office for her naps. I wondered how I'd handle it if someday I were affected. I wondered if I would be as lucky as she with all the love support and commitment around her, and my own fabulous Mike.

Carrie got better. She married Mike, the fabulous boyfriend that took care of her; they had a baby girl, a friend recently told me. That friend also told me her cancer came back. I just don't know how the story ends...I guess it never really will, we just keep adding chapters to our lives. Then after we leave the earth, perhaps a sequel. I wish I knew where she was. I wish I could hug her.

So fast forward many years.

Here I am sitting in my art studio my cloud, writing about small, colorful clay rocks, rushing around trying to get stuff ready for an art show this weekend - all the while, waiting for my brother to call and tell me his wife has gone into labor (first baby). I'm here because I, too, had cancer. I am here because I have an amazing family that loves me, a fabulous boyfriend that loves me (he's my Mike), old and new friends that I cherish. I am here because of me. I am here because of the commitment from others to me and a commitment to myself. I am committed to really live. As I reread the chapters in my life called "Carrie K-something", and see myself in her shoes, I realize I am just as lucky (if not luckier) as she was/is ... who knew!!!

I guess I love my rock colors because they represent my colorful spirit, imagination, quirkiness, and life. They are like little surprises that you find on my inside when you get to know me. So, there J.B., I don't need to wear color!

My word is COMMITMENT.

It's synonymous with my journey. It is what I see in me and around myself and others during and after the fight. The rocks symbolize the commitment to ourselves and from others. Never give up. My nephew that's going to be born soon will see his auntie with her new short, black, curly hair!

Dominique