Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Lambie Pies go one forever

I would like to talk about one little girl named Sarah, the lambie she loved, and the enduring effect one human being has on
the world.

A couple weeks ago, I received an email that grabbed my heart and has had lasting reverberations on me and others. A woman named Meg emailed me, after stumbling on my work thanks to the Illustration Friday interview I participated in. Visiting my blog led her not only to me and my art, but to the animal products over at my Cafe Press site, specifically, some items that had a little face of lamb with the word "lambie." She diplomatically asked me if it was possible for me to create the same little mini buttons, but change the word to "Lambie Pie" - and her reasons were compelling.

She went on to explain that her little sister, Sarah, had died one year earlier while working and studying abroad at the age of 20. Meg and her brother had been best friends and mentors with Sarah all through life, as they were 10 years old when Sarah was born - she shared the family joke that little baby Sarah really had 2 sets of parents, her real Mom and Dad and her older brother and sister. Meg then went on to tell me that when Sarah was born, her brother and her picked out a little lambie for the baby Sarah - and from that day on, Sarah took that lambie everywhere. As Sarah grew into a young girl, and then young adult, she loved to travel and explore, and she always took her lambie with her - a little bit of home and family was always with her. Meg then told me how on Sarah's final voyage abroad, she was talking to Sarah and saying good bye on the phone, and Sarah had for some reason chosen not to take Lambie, or could not fit her in her only backpack - and one of the last things she said to her older sister Meg was, "Hug Lambie for me!". They both laughed, and two weeks later, Sarah fell ill in Africa. Within days she was dead, and she died far away from her family, and Lambie Pie of course.

Well, I was so touched by the way Meg wrote about her sister Sarah - I am perhaps not doing the story justice, as Meg writes beautifully. She wrote about Sarah at length, to give me an idea of her energy and laughter, and spirit. She sounded a bit like me. She decided to go for it, and she went for it straight on her whole 20 years. She was one of those people that left huge marks in one's impression and heart. She had BIG energy, and still does - I felt it.

So, I made some items for Meg with Lambie Pie on them, and Meg will share them with friends and family. Meg continued to write me for the next day with stories about Sarah - she shared many pictures of Sarah in her last year, in her many travels. While Meg's letters were full of light and humor, and good memories, the ache of missing her sister could be viscerally felt in her words. After many emails in 2 days time, I finally had to ask, "Do you have a picture of the real Lambie Pie?"

When I saw this picture of a little baby, knowing a mother, father, and a 10 year old brother and sister were near by, my heart just sort of broke in many bits. It was as if I had lived Sarah's life in reverse. I wanted her to be alive again. I thought about that idea that in a parent's eyes, a child - no matter if they are 20 or 50-is always a child, it's always that little baby with a lambie pie to that parent. I wept - isn't that odd - a total stranger brought me to tears. But that is an important thing to remember for all of us - one person can move mountains, can effect and reverberate long after they are gone. Call it love, call it soul.

And in the next month, we will begin lambing season. And from one of our mama ewes, will come a little girl lambie, and she shall be named "Lambie Sarah Pie".