new work meet the maker

Jane Was Here

A few weeks ago, a friend called to commission a couple of special pieces for some special people. These people had a six-month-old baby who recently passed away. She went on to tell me the amazing story of baby Jane and her family, and then explained a bit about exactly what she was requesting. In order to understand the pieces I made, let me tell you that story.

Jane was born 13 weeks early. As you can imagine, her first weeks were scary and the constant phone calls and emails from concerned friends and family were getting to be too much for Jane’s parents. To inform the masses, Jane’s mom started a blog and reported on Jane’s daily progress. Over the next half year, the blog, Our Girl Jane, had caught on. People from all over were following Jane’s story, sending love and prayers. Sadly, after six months of doing all the things babies do in their first part of life, sweet Jane passed away. In lieu of condolences or sympathy cards, Jane’s parents asked that people send a postcard with just this simple message: Jane Was Here.

You see, Jane’s big sister is a huge fan of the story Horton Hears a Who. You know—We are here! We are here! We are here! And that was exactly the sentiment Jane’s family wanted to be reminded of—that Jane was here, and there. That her time was filled with love, friends and family.

After telling the story, my friend casually said, “I’ll leave the designing to you. Just have it say Jane was here.”

Well, a tissue box later, I peeled myself off the floor and started to design the pin in my head. Then I started to panic. How would I come up with something that would capture so much emotion, so much love? How would I make it original, and as unique as I imagined Jane was? How could I make something worthy of her? Eventually, it struck me clear as day.

I made the pin the shape of the speck of dust that the Whos lived on. I used silver wire to spell out the message, and added a tiny heart as well. The only thing left to do was to mail a card with those three special words written on it, so I did.

Since her passing, Jane’s family has received more than 400 postcards, from all over the world. Jane most certainly was here, proving ‘a person’s a person no matter how small.’

Was Jane there? In your heart? on your mind? If so, let her family know and send a postcard.

Our Girl Jane
5 Winter Street
Montpelier, VT 05602


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15 responses to “Jane Was Here”

  1. nicola@which name?

    amy? you know how i emailed you and said i was speechless? now i really am. and bawling on my keyboard to boot. i am off to hug my kiddos and write a card. thank you twice over for your beautiful creations.

  2. Sarah

    Your design is absolutely perfect. It's beautiful, and heartbreaking. Oh, indeed–a person's a person, no matter how small.

  3. Cindy

    Perfectly designed, perfectly written. And yes, once AGAIN, tears.

  4. jane

    i agree with everyone. :)

  5. Dana Barbieri

    That is such an amazing and touching story! It makes my heart ache. What a beautiful design you did.
    P.S. Your new header is great!

  6. mandy

    your design is so beautiful…i can imagine how daunting it would be to design something like this…wow…

  7. Alyssa

    Amy that's such a beautiful design and what a heartbreaking (and amazing) story. You have a beautiful style of writing and really capturing the emotions of the story. What a great tribute for the family.

  8. ...

    Amy thank you so much for sharing this story. I'll probably never read Horton Hears a Who without crying now. What a gift you have created…that is simply amazing. And so wonderful that you were given this opportunity…that says a lot about the person you are. ****Jane is here****
    blessings, love and gratitude~

  9. Earth Mama

    Even before I read what you attempted to capture, I saw it so clear in your creation! Just looking at the pin gave me the chills and a swarm of love and cuddles. You are amazing. Such a touching story.


  10. gardenmama

    thank you for sharing this story of jane with all of us. your art is always so beautiful and from the heart. it is incredible how people can touch people in this way. i found that out with the wellness tree that not was kelly feeling the love from all of us, we were all also feeling that love between each other. it is certainly very, very powerful on so many levels…

  11. Mousy Brown

    Beautiful – I am off to send a card x

  12. notesfromthefrugaltrenches

    Will do!!

    Do you know I'm sat here crying!

  13. Heather

    Amy, I saw this post about two hours ago, and I went over and read their entire blog. While it was so gut wrenching, it was also amazing to read how much strength that family has. Your design is gorgeous, and what an incredible gift they now have.

  14. nicola@which name?
  15. Sarah { bee house hives }

    Wow. Jane was here this Mama's heart in Montana this morning. My heart is touched and I will be sending out mail today. Thank you for sharing this.