Saturday, February 5, 2011

If Andrew Were a Pixie

 
This last Christmas, I opened a letter with a request
 that caused my heart to skip a beat as I was reading it. 
 
The letter was from a woman named Suzanne.  She asked if I would consider creating a faerie
 in memory of her son Andrew who had recently passed away.
 
A daunting request I was not sure I wanted to take on. 
 
But sitting nearby on my desk, looking at me as I was reading her letter,
was a sweet little sculpted head who appeared quite unannounced
 from my clay and hands just before Christmas. 
 Well, that face was to become her Pixie.  Already there a'waiting.
 
Because of that face, I said "yes".
 
 
 
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I asked Suzanne to tell me some things about Andrew to help me personalize this doll. 
 What she sent profoundly touched my heart.
 And that is why I wanted to add three of her stories to my blog.
 
With her permission and in his mother's own words,
I would like to introduce you to (Pixie) Andrew...
 
 
 
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I have a son whose name is Andrew.  Andrew is 15.  I mention him now because you may hear other things about him in the coming year.  My job as President Elect is to bring inspiration to our in-service.  And I have to say that Andrew is one of the most inspiring people in my life.  So today I would like to share an inspiring 'Andrew Story'.  By the way - Andrew has Down Syndrome.
 
 
I woke up the other morning as I usually do; slightly disoriented - blindly searching for coffee and the shower, in that order.  After partaking of both I was mostly awake and getting ready for the day; feeling distracted and caught up with the mundane process of preparing myself for work, mentally girding my loins for the drive I really don't like and thinking of things I had to do once I got to work.  I went in to my son's room and told him it was time to get up.  As I left his room I heard his first words of the morning.  He said, "I love to be alive."  And I was stopped in my tracks.  I could not remember the last time I felt truly grateful for the day.
 
 
This incident has given me a lot of food for thought.  That I spend so much time getting through my life that I frequently forget to live it.  That I let the day ahead grab me before I give thanks that there is a day ahead.  That children like Andrew are blessed with a unique perspective
 available to everyone but vouchsafed to very few. 
 And that I am blessed to share this life with one of these children.
 

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One of the things my son Andrew says all the time is "I love to be me".  So when he told me the other day that he wanted to be me, I said, "Why?  So you can be my mom?" 
He said, "No, of course not.  So I can be mine own mom." 
Apparently being Andrew is so great that he wants to experience it from another perspective.
 
 
All this sounds quite cute and precocious until you realize:  Andrew is 15 and has the mentality of a 7 year old.  Academically he will probably not go beyond that.  He is short and very fat (although he does believe that his stomach is one of his greates assets).  He wears fairly thick glasses.  It is immensely unlikely that he will ever earn more than minimum wage - if that.  Most likely he will not marry and maybe not even have a girlfriend.  (Although I pray he will at least have a girl friend.)  He will never have children. 
 I don't think he will ever ride a bike, let alone drive a car.
 
 
Every person in this room has more ability, more money, more friends, a better job and a brighter future than Andrew will ever have.  But how many of us can say, "I love to be me"?
  And why can Andrew say it?
 
 
I think it is because he takes the days, events, and people in his life and turns it all into a celebration.  He laughs a lot.  He sings all the time and even though it would not sound great or even probably good to anyone else, Andrew says to me, "I'm a good singer, huh, Mom?" 
 And I have to agree that he is. 
 Because what he lacks in voice, he more than makes up for with heart.
 
 
 
 
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New Mexico - 1996
 
Since Andrew was about 3 years old, he has consistently told me that Jesus is his Dad.  This makes for some very interesting conversations.
 
One day when he was about 9 years old, as we were driving in the car, Andrew looked out the windshield up into the sky.  Then he said, "That is where my Dad lives.  He misses me.  He wants me to come home."  I was a bit startled and asked him, "Are you going to go home to your Dad?"  He just said, "Yes." 
Of course my next question had to be, "When are you going home to see your Dad?"
  His answer was, "When God tells me to."
 
 
Since then I have thought about that answer quite a bit.  Such a straight forward, peaceful answer.  No questions.  No fear.  Death is not an unknown quantity to Andrew, as it is to me and so many others.  Death is going home.  And you just go when God tells you it is time.  Where I question and wonder and sometimes fear, Andrew just knows.
  His Dad is missing him and waiting for him.
 
 
Coming back home from a long and sometimes arduous trip is such a relief.  Back in familiar surroundings.  And it is so much nicer when love waits at home for you, ready to hear about your trip; ready to wipe away your tears; ready to share your laughter;
 ready to wrap love around you and hold you close -
so pleased that you have reunited.
 
