Forever Reminders

StickyNote

I have a reminder forever attached to my body. A sticky-note, if you will, to remind me of something or things very important. Things I don’t ever want to forget. I see it multiple times a day. I re-dress it every four days. I clothe myself in particular ways so as to live most comfortably with it. I find myself all too often, worrying about what will happen if something goes wrong with it. I combat these worries with a very real and true gratitude for it.

I have another reminder on my body, right next to the sticky note,  but this one is more like a tattoo. A permanent mark down the middle of my torso, much like a jagged exclamation point which indeed exclaims a whole story. One line, expressing in perfect poetic distillation, a defining story which is still unfolding.

What is it these reminders say to me?

*That I am loved. Never before had I such a huge impression of being loved by God and others.

*That I am never alone. In the most dire of circumstances, I always have His presence and care.

*That I will always have what I need. Perhaps not what I want. But always what I need.

*That I am forever changed. For having seen His hand at work in my body and in my life.

Very few days go by that I don’t think about the story my sticky note and tattoo remind me of. But on certain days, I call them Remembering Days, it all comes rushing back, every detail, the good, the bad and the ugly.  It is all part of a wonderful story, a pilgrimage.  One which I’m grateful I survived. And one which I’m glad, in many ways, is over.

Yet the effects linger. The struggle now is how to live in light of all that has changed. The change feels more in the subterranean plates, rather than in the visibleness of my life. The change is imperceptible to others I’m sure, and perhaps evident only to me. For it is only myself, and my husband, who ever see my sticky note and tattoo.

But that’s what makes it precious. It was a gift to me. It is something I get to touch and care for on an ongoing basis as one would with the gift of a plant or a talent. It would not be good to forget about taking care of my sticky note. Nor would it be good to forget about the story, the words represented by that exclamation point on my belly. I will go on remembering. Perhaps that is how I’m to live now…just remembering all the love, the faithfulness, the provision granted me during that time. It is always with me. Every day. Permanent reminders of enduring truths.

In the last ten months since my third and final surgery, I haven’t felt very clear about what I want to do here on my blog. Indeed I’ve waffled back and forth between shutting it down altogether, just keeping a log of things I make, or writing thoughts on life and creativity as it seems my poor brain keeps pouring out. I’ve felt a little stymied by the thought that surely my musings cannot be beneficial to others. I typically do write them down in my journal, but the flow of getting them onto this blog , as I used to do in years past, has lagged. A very sweet and dear comment from a long-time reader on my last post has encouraged my lagging heart to be more brave and courageous in sharing. Thank you. Here is one place where I’ll remember. Here I will recall and remind myself and any who would like to read, all that I need to move forward in living, in creating, in seeing and making beauty. I welcome your presence here. Feel free to comment. Let’s remind each other of all that we need to forge the path ahead of us on our pilgrimage.

Artfully yours,

Jennifer

10 thoughts on “Forever Reminders

  1. margaret harrison says:

    I love hearing about you perceive God through your long and ongoing physical ordeal and how all that and God have made a mark on your heart.

  2. Elaine Magliacane says:

    I’m feeling a touch of guilt for not commenting more often on your blog… I read every post, and often am blessed spiritually or creatively by your musings here. I’m a knitter, a painter, a blogger and a cancer survivor… my reminder to be thankful for every day, is on my right side… where a surgeon removed my right kidney along with the lemon sized cancerous tumor inside six years ago. God bless you and I do hope you’ll continue here if it blesses you to do this blog, be assured others are blessed by it.

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      Oh there is no need for guilt at all Elaine! You are a dear to comment today and tell me of your “reminder”. I’m so glad you are here, creating and making beauty in the world! Many blessings to you!!

  3. Kristy Brenner says:

    I just shared “Seeing”‘on my Facebook page this week because it was such a wonderful antidote to all the icky-ness that seems ready to swamp the world. What I actually said was, “This brought tears to my eyes today. A small dose of tender feelings and good will to counter the recent horrors.”

    If writing your blog isn’t detrimental to you, then please keep at it. I’m guessing someone somewhere is getting just what they need from each post you make.

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      Thank you Kristy for this kind encouragement! I am renewed in my desire to offer my thoughts here, not only from such kind words as yours, but also because of my own need for it. When I write here and illustrate the thoughts, it becomes more impressed into my own mind and heart. I’m glad it offers an “antidote to all the icky-ness”…I love that!! Thank you for taking the time to comment today! I truly appreciate it. Many blessings to you and yours!

  4. Susan says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    I am a mom of 3 and live a fairly traditional life. I was watching a video of you story on you tube. I know I am a stranger but I am proud of you! Life can be so hard and I think people with your courage are paving the path for our children, creating more love and acceptance in this world. I admit to you, I do not want my children to secretly struggle with themselves as you did. I would prefer them growing up without complications but I worry they do not know I would accept them for who they are no matter what and support them through anything and everything. I honestly don’t know why I am writing all of this….. Enjoy your life, and positive energy will continue to see you through. Take care

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      Thank you for your kind thoughts Susan. I’m not sure what you tube video of my story you may have seen. I hope you have the right person. But I do receive your words grateful for your compassion and for taking time out of a busy life raising three kids (I have three also!) to comment here. May you have a beautiful, creative day today!

  5. Jane Wilson says:

    Oh, gosh, Jennifer, don’t stop blogging. Your words are always inspirational – for art AND heart. Blogging is so personal, though. One minute you feel you must share, then the next you feel overexposed. Maybe that’s the particular spontaneous personality of an artist. We are easily excited and love to share, but sometimes just like to hide. Our creative souls are all wrapped up in and affected by our lives, our health, our moods – which continually change. I’ll be happy for whatever words you put forth in the future. Keep in good health and happiness.

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      Jane, you describe this perfectly!! Spot on! It is indeed a convoluted clash of a desire to share and a desire to hide. But thank you for the encouragement to continue offering these thoughts. I feel as if I’ve now put my hand to the plow once again. Thank you for your ongoing visits here and for your encouragement! It means the world to me! Have a beautiful day Jane!

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