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Thunder Cloud Above My Head

There has always been a thunder-cloud above my head. A  shadow, a threat. The  cloud followed me from Canada to Japan –   through immigration and a fiancée visa to America. The cloud floated about the moving van when we moved from California  to Pennsylvania.  A storm cloud of family genetics waiting to rain on my life. Uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, parents, my brother, all touched by cancer.

I didn’t wait passively. I played defense. I attempted to catch the invaders when they landed, before they had a chance to advance and replicate. I read articles on the Mayo Clinic web-site about breast cancer prevention. I exercised because my chances of breast cancer decreased if I did.  I looked at pictures of moles to be able to recognize the enemy. I regularly checked the moles on my skin. Last week the dermatologist cut off an advance party of melanoma that had invaded a mole on  my leg. My thunder-cloud had burst.  Cancer had touched me.

Last week friends touched me with prayer. They laid hands on me and  prayed,  quoting from Psalm 139.  13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

And I thought, “No. I am not wonderfully made. I have cancer.”

And then through tears, I realized David, who wrote the Psalm, was right. God doesn’t make mistakes.  He didn’t make a mistake with me.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • I just finished reading Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns. One of the people profiled in the book is fond of saying, “God don’t make mistakes,” and every time she said it, I’d have a little push-back internally, resistance to that idea, thinking surely some of the things that happened in her life and around her couldn’t be part of any divine plan. But then I thought of how different she would have been without those things happening, how each of those trials shaped the person I was reading about, someone I found completely warm and endearing. I have to hope that the same is true for all of us. Thank you for sharing this powerful and beautifully-written slice.

    • I understand the resistance to the idea. Life just doesn’t always make sense. I do know that God loves me, and on most days that is enough.

      • Oh, I like that. I’m so glad the SOL challenge has introduced me to you and your blog.

  • I was deeply touched by this slice. Your beginning was so intriguing I was in awe and yet filled with a sense of dread as to what was coming. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Paul

    I love the subtle connection between the thunder cloud and your tears in the end. Your words are “fearfully and wonderfully made” indeed — a mix of careful craft and strength of inner spirit. Very moving to read and contemplate. Thank you.

  • Michelle

    My dear friend, you have always been eloquent! Thank you for sharing your journey. There have been thunderclouds, but you have always had sunlight breaking as the gift that comes with thunderclouds is an appreciation from day to day of God’s gifts to us as people we love and who love us. Things usually aren’t overlooked – as we appreciate the beauty around us in a snowflake or the large in a mountain. Thunderclouds mean you learn to tell people how you feel – without procrastinating until it’s the “right” time. Thunderclouds mean you live each day instead of existing. I’ve never known you in your entire life from when we were children until now for you to sit back and not be engaged in everything around you. I hope and pray that this is just a temporary situation and that you will be able to look back on it as just a short cloudburst on the wonderful journey that is your life. You will have many loving thoughts sent your way as you have always had the gift to inspire that love towards you. Big Hugs. Michelle

  • I love that scripture. It always makes me think of my first son who died shortly after he was born. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

  • Your writing is so powerful and touching. There is so much strength in your voice. By living this life and being vigilant you have caught it early and that is so important.

    • Good Morning elsie. Thank you for your encouragement. Did the moles come back? I would like updates on the battle. And did you find anything on your walk today?

      • The moles have not made it to our yard (they still reside in the common ground of the subdivision. We will be watching for signs.
        As for the walk, I took pictures for a future post. Nothing interesting on the road today.