Thursday, November 22, 2012

He asked, with some hesitation - she answered, without any.


The story of the package...

He had watched her from afar, intrigued and fascinated by the journey she had started not so long ago. She seemed genuinely happy and it showed in her work. He told her so...often; he liked telling people how he felt about their efforts and accomplishments.

She too had taken an interest in him from a distance, interacting on occasion by leaving him a kind word, some well wishes for his ailing grandmother, and in general smiled when she read his well chosen words articulating his youthful exuberance and zest for life.

Then came his personal note.

He asked, with some hesitation. She could tell it was a hard thing for him to do. Even though miles separated them, and they knew little about each other, he braved it and asked her.

She read his note...several times, hardly able to contain her emotions. Tears ran freely as she read the words that would be forever etched in her mind. 

A phone call to her daughter confirmed she was on board - she was moved by the story her mother shared and without hesitation agreed to the request; it had been a while since she had had to dig deep into her emotional reserves...here was her chance to share her talent and a smile.

Notes were exchanged from afar, photos sent, questions asked and answered...and then the real challenge began.

How to start the first line, where to go from there - the budding portrait artist sat and stared at length and pondered what lay behind the eyes of the young woman looking back at her.

So young; a life so vibrant and full of potential, momentarily suspended while the gods convened and played out her life’s cards; only patience and time would reveal the hand dealt.

And so, with determination and the desire to draw a portrait that would depict beauty, serenity, charm, and the youthfulness smiling up at her, she started drawing.

Her daughter, who was taking great pride in her part of the equation - the caricature, lent an ear, and gave sound advice when needed; together mother and daughter forged a bond.

Motivated by the devotion, compassion and commitment of a young man to his dear friend the portrait artist kept her pencil moving. 

Putting aside fears and doubts, and finding the confidence needed to finish, she smiled upon lifting her head and considered the eyes before her: looking up were the eyes of a young woman ready to take on life and all its offerings.  It was a good omen.

Time was of the essence as this was to be a gift - not only to mark that special day on the calendar that each of us calls our own, but to bring sunshine and laughter during the dark days ahead.

Here is the photo, the portrait, and the caricature of a young woman who captured the heart of a very special young man...and his friends in a faraway land.




Thank you for taking the time to read this post. This project has been profoundly life altering, an experience I will not soon forget. 

Please join me in wishing this sweet young woman a Healthy and Happy Birthday - she deserves both.

Sincerely, Jenny

44 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny - all four are brilliant - I love the story and didn't reveal the picture until I had to to continue reading ... and the three pictures are just lovely - what a wistful face - suitably re-expressed in your portrait ... and I love the cartoon. Such fun and so well done - yes I agree and wish this young lady a very healthy and happy birthday .. big hugs to all - Hilary

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    1. Hilary, it means a lot that you've stopped by. Thank you for your lovely comment and for adding a birthday wish for this young lady...she appreciates it more than you can imagine.

      I was just told she's had a remarkable day, full of happiness and joy - it's what this was done for...to hear those words.

      Big Hugs to you too Hilary! :)

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  2. Life altering experiences don't come around all that often...may this one be a catalyst for great and fulfilling future experiences and opportunities.

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    1. You are so right, these experience don't come around all that often, and this one has truly had an impact of epic proportions - it will be with me always.

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  3. I couldn't reply back immediately after reading this Jenny because the words written here has moved me so much that I feel nearly teary and I really don't know what to say. If only I could think of some way to say thank you a million times over from the bottom of my heart and show it, to both you and your daughter but of course there isn't and you and your wonderful family would be too kind to accept it.

    Thank you so so so very much. It's been a pleasure to become friends with you over here. I leave in an hour or two which is very exciting, everything is wrapped and ready and I know that this is going to make her birthday a very, very happy one. This hasn't failed to live up to my expectations, don't think something's ever been written well enough to almost bring me out into tears, I'm in utter adoration of this post right now, I'll never forget this experience and I'm so pleased that you guys won't either, thank you.

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    1. You've already thanked me Matthew, in more ways than you know.

      Asking me to be part of this wonderful gift was something I had not expected, not after drawing only one other portrait. But your steadfast belief in me and your constant words of encouragement gave me the confidence to draw your dear friend.

