Saturday, April 7, 2012

The most meaningful handmade gift

I was browsing Facebook and I came across a question posed by Lion Brand Yarn Company.  They asked their fans, "What is the most meaningful handmade gift you have ever given or received?"   

Here is my answer to the question:

The most meaningful handmade gift that I have ever had the opportunity to give was something I had made for an amazing young artist whose life was unfairly cut short. Kayleen was 25 years old when she lost her 6 year long battle with cancer. A few months before she passed away, before we knew the finality of her diagnosis, my husband and I went to visit her in the hospital. I was heartbroken upon leaving her that day, not just for her and those around her, but because she was a talented soul slipping through our fingers and there was nothing that anyone could do but wait. My thoughts led me to a drawing she had done of a group of playful Baby Dragons. I was impressed by this drawing; inspired by her usage of color and her ability to give unique personalities to each one of these adorable little creatures borne from her own imagination. I remembered that the caption she had written to go with her artwork had said that she had an affinity for fat little creatures, especially Baby Dragons. I decided to crochet dolls of her Dragons, studying every detail to get them to match as exactly as I could. My goal was to make her drawing come to life. By the time I finished Kayleen was having fewer good days, so I sent them with her immediate family members to give to her. Later, I got a phone call telling me that Kayleen loved them and began shedding tears of joy and gratitude upon receiving them, as she had understood the compliment that they were meant to be. I was told that she had been having a rough go of it that day but it was turned around for the better after receiving my gift; that she was energized and proceeded to have, what would be one of her last, joyful evenings with those closest to her. I was speechless when I heard this news, my eyes instantly welled up with tears. I feel honored and grateful to have played a small part in that special night and that I had the chance to let her know how much I appreciated her as an artist. It was her art that inspired mine. On Christmas Eve 2011, we suffered a great loss. Kayleen Mann was a beautiful young woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a gifted artist.

I wanted to share my story because the person and the experience had a positive effect on my life and my art and I am forever grateful.  To read the many other wonderful stories that others have shared or to share your own story go to Lion Brand Yarn's Story Contest page .

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