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Maya’s Perfect Pick


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Adult Painting & Other Media (age 18+)

Creating art has always been a huge part of my life, but in recent years it has given me great emotional strength. In some ways, I’ve been given a unique opportunity in this life. I’ve been forced to face mortality on two fronts. My own when doctors were baffled by my symptoms and my health declined over a 3-year period. Death was a real possibility. Secondly, the passing of my husband in April 2011 in a traffic accident. I learned a great deal about myself–that I can survive whatever life throws at me. Both chronic illness and loss of a loved one bring pain and mourning. Losing one’s ability to live the life they had planned. Whether it’s the physical ability to do favorite activities or missing the person you had planned to do them with, your life is permanently altered. I’ve watched other people around me, floundering. Not knowing what they were meant to do. Not knowing what makes them happy or where their passion lies. I’ve always known and realized how fortunate I was to know. It was simple for me. I am an artist.

When I was sick and still without a diagnosis, I kept painting even when my hands shook so bad that the brush skipped over the board. I practically moved my studio into a hospital room to the amusement of the doctors working on my case. It was a needed escape from the pain and worry. After my husband died, I kept painting. It brought joy back in the midst of loss. Gave me purpose. Gave me self-worth.

By Rebecca Zook

Age: 43
Disease: CVID (Common Variable Immunodeficiency), autoimmune hives, autoi
Submissions: 13
Date: February 23, 2012
City: Granbury
State: Texas