 
How different would our time here be if we just "knew" with complete and infailing faith, that Jesus is at home waiting for us to come back from our journey. 
 And God made the travel arrangements so we go home when the trip is over.
  We go home where love is waiting to welcome us back.
 
 

 
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Andrew left for his heavenly Home a year ago this February at the age of 21.
 
As I was finishing up on the details of this little Pixie's costume,  a jewelry piece at our local variety store caught my eye.  A small heart with some words on it.  Upon reading it, I thought that adding a written sentiment to this doll was further than I should artistically venture. 
  But that heart kept coming to mind. 
So I wrote to Andrew's mother that night and asked her about the sea. 
 Did Andrew have a connection to the sea?
 
She said no.  
 But before Andrew was born, Suzanne would visit the sea to allow the waves
 to wash away her anxieties and carry them away, leaving her soul refreshed and clean.
 
 
 
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My husband drove back to the store first thing the next morning to buy that heart.
God works in wondrous ways...
 


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It is hard to see in the pictures, but in the left eye of this child, a small pool of gloss dried just at the bottom edge of the eyelid.  Probably because of the way his head was inadvertantly tilted when the gloss was drying.  But at first glance it appears to be a welled up tear there. 
 The scriptures say all our sorrows will be gone in heaven...
so maybe this is a tear he is carrying for his mother.


 
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Over the course of this remarkable dollmaking journey,
I have come to know and love Suzanne and Andrew.
  I count her as a new friend and hope to work together with her this year
 collaborating on a faerie story or two to be illustrated with my dolls.
 
And especially I wanted to share this experience with you all,
and so hope you will have the time to read every insightful word Suzanne has written.
 
It is a privilege to know both of them.
 
much love, Rose


28 comments:

  1. Hi Rose, how are you? Amazing work and you know... I low all your little magic creatures. Hugs

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  2. Rose,
    your incredible creativity always takes my breath away. Such a wonderful gift you have been blessed with.
    This latest posting about your newest creation has not only left me breathless, but also has left me with snail trails down my face, as the tears rolled. God really does work in mysterious ways. Thankyou so much for sharing every little piece of this story with me. Your pre-made face has a unique look to it, which is utterly perfect for Andrew. Andrew is indeed now with Jesus. Praise God.

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  3. Rose, it is good to hear from you. This was one of the most touching posts I've ever read. It brought a tear to my eye. There are indeed angels on earth...I'm certain after reading this. Your faerie child is extraordinary. I am sure Suzanne will love him. I look forward to learning more about your future collaboration. Theresa

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story with the creation of this pixie! I agree...God truly works in marvelous ways.

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  5. oh, dear, dear Rose. i cannot stop crying. i see Andrew's spirit, his openness - to life, to love, to God. his joy that surrounded everything. the heart charm means more to me than you will ever know. this is truly the essence of my child. i did not tell you what a joker he was, that laughter was his favorite thing, and that he would do anything silly if it would make someone laugh. i believe this little guy would, too. God has sent a healing to me, through you and it is a blessing i could never repay. i thank you from the very bottom of my soul for bringing such a lovely piece of my beloved boy, back to me. i will write you soon. Blessing, Suzanne.

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  6. Not only is the story profoundly moving, but the doll is captivating. And God so loved the world...

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  7. Niezwykła lalka i niezwykła historia !
    Jestem bardzo wzruszona... Dziękuję !

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  8. Fantastico, romantico, dulce...como siempre¡¡

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  9. La tua nuova bambola è una creatura bellissima, quella lacrima è una perla d'amore incredibile...la storia di Anrea e della sua mamma commuove e per certi versi lacera il cuore!
    Grazie per aver condiviso con noi questa tua esperienza così nobile...
    I bambini come Andrea sono speciali, nel mio lavoro di Terpista ne ho incontrati tanti...attualmente ho con me in terapia una piccolina di 5 anni....è una dolcezza indescrivibile!!!
    Ciao cara, a presto...ti mando un abbraccio fortissimo!

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  10. What a wonderous journey. Thank you for sharing these beautiful stories of Andrew. Ah the innocence of a child, let the children come to me.

    You certainly captured his essence, "I love to be me".

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  11. Looks like Andrew's star is still shining brightly and has touched our hearts through his mother's words and through your tender touch Rose. We are blessed to have received this wonderful message.
    Much love,
    Morena

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  12. The three of You have toched my heart. Thank you Rose, Suzanne and most of all thank you, Andrew. Life should be the way he was seeing it. Much love

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  13. Warm wintry greetings my dear firends!
    It is so VERY good to welcome you to my door! Bless you for visiting me, please forgive my being away from posting so long.
    Throughout the late nights, though, I often peer into your own windows. But often I must leave in a hurry, I fear. My days and nights have been filled to the brim with family, friends...children and animals...and the Doll Room has required any and all my spare moments.

