Our Greatest Masterpieces

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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Last year, I traveled to Chicago and saw the masterpiece “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” The artist, Georges Seurat, captured a beautiful scene utilizing a technique known as pointillism. Each dot contributes to the complete work of art. To leave anything out is to change the original intention of the painter. Everything must be included: each dot, each stroke, every speck of color, all adding to the rich contextual landscape that makes the picture amazing.

We are like Seurat’s painting. The canvases of our lives weave together rich colors that can only be understood when seen as a full painting. Every dot removed hides details that define our most authentic selves. To take away from the masterpiece of our lives is to hide the rich gifts with which we are blessed.

As I stood in front of the painting, I thought of my boys and the amazing tapestry that displays vibrant colors, each dot signifying a part of who they are. Sometimes I get bogged down while looking at the pieces of the painting that reflect hemophilia. Attention to a bleed or the discovery of a new treatment plan causes me to focus on a tiny part of the masterpiece. I can’t see the complete work until I step back and discover the beauty of the entire painting.

I know that many times I am guilty of focusing on hemophilia and forgetting to listen to “this need” or “that activity.” Many times, I am right to set my sight solely on the treatment of a bleeding episode, or pain in a joint due to wear and tear in target joints. My son needs medical attention, and often I am the one who must help. I am my boys’ best advocate; therefore, I must zoom in and take care of the situation.

After treating, never forget to take in the complete picture. Enjoy these fantastic people who, like it or not, have a chronic illness. The trick is not to let the disorder define the relationship. My sons enjoy forgetting, if only for a moment, that they have a significant health issue that must be treated on a regular basis. I can help bring some “normalcy” into their world in the simplest of ways. For us, it’s all about good talks over ice cream. These moments are so important to me that I call them sacred (set apart).

One of my favorite movies is “The Cider House Rules.” In one scene, Dr. Larch is writing his favorite student, Homer Wells, a letter. In it, he writes, “You are my greatest masterpiece.” In my life, this is my belief about my sons. Take a few moments to step back and enjoy the incredible work of art known as our children. Stop and look at the beauty that is shown in their faces and the rest of the tableau. It leaves me breathless.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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