The most recent keepsake I created was made with Callie's little toddler dress, and it was the most sentimental piece I have worked on. Tracy, Callie's mom, has allowed me to share her story with you today.
Tracy contacted me a few weeks ago to redeem a keepsake voucher offered to her by a friend. She wanted to have a custom keepsake made with her daughter's dress; her daughter, Callie, whom she had lost a couple of years ago, at the sweet age of 18 months.
She asked me for a custom illustration of her daughter, what I imagine she would have looked like if she had lived to be an adult. She said that she can't help but wonder what Callie would have looked like as a grown up. I was already so touched by this special request, but that was not all.
After looking through Callie's clothes, Tracy picked the item she wanted me to use for the keepsake: she decided it would be the dress that Callie wore on her last day of life, on the 4th of July, two years ago.
I was stunned. I couldn't help but wonder why Tracy would pick the exact dress that held the saddest, most tragic memory. But then I thought the memory is mournful anyway, and I can only imagine that the pain never goes away, regardless of which item she had chosen for her keepsake. Callie was happy that day. Besides, each person has her own way of mourning and healing, and that's what Tracy wanted.
She told me that, of all of Callie's clothes, this is the only thing she wouldn't want another one of her children to wear. It made perfect sense.
I was very emotional when I received Callie's pictures, her perfect face and beautiful hair, looking much like an angel in her lovely little patriotic dress. It took me a few days to start drawing her, and when I received the dress, it laid on the table for three days before I felt ready to work on it. I didn't know Callie, but, as a mom of little girls myself, I was deeply affected by her story. This little girl who had a very short life, leaving behind heartbroken parents. At the same time, I was happy to think that in a very small way, I could help her parents in their healing. That made my work so much more meaningful.
I loved Callie's finished keepsake and finally sent it. Tracy loved it too, and shared it in a beautiful post on Instagram.
I was reading some of her friends' comments under this post, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw that one of Tracy's friends said that the illustration looks like a beautiful version of Callie's daddy! This comment made me very happy.
I felt grateful creating this keepsake, and what it means to Callie's family really gave a whole new, deeper meaning to my work.
I would love to create more of these keepsakes, to gift them to parents who have lost their children. I decided I will donate one angel keepsake for every 8 baby keepsakes sold.
I have been contacted by other moms earlier this year, and I have worked -- and am still working -- on a couple of special options for angel baby keepsakes, requested by those moms. Tracy was the first one who proceeded with her request.
I want to thank Tracy for trusting me with this precious item of Callie's, and for letting me work on this treasure of a keepsake. If you relate with Tracy's story and would like to reach her, she shares her stories on her blog.
Here's to all the grief-stricken parents who have lost their babies: may you find strength, peace, and healing 🙏