The hollow void in my heart is especially tender as the 17th of April approaches. It becomes increasingly harder to come up with things to blog about that haven’t already been said on past birthdays and anniversaries. We still miss her beyond belief, and these dates are still as tough as ever. My mind is saturated with a million still-fresh memories of sights, sounds, and smells. The chorus of birds as we left for the hospital on that cool early morning. The steady drone of the tires as they brought us closer and closer to the hospital. The squeeze of my husband’s reassuring hand, my other hand cradling my belly, illuminated by passing street lamps. She was still safe, cherished and protected— very much alive inside of me. I refused to think past that moment. All that mattered was “right here / right now.” Right here, right now she was alive and I loved her fiercely.
My favorite “right here / right now” moment came at 5:20pm of this day, 2012 when we heard the BEAUTIFUL sound of Nora’s first cries.
Then 5:21 … Kissing her sweet face, just so ecstatic, I could burst!
There were countless hills, dips, loops and turns on this wild, whiplashing, precious adventure we had just embarked upon. Over each increment of the way, we collected a treasury of favorite “right here / right nows” that we wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
Last year I shared the sculpture I was creating in memory of Norns. It has been finished for quite some time, but decided to wait until her birthday rolled around again to do the official unveiling. So without further ado, I present “Nora”
Confession … It isn’t actually cast in bronze, as that ended up being way above and beyond my moneys!! But I think I did a pretty decent job of giving it a faux bronze finish! And unless I told you otherwise, you’d never know that there was another layer of paint under the faux bronze. The first paint job didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined. It was a little too realistic and had taken on the characteristics of “creepy baby doll.”
Round 2 of paint turned out much better and brought Creepy Baby Doll back to Objet d’ Art. I gave it a base layer of black and then did separate dry brushings of brown, gold, and mint green over the black.
I attend an amazing sculpting class most Wednesday mornings that is about 40 minutes away – but so very worth the drive. I started this piece in mid-December of 2021 and finished on April 13th of last year, just in time for her birthday. During class one day the topic of conversation landed on some particular sculptures at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I had been to the Art Museum semi-recently with my friend Jim and had taken a photo of a sculpture that I thought was so beautiful. I decided to take a break from sculpting for a few minutes to go back through my photos to see if I happened to take a picture of one of these particular sculptures. I smiled as I found the picture in my camera roll, taken aback by the sculpture’s delicate beauty all over again.
I was glad to see that the description plaque was included in the photo. I hadn’t taken the time to read it while at the museum, so I wasn’t sure who the artist was. While the classroom conversation continued, I zoomed in on the plaque — then stood there frozen STARING at my phone, tears welling up in my eyes. “WHAT?!?!?” I whispered to myself, “NO. WAY.” I casually turned away and just let the tears flow down my cheeks, still staring at my phone through blurry tears.
THE ARTIST’S DAUGHTER, NORA?!?!??!?!!!!!
That was reason enough to have taken a photo of that sweet, beautiful sculpture – but I had no idea when I took it that this sweet little beauty was a Nora, and that she was the ARTIST’S DAUGHTER too!!! Too crazy to be coincidence.
It’s hard to imagine that this Artist’s daughter, Nora would be 11 years old today. I have such a hard time envisioning her as anyone but the chunky, squeezable, delicious, fuzzy, baff and milkies loving two-year-old that she was when she left us. But here we are, still standing, all these years later.
We miss her and we celebrate her!
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)