Author: Fran Padgett
Reviewed by: Anne Holmes for the NABBW
This beautiful book, a compilation of 30 poignant breast cancer survivor stories visually supported by author Fran Padgett’s stunning, original works of art, is her tribute to all women who have been “chosen by breast cancer,” as she herself has been.
After her diagnosis, Padgett launched a passionate mission to fund breast cancer research projects. She established The Weathervane Foundation, Inc., a Texas 501 (c) (3) – a non-profit organization dedicated to finding the cause and cure for breast cancer.
As Weathervane’s Executive Director, she has won many accolades in her community, but she hasn’t stopped there. A gifted artist, she says her cancer helped her to realize that she must make the most of every day – and this includes learning to delegate things like housework, that are not life priorities, so that she has time to follow her heart, pursue her dreams, and do the important things in life – like bringing the paintings in her head to life.
Fran says, “I’ll be a breast cancer survivor when I die of something else. In the meantime, I expect to be alive every day in every sense of the word.” This is her second book, and in it she offers the stories of women she has met in various ordinary places – at conventions, in coffee shops, neighborhood parks and shoe stores.
She turned their unique stories into paintings, and as the volume of paintings grew, they morphed into projects, like her “Gift of Time” series, a set of abstract works, each of which symbolically contain clock pieces.
Each “Time” piece carries the name of the woman who inspired it. “Gift of Time for Joan: Eyes of Swedish Blue,” for example, references Joan’s favorite color — the blue of her husband’s eyes — and features silvery beads and pearls to represent the people she’s helped in her career as a social worker.
Padgett’s book is filled with powerful stories supported by powerful art that both comforts and inspires. She is a woman on a mission: to extend a hand to every woman living with breast cancer through her talks, her books, her paintings, and the research funded by her foundation.
Readers will appreciate the honesty and artistry of this uplifting book, meshing just the right balance of raw emotion with soothing images. It is a wonderful tribute to all breast cancer survivors and a reminder that every woman’s journey is personal, with its own unique palette.