Fast forward a few months, it was the day after my 30th Birthday Party and we were supposed to attend Tiffany and Justin's annual Halloween Party with all of our friends. Kipper and I had spent all day Saturday at Cook Children's with Lala and her family. My heart was broken because while we still held on for a miracle, the facts of the situation had started to set in - Lauren was dying.
When we left the hospital to head home I was beside myself in grief. I remember Kipper asking me what I wanted for dinner and all I could say was that we had to go to the party. I didn't care that we would be the only ones not in a costume or that we looked down right exhausted. If we went home all I would do I cry and worry, we needed time with friends...after all that is totally what Lala would have done! (especially since Halloween was HER holiday!)
Everyone there knew what was going on, some tried to avoid the topic, others wanted to know how they could help. Yet all of that aside, being with our friends is EXACTLY what we needed. The best part? Not only did they help keep our mind off the situation a little, we found out some FABULOUS news! Two, yes you read that right, TWO of our friends were expecting! Both Shannon and Jen were pregnant, only weeks apart!
The days following were a total blur. Lauren passed away on November 1st and I begin helping her family plan her Celebration of Life. (I have started a blog about saying goodbye, but almost 6 months later I still haven't been able to finish it...but I couldn't tell this story without parts of hers. One day soon I promise I will hit "publish" on that blog) For her service I painted a canvas so that all of the guests could sign it and that the family would be able to have something more than just a book that gets tucked away on a shelf. Because Bobby is not only an awesome framer, but owns Suitable for Framing, I asked him if he would be willing to donate a frame for the canvas so we could give it to the family ready to go on the wall.
When I went to go pick up the finished canvas Bobby told me he had been thinking a lot about it and he really wanted me to create something for their little boys nursery as my baby gift. I was completely honored, yet a little sacred. I normally create VERY girly things...they were having a BOY! And to top it off the "theme" for the nursery was very unique - Texas Country meets traveling with a splash of Elvis on the side! :)
I begin to rack my brains on the perfect piece I could create for them, making sure I included things that had a special significance to them. I drew inspiration for not only the room theme, but Jen and Bobby's relationship. From places they traveled/lived, things they had done together, and even the lyrics to the song they danced to at their wedding.
During all of this I was in the middle of Spring Show and just didn't have the time to dedicate to the project just yet. I promised Jen and Bobby that, while I wouldn't have the canvas finished before the baby shower, I would have it done in time for it to be framed and on the wall before Baby Brady made his world debut!
So with the canvas half finished we celebrated Baby Brady at one of the best baby showers I have ever been to. There were no crazy baby shower games or gabbing groups of girls overloading Jen with parenting advice. That night they were surrounded by their family and dear friends and there was nothing but love and celebration all around them.
That night was exactly what I needed for my final bit of inspiration! To be continued.....