They say that out of adversity comes opportunity. I’ve also heard that when things fall apart is when they are falling into the right place. As we go through those “falling” apart moments in our lives, it doesn’t always seem or feel that way. Yet, one day we look around us, and things are actually better than before or they simply have evolved into something more magnificent. This is a story about a woman that has survived adversity in an admirable way, and recreated herself instead of letting life break her. She is bubbly, funny, honest, frank, and an extremely talented artist. When you meet her, you know that she is a unique person, for she leaves a lingering impression.
Lilly is the name of a flower that historically has signified beauty, light, power and strength. It’s also the name fit for an incredible woman who found inspiration through life changes that could devastate just about anyone. She is very fitting of her name.
Lilly was diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumor five years ago in 2008. This gland is known as the master endocrine gland, and it releases hormones that affects many bodily functions. It’s responsible for important hormonal functions that regulate the metabolism, high blood pressure, response to stress, movement of fat out of the bloodstream, production of sperm for a man or eggs in a woman’s ovaries, overgrowth and thickening of bones, prolactin or milk stimulation in women after childbirth, oxytocin release, and hydration and reabsorption of water in the kidneys. Lilly’s tumor doesn’t affect all of these functions, but there are many that have been, and it has changed her life tremendously.
Unfortunately, Lilly was unaware of the tumor for a very long time. After coming back from a trip to Costa Rica in January of 2008, she suffered an aneurysm, and was hospitalized. The comedian in Lilly thought that she had caught a rare virus during her vacation, for she was very sick. At the time, Lilly was working at a very demanding job as a high level human resources employee at the office of a very well known university in New York City. She was under constant stress, which didn’t help her symptoms. Lilly lost her job three months later on May 2nd, and was diagnosed with the tumor on May 5th. Lilly’s world was falling apart.
She was in and out of hospitals for two years thereafter with pancreatitis. This disease affects the body’s ability to process sugar. Thankfully, her doctor found that she was allergic to a medication that was causing the symptoms. As if the Universe had given her another chance, a healthier Lilly started to flourish in January of 2011.
Lilly was then inspired by her boyfriend at the time to begin working on her own art. He is no longer in her life, but Lilly believes that his main purpose was just that. She is now the creator and founder of Miss Lilly Bee Art.
Lilly always saw shapes beyond the clouds. She saw stories in everything. When she was a little girl, Lilly would visit antique stores with her mother. She was intrigued by the craftsmanship of old items, and the more intricate, colorful, or livelier they were, the stronger her fascination. That fascination and imagination is what fires up her passion. Lilly’s art is 3D, and you can see a story, and feel something from every angle that you look at it. She uses all items in her surroundings, and gives it a new existence. In one of my favorite pieces, Lilly uses matches to create a chandelier. Some of her pieces include antique shoes, pinup girls, love letters, and even candy. She still goes to antique shops to get her materials. Her work is meticulous and beautiful. Each item in the pieces proudly claim its new identity, the same way that she has.
Lilly’s art is alive, and leaves you with an impression as her personality does. I have experienced how people react when they see Lilly’s work. Most are speechless, and just stare at the piece in front of them with their mouths open.
There is truth to the saying that when things fall apart, they fall in their righteous place. Yet, this woman took the separate pieces herself, and put them in their place as she sees fit in her art, and in her life. The best part of it is that no matter what life throws at her, she smiles through it all –keeping her healthy, light, and strong.
Note: Please visit misslillybee.com for more about the artist, calendar, and artwork.