Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sawyer Flies

As Sawyer’s first birthday approaches, I figured it was time to tell you about the painting my friend, Nichole, made for us.

Nichole is a very, very gifted artist. You can learn more about her at her website. She’s also a crazy lady who loves teaching high school so much that she continues to do it, even though she wouldn’t have to. She inspires young people every day to express themselves creatively. I have always loved her work. In fact, my friend Jami and I were talking one day about how much we would LOVE to have one of her paintings, and only a couple of days later (just before Christmas) she came into the center, where her sons attend, and presented me with a gift.

As soon as I looked at the painting, I started crying. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. It instantly moved me, for it captured our son Sawyer’s spirit and his passing from this earth in such a perfect, poignant way.

Nichole knew that we had played the song "Blackbird" for Sawyer before he passed away. She was also at his funeral, where we had a slide show, the end of which was set to that song. So this inspired her to create "Sawyer Flies."

Unbelievably, she was nervous about giving it to us. She told a friend that she almost didn’t do it, because she was so afraid that we might not like it. I cannot fathom what would possess her to think that. We would have loved the painting no matter what, even if it was only a tenth as wonderful as it is. BUT . . .and when you see it, I am sure you will agree . . .how someone with that amount of talent could ever doubt herself is beyond me.

I have started a dozen different letters to Nichole to try to thank her for this gift. I have yet to finish one. I can’t seem to find the words to say what is in my heart. Not only did she care about Jim and I enough to offer us a piece of her artwork as a gift, but she also loves our son, and has acknowledged and memorialized him in an absolutely incredible way. I can’t thank her enough for the piece of her heart that has become a piece of ours. It is hanging in the main entry of our apartment, and every day, as I walk by, I look at it and remember Sawyer. The painting expresses so brilliantly my feelings . . ."You were only waiting for this moment to arise." Sawyer was set free to fly through the pain and into endless beauty.

This is my way of saying thank you to Nichole. Nichole, I hope you read this. If you do, please know how much I love you and value your friendship. You have been a source of comfort, inspiration, and peace to me throughout this ordeal. I have met someone through you, as well . . .your sister, Amy, who has become a dear friend and another person I can count on to understand my pain, sorrow, and confusion. I am so lucky to have you both in my life. I honestly don’t know where I would be without Jim and friends like you to help carry this burden, and yes, even to make it lighter. You continue to amaze me with your compassion and generosity. I will never be able to say thank you enough, but I will at least try . . .so thank you.

And, as a p.s. . .I have tears running down my face, yet I still wanted to point out that Simon Cowell, who criticized "Blackbird," called Lee Greenwood a "brilliant writer" and "I’m Proud to be an American" a "brilliant song." Touché, Simon. Touché.


Aunt Colleen said...

Glad to read your postings again.
I have been thinking alot about Sawyer with his birthday coming up and thinking about you and Jim. You both have come so far. My love goes out to both of you this week and every day.

April said...

Wow. That is an amazing picture, and with such meaning for you both. That is indeed an incredible gift.

Simon is a moron.