      It was doubly rewarding to get your note, today, letting me know how happy she was with your choice of gift. Both Courtney and I are extremely tickled to have been part of it.

      With hugs to both of you, Jenny

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  4. Ah. Quite awesome. I'm sure that young man had tears brimming in his eyes as well. You and Miss C make an excellent team!

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    1. Rev, I think there were tears in my eyes too; from the start right to the finish knowing the tough times that are ahead for this young lady kept me reaching for tissue. But, with a dear friend like Matthew at her side she will not be alone.

      Miss CP and I found this project to be a moving experience, one that made us really understand how short and precious life really is. It softened us and brought us closer - this was a gift for more than the intended recipient - it touched all of us.

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  5. How wonderful! I love this story and the girl is absolutely gorgeous. You rendered her beautifully and what a powerful caricature.

    I love it when life alters you for the good. This young couple sound like the most wonderful people.

    Great work! Huge Hugs to you, Jenny, :)

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    1. Melissa, thank you for your lovely comment. You are so right, she is absolutely gorgeous.

      I like your use of "powerful" to describe the caricature...good call, I think Courtney really wanted this piece to show that.

      It is a good feeling doing something like this...bringing so much happiness to another person is so much a part of what keeps my happiness quota high. There is no greater reward. Hugs to you, my friend. :)

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  6. Hmm ... I admit I don't really understand the whole plot ... so let me simply join in praising your drawing and your daughter's (?) caricature : )

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    1. I'm sorry for the lack of clarity, Martin.
      It can be difficult to write something and withhold pertinent information that would otherwise paint a clearer picture if included.

      Yes, my daughter drew the caricature, I did the portrait.

      Thank you for stopping by, Martin, and for "praising" our work...we both appreciate your kind words. :)

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  7. Ah! Monday's post makes more sense now. That is a beautiful portrait, Jenny.

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    1. Ah - is right! Sometimes cryptic writing only make sense when more cryptic writing is added to the mix. I'm glad you made sense of it, Botanist.

      I am please to read you think the portrait is beautiful - having a beautiful reference photo made drawing a beautiful portrait that much easier. Thank you for your kind words. :)

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  8. there are no words to say how amazing you and your daughter are for doing this for Matthew. He is a wonderful young man and I know he treasures this. may the angels bless you both as much as you bless others. hugs

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    1. You've put tears in my eyes, Becca, with this beautiful comment. I cried often as I drew the portrait, my heart ached knowing the difficult days ahead for this beautiful young woman. With every pencil stroke I laid done on the paper I imbedded good health and positive energy - I hope they help her.

      My daughter and I have seen how precious life can be and grown closer because of our involvement in this project.

      As to Matthew, he is a rare gem amongst men...I look forward to seeing him grown into the man he is destined to become. Getting to know him was such a blessing. I smile just thinking about it.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment. Hugs to you.

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  9. You guys did good! A gift given with meaning is the best gift there is.

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    1. Thank you, Ruth. And can I just say, the real gift is in having you, and others, drop by and share your wonderful comments. Hugs to you, my friend. It means a lot.

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  10. In some strange way, I feel like I'm a part of this although I know nothing about it except that I only "know" the two of you as blogging friends. This is a true testament of how beautiful a person you are, Jenny. What an amazing thing and profound thing you did for Matthew and his friend. Simply outstanding!

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    1. Wow, Elsie, what a lovely comment, I'm very touched by your kind words.

      Helping sweet Matthew as a given, I was in the minute he asked; he's such an amazing young fellow and cares so much about others that it was easy to be part of his wonderful plans.

      I'm the lucky one, I have had the most enriching experience ever and grown as a person in the process.

      Thank you, Elsie, for dropping in and taking a look. :)

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    2. He is a kind hearted soul, much like you, Jenny. The words are sincere =)

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    3. Thank you, Elsie. Hugs to you.

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  11. I think I need background for this in order to understand the story :)

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    1. I hear you Dezz - I've been working on a little more of a timeline post to give some clarity to this one. Not wanting to give away too much info has cause a little head scratching...so I'm on it! :)

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    2. I'm glad to know you'll be giving us a timeline!!

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    3. Working on it as we speak!

      I think you'll find it insightful! It's a wonderful story to be part of is all I can say - nothing like being a character in a feel-good story. It's been a blessing...one I will share in more detail...shortly.

