Wednesday, June 01, 2011

LOVE the rotating art at OHSU

While not the most gorgeous of paintings. this wall size piece caught my eye because of the vibrant color, it is large, and there is definitely meaning in it. I discovered it with my sister when I was venturing around on my walk to go outside. At that stage I still very much had distorted vision so that is why I really like the largeness which helps me pick up on the detail. The more I gazed at this painting, the more I was drawn in and details started to pop out at me.

By the way, that is one of the things I love about scuba diving. If you hover in front of a niche of life long enough, all these little creatures you did not notice at first start to appear before you. HAHA I think photographers love diving with me because I get excited about finding things and will point them out to people or start swimming around to get people to come over. I am not too shabby at my species identification either as my background is in teaching and science with special interest in marine biology.

Getting back to the painting........Despite the rugged tom boyishness I often exhibit, ever since I was a little girl I have enjoyed tea parties. As a matter of fact, I was enthralled by the diversity of hats the lady guests wore to the royal wedding (and yes I was incredibly excited to watch the wedding taking place while working out on the cardio machine at the gym!). The hats intrigued me so much that I began to dream of holding a special tea party where we all wear the most creative hats that we can find or make as a future fundraiser. It can grow and develop but immediately my vision was to have a little gathering on the deck of our home this summer to celebrate my accomplishment of surviving the surgery - An "I made it!" party.

Reflecting on my thought after the second surgery, I came to the conclusion that any kind of surgery is a REALLY big deal to face and go through. We celebrate all these happy moments, birthdays, weddings, babies, graduations, new homes, new jobs but I think that making it through a major medical trauma is an incredible achievement one should rightfully celebrate which should not just be a passing sigh of relief. Like "Wow! Holy crap you made it!" similar to conquering a HUGE mountain such as Everest.

Don't worry all! You do not need to bring gifts. I have been spoiled enough for this surgery. If you REALLY feel compelled to give something, I will happily accept donations to our charity the "HELP STOP NF" foundation with the goal to help improve the lives of those living with NF2 through awareness, education, and supporting NF2 research. For those nearby, just come have a relaxing afternoon tea time with me enjoying life in the sun with butterflies and birds flying around surrounded by a natural style NW landscape. My mother-in-law gave me a BEAUTIFUL tea set painted with lovely butterflies that I am craving to use for a special occasion!

The deck, made of a special wood called IPE as the prior deck was rotting with holes in it, is one of the first improvements my husband made to our home back in 2004. He designed and built it himself with the help of a carpenter coworker of his at the time, Craig, and Craig's brother Brett, Harley also expanded it to extend fully across the front of the house whereas there were only shaky wooden stairs going up to the front door before.

Originally the plan was that I was going to help with the building process which I DID help with the HUGE tearing down and transplantation of 17 large trees and shrubs beforehand in May 2004. However, I had radiosurgery (my first treatment) in July 2004 and became so ill that I questioned whether or not I was going to live .It crossed my mind of whether I could get by without a home nurse to help me. It was a scary time. When Craig was over helping Harley one day, I remember getting mad because I was frustrated the house was getting terribly messy. I was too sick to keep up. Between working 12 hour rotating shifts of either 6 am to 6 pm or 6 pm to 6 am AND spending all his spare moments working on our enormous deck, Harley had no extra time or energy to do the cleaning that I was unable to do because standing up made me too dizzy or cause me to collapse. Angrily I shouted out "I need help. I think I am dying here!"

Fortunately I pulled through and THANK GOD my husband lovingly made this deck just in time! It is one of the first adaptations he has made to our home to accommodate my continually changing life with NF2. The stairs are a wonderful and safe single set with no turns and about the best handrails I have seen on a deck which I have used numerous times over the years. (for photos of the deck you can check back in the archives in May 2009 when we had a birthday party for my dad.) As the months progressed post radiosurgery my balance became worsened to the degree the old stairs and deck would have been dangerous causing me to seriously hurt myself. Further, having a large and safe outdoor space offered me a wonderful space outside to recover in peace with the dogs enjoying the summer sun, trees swaying in the breeze, puffy clouds overhead, butterflies fluttering by, and flowers blooming in pots on the deck which were easy for me to take care of.

After standing there looking deeper into this painting like an optical illusion, fun little details telling the story of the painting began to jump out. It was so interesting to me that I had to take pictures to capture its essence to keep in my memory. I hope you enjoy them too! :)

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