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.
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