Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Rainbow Prayer Flag
In July 1996, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This news was devastating because I never thought I would get cancer with my healthy lifestyle. I live with my husband and four adopted kids in a homemade cabin in the Lolo National Forest in Western Montana, where we raise goats and chickens. After my diagnosis, my life went topsy-turvy. The shed that my husband and I had overhauled to be my menopause room became my cancer-recovery room instead. My shed became known as The Pouting Shed, where I went to escape, to sleep, to paint, to write and to pray.
Some of my survivor sisters urged me to join an art program, where I wrote and painted my disease, my treatment and my cure. I sewed dozens of prayer flags and strung them around my Pouting Shed and garden.
Rainbow Prayer Flag was created from a collection of beads or baubles from many of my cancer sisters. I sewed them onto the flag with their initials and then decorated them. I think of each bead as holding a prayer -- for those who have gone through the cancer experience and for those just beginning. The black-and-white background represents the darkness and light in the world with the circular form symbolizing the eternal circle of life. The colors of the rainbow are a reminder of God in all His glory, who is in charge of this bewildering journey and the final outcome.