"Tamara's Angels" Pendant
"Tamara's Angels" Pendant
Artist: Jaqueline Carmody
Inspiration: Tamara Grimstad
Jaqueline Carmody's Artist Statement:
Tamara and I were able to connect from our first zoom call. Her positive attitude and sense of humor were vibrant, even through the computer screen! As I got to know Tamara and listened to her story, I began to see images, colors, marks and different patterns. I wasn’t sure what to make of these images, but I began to sketch them and keep a creative sketch journal of what was coming up for me. Tamara talked about her diagnosis and her treatment, but the most interesting part of her story was when she began to tell me about her “Angels.”
Tamara has lost many loved ones in her life, but the energy of these people continues to surround her with love and support. After reflecting on the chats that Tamara and I had, I realized that these symbols, images, and patterns that were coming to me were the positive energies of Tamara's “Angels.” When observing the piece of artwork, I hope that the viewer can feel the movement and love throughout the piece. Each pattern and line is different, but holds its own identity and purpose. All of the Angels flow together to continue loving and supporting Tamara.
Lastly- Tamara had discussed how she does NOT like the color pink. I had made several notes to myself to avoid this color when creating the piece. When the artwork was complete, I noticed that “pink” had snuck in! I had no memory of how this “pink “ got on the canvas. Later on, Tamara had then told me how her mother (one of her Angels) always loved the color pink. Her mother would often sneak it into the blankets that she would knit.
Life has a way of throwing you curveballs when you least expect them and they are not always pleasant. I’m a firm believer that in life there are many peaks and valleys, and without the valleys you will never appreciate the peaks.
Tamara's Twist On Cancer:
You never forget when you hear the words, “You have cancer.” Mine was not the typical journey into this terrifying space because I didn’t know I had cancer until I woke up from surgery. I actually didn’t know I had it until one friend stood beside my bed holding my hand and the other buzzed around the room fixing things. Something was not right. I quietly turned to Deb and asked, “Do I have cancer?” And she held tightly to my hand and nodded yes. And so, it began.
Cancer is hard. Cancer is horrible. Cancer is scary. But there were so many beautiful things that came to fruition during this journey. The most humbling was the love that suddenly enveloped it. It was humbling and awe-inspiring and it carried me through the hard times. And it was during these times that I learned my greatest lessons.
Lesson #1 This wasn’t my journey through cancer. It was our journey. There was not one day I carried the weight of this alone. My friends and family were suddenly facing the possible loss of someone they loved. They carried the weight of that with them as they pushed, dragged and charmed me through the pain, I did not know the body was capable of feeling. The struggle I had with the thought of pouring poison into my body. They were with me for every doctor appointment before surgery and after. They were waiting in the waiting room for five hours as the surgeons unstuck a mass that covered my entire abdomen. Then, the call to learn the hard truth that baby Huey was in fact cancer. They soothed me when I cried and cleaned up behind me when I was sick. They took me to every chemotherapy treatment and sat happily chatting and teasing, as my body drank this cocktail that promised more time. They were at every appointment I was too scared to go to alone after treatments. They shaved my head and they told me I was beautiful. They sent cards full of love and encouraging words. They visited and just spent time with me. Walked my dogs, did yoga, gave me gifts and got me out before each treatment, so I had something to smile about. They slept over on treatment days. They tried to hide the shock of seeing me as more and more hair fell out and never made me feel self-conscious or uncomfortable.
You don’t get over the words, “you have cancer” for a very long time, it turns out. The fear lives on in the deepest darkest parts of you. Every pain has you wondering, are you back? During it all they were always there giving me strength, a smile and a nudge to get to the next day. A little farther down the path on our journey forward.
I am now in my second year of remission from ovarian cancer. I cannot technically say I am a survivor for five years. My body is now missing a few parts and it shows the scars of a war well fought and won. Since January 23, 2019, I have worried about its return. This past winter I was gripped in the fear of a recurrence that thankfully turned out to be a false alarm. Maybe the lesson in this was to let me experience the deep-in-your belly fear that I was denied in 2019. Through all the ups and downs my ever-faithful friends worried with me and encouraged me to keep the faith. The day I met my new oncologist and she gave me the news I was all clear, I sat outside and I cried for the innocence of good health that seemed to be lost. I was humbled and grateful that once again I was spared. My cancer is a beast and I am luckier than many going down the path I was on.
Lesson #2 Don’t ignore your body. It knows when something is not right. So do you. Our journey through cancer did not start the way I have seen it play out in the movies or on TV. There was no great pain, just subtle changes and something strange. It started with the angels above forcing me down a path I did not normally take. I didn’t see doctors. I used homeopathic medicines. They did not stop. I heard them. I ignored them, but they did not stop. I am grateful. I am blessed. My army of angels from above guided me and my army of angels here on earth got me over the hurdles.
Lesson # 3 It’s okay to accept help and never wait to tell someone you love them. So, now as a survivor, I am more willing to take a helping hand when offered. I tell people that I love them just because I can. They stepped up and gave their time freely and until the day I die, I will forever be humbled by what each of them has done. And as horrible as cancer was, it gave me the sweetest gift. It gave me time with friends that I didn’t normally get. So much love.
Take a look at our beautiful hand crafted circular pedants, which can be made with your very own photo, image or design plus accompanying message card.
Made from stainless steel they are available in both polished steel or polished gold and make an ideal and unique gift.
Photo's capture those special moments so, why not turn your picture or message into a superb gift that will be cherished for ever.
Our pendants make a great gift for yourself or your loved one and, are perfect for anniversaries, Christmas, birthdays and many more special occasions.
Luxury Military Ball Chain Necklace available in 2 sizes 18" or 24" with clasp or with ladies box chain 18" to 24" extendable.
- Made from 316 stainless steel
- Available in polished steel or polished gold
- Military ball chain 18" or 24" or ladies chain 18" to 23" box chain extendable
- Image coated with Opti Coat for long lasting protection
- Pendant Size 1.4" (35mm)