Last year presented numerous opportunities for illustration. These are some of the drawings done for a writer of a children’s story about flowers and butterflies. Part of the story’s message is that all of us should take the time to appreciate the abundance and variety of exquisite life that surrounds us.
Girlfriends dancing to the airport
Watching a miracle
The Costume Tea Party with Butterflies
Kaden’s life was a short four years. The grief that his friends and family felt when he died was palpable. The brief life of this little boy created such a depth of feeling in those who knew him that one couldn’t help but sense and be moved by it. I offered to create a drawing. The parents decided that some of Kaden’s happiest moments were when he was being pulled in his wagon by a fellow “Yellow Jacket” classmate. Sesame Street’s Elmo, a smiling, hugable, exuberant character, was a favorite buddy. I created an Elmo image on his shirt that could be flying or reaching for a hug; the things that Kaden might like to do if his body had served him better. There’s a hint of the Kansas yellow brick road.
The family invited me to the dedication of the drawing at Sunnyside Elementary School in Olathe, KS. A large group of Kaden’s family, teachers, classmates and friends stood round as Grandpa Rick unveiled the drawing. There was a soft exclamatory sound and the tears welled, remembering Kaden and feeling the loss.