Christmas is a time to gather with family and share good times. It can also be a time of sadness as we celebrate without a loved one. I lost my mother-in-law, a dear college friend and a cousin this past year and feel that emptiness. I've also witnessed first hand how people look to fill that emptiness with art that has special meaning for that missing loved one.
I illustrated Mt. Olivet Church a couple years ago and put the sermon as 'Peace on Earth' Pastor Youngdahl on the sign marker out front. Pastor Youngdahl, the second generation leader to my church, passed away this summer. His presence will be greatly missed especially this Christmas to his congregation. His family member called and asked for some prints this week to give as gifts. It's a piece of art I'm glad I had to offer.
Another piece of art brought special meaning to a woman at one of my recent art events. She purchased my Bleeding Heart print because she had two siblings but recently lost one. Seeing the three hearts together symbolized that sibling union for her. She's giving it to her Mom for Christmas. I was touched that my art brought special meaning to her and her family.
My Mother-in-law loved birds and cardinals specifically. Although I drew that card because we have a cardinal pair in our yard, that illustration has since reminded me of her. She decorated her tree with little birds and always fed the birds in the winter. We will miss her this Christmas. Special thoughts go out to all who are missing a loved one this Christmas.