It changed the way I look at the art I create.
It was unexpected.
The faces and hand written notes.
From this group of nurses and medical staff.
From the Outpatient Infusion Center of
Penn State - Hershey.
My friend, Amy.
Is right in the middle of the photo.
She reached out to me back in January of this year.
Would you consider doing a mosaic in memory of our co-worker?
His name was Josh.
And he was an oncology nurse in that unit.
Josh lost a recent battle with leukemia.
And his co-workers.
Were hit very hard by his death.
They were looking for a way to honor his life.
Amy remembered seeing my glass.
She didn't know my cancer story at that point.
But, as I shared it and we messaged.
It became clear.
I had to be part of this project.
I learned a few things about Josh.
He was funny.
He loved traveling.
And loved his horses.
I searched online for photographs and graphics.
Looking for just the right inspiration.
Once I saw this photograph.
I knew immediately.
I had it.
Amy gave me a specific request.
Incorporate a cardinal in the design.
At Josh's memorial service.
As the chaplain began to speak.
A bright red cardinal flew into the healing garden where the service was held.
" we all got a good laugh and thought that would be just like Josh."
".....to not want to miss a thing...."
The cardinal was a must.
I worked on an initial sketch.
And presented it to Amy and her co-workers for approval.
They gave the okay.
And I got to work.
It was a labor of love.
In every sense of the word.
And I poured heart and soul.
Into every detail.
And once all the glass was cracked and down.
And once the mosaic was grouted.
I made a few finishing touches.
And it was done.
Amy and I met in Greenville back in May.
And I handed off the memorial mosaic for the long ride back to Pennsylvania.
It's always a little hard for me to let my work go.
A few months later.
At the center where this crew works.
The memorial mosaic was hung.
Facing out toward the healing garden of the hospital.
Where cancer patients and families come every day.
All I can say is wow.
This has meant a lot to me.
My art was used.
And I love that.
In the best possible way.
I won't look at it the same way again.