I have known Kim for many years; we were best friends at age 12 before she moved away. We kept in contact throughout the years by writing letters and talking on the phone. She seemed to be loving life in Chicago. A few of us have/will experience some rough times in life whether that be divorce, death, cancer or whatever it may be. When you or a friend is going through some hard times in life you always look for someone who went through something similar to you because they can relate. Kim went through this hard time over two years ago. I saw she had a tattoo on her arm and asked her to explain to me the meaning behind it in her words…
“I knew I wanted one on my arm and I knew I’d be stamped by God. I’d been wanting the word “beloved” for awhile but colors and visuals started to swarm my mind. There are several things that created this tattoo. It started with this small group I did with my best friend in Chicago called Art and the Heart, where we would read scripture and pray together and paint whatever came to our hearts or minds. I started to develop a sense of power through color and visuals. One morning I was listening to my one of my favorite bands, Sufjan Stevens, and I started painting. I knew I wanted to use the color blue but didn’t know what I’d paint. I just kept praying and asking God to guide me. In the end it was a bluebird. I looked up the symbolism for blue and it symbolized power in your voice and I was slowly regaining my voice after several hard, tragic years. A bluebird was a return to hope for me. I took my first trip by myself after this hard time in April of 2015. It was much more of a heart wrenching week of torture than I anticipated. It was a week of grieving and finally cutting out the parts that needed cut out for my growth going forward, and grieving the loss that needed grieved. I actually hated my trip. I saw bluebonnets everywhere and it killed me. It hurt my heart because wild flowers made me keep hearing this song over and over in my head, “you belong among the wild flowers. You belong in a boat out at sea. Sail away kill off the hours. You belong somewhere you feel free” by Tom petty and it was significant for me. So God took me to a bluebonnet reserve, because he had a plan for me. I walked among the bluebonnet field for hours and cried. When I sat down on a rock at the end of the field, I turned around and heard God tell me I was as beautiful as these bluebonnets and he Placed me among the wild flowers- That I do belong among them because I am one of them. It was reassurance immediately that he cares for me in such a deep way and that he sees me, he saw my pain, he saw my beauty, and he placed me where I would feel his presence. I knew I wanted a bluebird of hope filled with bluebonnets. When I see it, I know that he changed me for good, that there was a return to hope promised to me, and that he calls me beautiful.”
Enter Steven. Kim and Steven met in January at a mutual friend’s birthday party and have been talking for hours every day since. Steven has been through some hard times too. He dealt with having a brain tumor over two years ago and had surgery to remove it. He was having lots of headaches and decided to get it checked out. That’s when the news hit him that he had brain cancer. He survived the surgery, recovery and living life again to the fullest. Now the hard times are back, but this time he has Kim at his side. Steven will be having brain surgery at the end of the month/early August to remove a brain tumor. Kim and Steven wanted to have photos of them taken before the surgery, hair loss and recovery.
I hope I documented their love and joy for each other just like they had hoped. Please keep Steven and Kim in your prayers during this hard time.