This is a sweet story, that comes with an all too coincidental preface.
Scene: Wednesday Evening
I went to the craft store with Jen’s BFF, and we were just walking around and talking. We started talking about how her little sister and Jen are both very artistic and could both draw very well. She showed me a picture that her sister drew of an eye, that looked so realistic. I said Jen could draw so well, and how she was so good at art in school. We finished walking around and went to go get nuggets.
Scene: Thursday Afternoon
I got a picture message from Jen’s BFF. It was a picture of one of Jen’s drawings. The message said that her sister was in art class, and the teacher showed one of Nif’s pieces as an example of how the project should be done. It was such a great text message to see.
I found out who the art teacher was, and sent her an e-mail asking if she had any of Jen’s original pieces, so that I could give them back to my Mom and Dad for Christmas. I found her e-mail address online, and sent my request to her inbox.
Scene: Thursday Evening
I got an e-mail back from the art teacher, and it made me cry:
Thank you so much for your email. I let Shannon take that picture today because I she said her sister was a close friend and I trust Shannon, she’s a little cutie and a very sweet girl. She seemed absolutely sincere when she asked me if she could take it. Please know that I’m not just putting Jen’s work on display for photographing, etc.
The picture that I showed my students today was one of two photocopies that I have of Jen’s work. Jen was an amazing artist, and I often take student work to Staples to get color xeroxes of work that I think might serve as excellent examples for future students. Neither of the images I have are originals — I trust those are in Jen’s portfolio at home somewhere. I don’t keep any originals of student work (unless they are given as a gift, and I don’t have any of those from Jen). When she did leave my class I made sure she came back to get the awesome hallway drawing that she also did in my class. I have a pieced together xerox of that as well. I’m so sorry to not have any originals for you, but I will gladly make a color xerox of the color xeroxes I already have if you’d like. The piece Shannon took a picture of today is a tiny segment of a much larger drawing that Niffie did over Christmas break — I’m sure your mom remembers. I couldn’t fit the whole thing on the Xerox bed — it was huge!
I was so sorry to hear about Jen this summer. She was an amazing, and funny girl, and an incredibly talented artist. I went to the memorial service for her in Hopewell — a lovely, caring service despite such a horrible event.
Thank you again for your email, it was nice to be contacted by a relative of Jens, and see her name grace my Inbox.