i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

I watered the plant today.

The day I found out I had malignant melanoma on the back of my left calf, Feb 29, 2012,  I wanted to buy myself flowers. I walked through the florists, looking at  the bright colors, rich smells, vivid greens. I did not buy any flowers. I bought a three-inch flat cactus in a 3 inch clay pot. The cactus was how I felt. Prickly, not pretty. Dull, not vivid.

I placed the plant on the table by the window in the living room.  Today when I was dusting, I noticed the plant. It had changed. It had grown, It had new life. A spike growing out of the top. One hundred and eighty-three days after I bought the plant –  one hundred and eighty-three days after the nurse told me on the phone that I had cancer –  the plant had become beautiful.

I have a scar on the back of leg where the melanoma was. New cells have knit together the slash in my leg where the skin was cut open, the cancer cells cut out.

Beauty from ashes. Hope where there was none. Joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair.

I watered the plant today.




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

  • Yes, just like the plant, you have grown, you have changed, you have new life. Good for you.

  • I don’t come here often enough to read what you have written…such meaningful words of wisdom….you are something else!!!!

    • pamelahodges

      A compliment from my mother is something I treasure. Thank you Mom.

      • Michelle Rusk

        I agree with you Mom! You are a treasure and I am so glad I found you when we were little and have got to keep you in my life and heart. ,

  • Robin Patrick

    Lovely meaningful words. You watered more than the plant with them.

    • pamelahodges

      Thank you Robin. I miss your smiling face.

  • I love the cactus – it’s not prickly and dull – it’s unique – just like you. 🙂