There’s an interesting story in the news today about a young woman in California who has painted the exterior of her home a bright seafoam green as a way to boost her spirits as she struggles with abdominal mesothelioma. The story is published in Today’s Local News, a community newspaper distributed free of charge to 75,000 homes in the five cities along the Highway 78 corridor – Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista, Calif.
According to the story, Rebekah Price was diagnosed with advanced mesothelioma in her abdomen a little more than two years ago. She underwent surgery and now flies to the National Institutes for Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, every four months for treatment. There is no cure for her mesothelioma, and Price knows that within five years after surgery the cancer can reappear.
When she purchased her house in Carlsbad, Calif., she first brightened the inside, painting the rooms in a variety of bold colors – gold, orange, purple, green, blue and pink. The colors cheer her up, the story reports, quoting Price as saying, “Life’s been pretty dark for a long time. I want color, you know?”
Unfortunately, the choice to paint the exterior of her home has raised the ire of some neighbors, who have harassed Price and her two daughters, the News reports. Twice, groups of teens have approached the house with the intent to vandalize it, and many times people have driven by yelling insults at her. They commonly tell her to “…go back to…Tijuana!”, a racially motivated reference to the bright colors sometimes favored in Hispanic decor.
Although the harrassment has been scary and discouraging, Price decided to take a lighthearted approach and recently threw a Mexian-themed party in her yard, complete with a mariachi band, traditional taqueria (taco stand) and low-rider autos donated to the event by a local auto club in which some of her friends are members.
Not all neighbors have reacted negatively, with many saying Price ought to do what she wants to find happiness and peace during this difficult struggle with mesothelioma.
Perhaps some of those harassing Price don’t know about her special circumstances.
But even if she wasn’t facing a terminal diagnosis, it makes you wonder about the lack of tolerance in the world today. What is so scary about diversity that some people feel the need to react with hostility and violence? How boring the world would be if everyone was the same.
Good for you, Rebekah! Find your joy! You serve as an inspiration to all of us to embrace the beauty and fun in this world, to take the time to stop and look around and really see what we have, and what we want, before it’s too late.