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  12. What a beautiful picture of a beautiful girl.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah, for stopping by and leaving these kind words. :)

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  13. What a beautiful post about a beautiful girl written by a beautiful woman.
    Wow, sure packed a lot of 'beautifuls' into one sentence, didn't I?
    Well, isn't that just beautiful?
    I sure am glad that Matthew inspired me to come pay you a visit. It's been so long (that's what she said.....great, I just can't help being a little wiseguy).
    Beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Al, for dropping by and sharing the beauty, with your use of "beautiful", a word a woman never tires of hearing...and in this case the woman in the portrait is indeed a beauty; it resonates from the inside to the outside. I've had the pleasure of a little behind the scene time with her and am in awe of her sweetness and loving nature...she has touched my heart, and Courtney's too!

      Matthew is such a sweetie for giving you the nudge...it beats me dragging you kicking and screaming. (although...) :P

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  14. Wow, what a wonderful thing to do. Love the last cartoon pic, all are great though. And of course Matthew had me hope over to your show.

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    1. What, no cats coming to the show...hmmm, they must be busy or on the go! :P

      Hi Pat - welcome! Nice of Matthew to steer you this way - thank you for checking out the art work. I think it was a gift for my daughter and me as much as it was for Matthew's dear friend.

      The cartoon pic is a digital piece my daughter created based on knowing the young lady is a huge fan of the Batman franchise. (Miss CP is a designer in the animation field)

      Thanks for dropping by! (next time, bring the cats...Wee Dog

      love the chase!) :)

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  15. amazing insights in your work

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    1. In light of my last teaser post I hope this makes sense. Mind you, I will be doing yet another post to put the time line into perspective and give it a first person perspective so it's less a story and more a fact based piece.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lynn, and taking a look. :)

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  16. I have seen your comments on the pages of many of my friends and they are always gracious and kind. Now I understand more fully the kind of person you are. I've followed Matthew for over and year and being Irish myself we share a history and a culture. Something I don't have with but one other person on blogger. He means a great deal to me and to see you make him happy moves me beyond words.

    The artwork on this page is stellar. The spirit and personality of the girl has been captured by the artists hand. I don't have to know the whole story, I understand enough to know how meaningful this is.

    I hope you don't mind if I follow you.

    Thank you
    Anne

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    1. Hi Anne, welcome to Pearson Report, by way of Matthew. Isn't he a sweetie!

      I too have noted comments you've left for Matthew, and a few other mutual bloggers we both follow, and I pay you the same compliment...to wit I am now also a Follower of yours. (I've just come back from your blog)

      Your kind comments regarding the art, done for Matthew, is much appreciated - thank you. :)

      Also, I'm sending "quick recovery" wishes for your knee; I hope all went well with your surgery.

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  17. Reading this makes me want to go back read the blog archives for context. I think I'll do just that!! You have a new follower :)

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    1. Context is coming in the next post. Seems a few of my readers would like a little more "scoop" so to that end I'm working on a post.

      Stay tuned.

      And...welcome to Pearson Report, nice to have you on board!

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  18. OK, I've read the post, I see this amazing portrait drawing you did of this pretty young girl. Wow Jenny, wow. And I've read through the comments trying to make sense of it all. But I have questions...so many questions.

    Who is the pretty girl?...is this your daughter??
    Who is Matthew?
    and
    Is someone getting married? You don't have to answer...these were just the questions that ran through my head. I will be back for the timeline. :)

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    1. You make me smile, Lisa,...ah to have an inquisitive mind. (which is wonderful)
      I am working on a post that will give a little more insight...sorry for the mystery, but it wasn't meant to confuse, alas...it has! :)

      Thanks for taking the time to read this and to throw some questions my way...I'll be filling in the blanks shortly.

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  19. You and your daughter are an incredibly artistic team! The pictures really capture her beauty, and the caricature shows her animated personality. Wish your friend a happy belated birthday for me. I'm sure that she will always treasure your special gifts.
    Julie

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    1. Hi Julie, thank you for your kind words. I will extend your birthday greeting.

      Thank you for taking the time to drop by. Hugs.

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Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

I'd give you a penny for them, but alas we just snuffed it out. Yup...gone!
It's all about the nickel now...so at this rate you can leave 5 thoughts!

Cheers, Jenny

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