“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie
This is the first year since 2000 that I haven’t illustrated a Christmas card for the Tim Fix Scholarship Fund. Tim was my sister, Laura, and her husband Bob’s son. He died in a drowning accident in 1996. To give meaning to his passing, his parents formed a scholarship fund in his name. The holiday cards I designed were just one of the ways money was raised for it. My sister was a school social worker in the same district their son grew up in. For years, she sold many cards through her connections in the community. Last May, when Laura retired from her job, we felt like it was time to wind down the Christmas cards, too.
I loved creating the cards in Tim’s memory. I always included an angel in my design. It was also fun selling them. Sales would connect us to people who knew and loved my nephew. The cards always gave us pause to remember him and smile. Knowing that the money collected supported kids we thought Tim would approve of, added to our good feelings.
The absence of a Christmas card for my nephew this year leaves a bit of a hole in my heart. I’ve decided to fill that hole by honoring him in different way. This December, I’m going to give an angel in Tim’s memory to a friend I’ve never met in person and most likely never will. Petrina lives in Malaysia and found me through my blog. She began writing to me because even though we live worlds apart, we still have so much in common. We truly are kindred spirits.
In one email, Petrina confided in me about the loss of her son Jaeden Gabriel. At three years old, her sweet boy was taken from her by a mysterious illness. She sent pictures of him to me. The beauty of her child and the depth of her grief stayed with me. I was pulled to paint a portrait of him. Finding the time for that never happened until I realized that Petrina should be the recipient of Tim’s angel this year. I took a break from a commission to work on a watercolor of Jaeden. It was a joy to paint. In this high holy season of love, I know my portrait will mean so much to her and her family.
So for all of those who love Tim, this year his angel lives in the image above. At the same time, my gift of Jaeden and his heavenly companion travels across the miles to Petrina. For just like love, angels were meant to be shared.
Pictured below are the cards that I created over the years in memory of Tim :
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Text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved. www.sueshanahan.com
Love this new addition to your angel paintings. Jaeden has such a sweet face, with old soul eyes. What a wonderful gift to Petrina, and I’m sure she’ll feel the blessing that is intended.
Thanks, Amie. Merry Christmas!
Dear Sue, How very beautiful! You are an inspiration and blessing to many, and I thank you. May you have a beautiful, blessed Christmas and a new year filled with countless reasons for joy. Lois
Thank you Lois. I a beautiful and kind thing to say. Love to you, Sue
I have been buying the Christmas cards from Laura since you started making them. I have a few that are missing. Is there anyway to fill in the blank shat I have. As a side note, I absolutely LOVE seeing the images of Elyse and Molly in some of your paintings!
I’m so glad you like the cards. That is so nice that you want to get a hold of the ones you are missing. Get in touch with Laura. I know she has some from past years. Thanks for the kind words about my art. Merry Christmas, Sue
Such a beautiful thing to do. I agree angels are meant to be shared.
How beautiful you are amazing. I am eagerly awaiting the “Im in’ treat I’ve won. I resent my address. CAN’t wait! Merry Xmas Sue from Lyn in Austalia
Hi Lyn, Thanks for the kind words. I didn’t forget about you. Your books will be shipped tomorrow. Happy holidays,