    This little Pixie Andrew has stolen my heart and will leave with a part of it when he flies home. Thank you all for taking the time to send your bright, loving comments and leave them at my door. It means much to me...and I think your thoughts are especially significant right now to Suzanne. She is beginning a new chapter of her life, I think, and your thoughts will tenderly accompany her.
    You are all such a blessing...until later...always love, Rose

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  14. Dearest Rose
    I was here yesterday to read this heartfelt journey, tears flowing... It moved me so very much I felt I would wait and return today to leave a note.. I loved her stories about her dear Andrew.. I know Suzanne will treasure her Pixie Andrew always. He has touched my heart, and yes I ~can~ see the welled up tear.. Your added touch with the written heart is just perfect Rose.. To know that this little face was on your table waiting for it's destiny means it was truly meant to be.. You are right Rose, God does work in wonderous ways..
    I am looking forward to your collaboration on a faerie story with Suzanne. I will keep her in my prayers, and hope that this new chapter in her life will be filled with love and joy.
    God bless you my dear friend. You are an angel.
    With Love,
    Penny

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  15. Rose,
    I am Andrew's Nini (aunt & godmother)This pixie is absolutely beautiful. It truly is the essence of Andrew. He was silly and goofy with a heart so full of love. He was so special and so loved. This came at time when my sister was struggling with a very heavey heart. I thank you for helping ease the burden and blessing her with this gift of Andrews spirit. Thank you so much for your blessed work.
    Andrew's Nini

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  16. Wonderful, what a beautiful lady you are, cheers Marie

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  17. It is a very sweet and moving story.
    This pixie is wonderful, his face express so much sweetness and love.
    Rose you have a great gift!
    Hugs!

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  18. Dear Rose,
    As a mother of a child who has also been called home, I automatically feel a connection to Suzanne, and Andrews story.You have so graciously accepted a great challenge here, and created this beautiful pixie in Andrews honor.

    I know this must have been such an emotional roller coaster for you. I myself, have tried to create a quilt from my sons clothing several times, yet the fabric pieces I cut from each article of his clothing, still await me in the closet.
    Suzanne was directed to you specifically Rose. God surely had a hand in this, perhaps Andrew asked for guidance in finding the right artist to help his mother with her grief, and loss.

    Andrew is perfect, much more than a sculpture..he is hope, a guiding light. The old saying comes to mind when I read Andrews story, "from the mouths of babes" I am sure you, like many of us agree that the wisdom Andrew held was priceless, and we all wish life, and death was so easily understood.

    I hope Suzanne smiles every time she looks at this wonderful piece, and knows that not only Jesus, but Andrew is waiting for her.

    Peace and Blessings to you my dear friend, and congratulations on creating hope for us all!

    I now know why your last message read as it did, thank you for thinking of me Rose, I am blessed to have met you, if only through the internet, my heart connects to yours! With much love, and respect, Christel

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  19. Dearest ROse, my comment was eaten up! I will have to come back but his was pure divinity from heaven. Thank God for His treasures living in the work of our hands...Anita

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  20. Ti mando un abbraccio affettuosissimo!!!!

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  21. Your miniatures are so great I have become one of your followers. I also make miniatures. Please visit my blog. http://weelittlewest.blogspot.com/

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  22. Dear Rose,
    I cannot begin to tell you how this little Pixie, Andrew, Suzanne and you have touched me today. Words are so very inadequate.... this is one of those special times when circumstances come together to send a message of hope to all.
    If you read this Suzanne, bless you and bless Andrew. To dear Rose, you have a gift that was Heaven sent.

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  23. Dear Rose,
    This story touches every person that has lost someone that they love. You are an angel here upon this earth!! Your Pixie is amazing!!

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  24. Hello again. i just wanted to let all of you know what a healing this experience with Rose has been. i have found a peace i did not expect to experience again in this lifetime. and if you have not ever seen one of her creations in person, you are missing something magical and quite wonderful. i know that i cannot ever convey to Rose the deep respect and thanks that i feel everyday in my heart and soul; for her kindness, her incredible talent and for caring enough to create this pixie who has touched not only my broken heart, but the hearts of everyone who sees him. thank you all so much for your kind words. it warms me to know that Andrew is still touching others with his incredible love. and thank you Rose, more than i can every convey. Blessings, Suzanne.

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  25. This is sooo beautiful and touching! Pixie Andrew is a very beautiful creature!

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Welcome and Thank You for visiting my blog...I would love to hear from you. Your thoughts are always welcome!
Rose