In The Shop {Love}

Last year around this time I watched helplessly as one of my good friends and her husband buried their three week old daughter.

They had tried for years to get pregnant without any success.

They then tried for years to get pregnant through IVF.

Years without a baby and all your heart wants is a baby…leaves you heartbroken and exhausted.

Then they were told they were pregnant.

The most exciting news was that they were pregnant with twins.

My friend is a twin and her twin is her best friend so you can only imagine the joy.

The joy that is so huge that you are afraid to accept it because you are only used to heartbreak and you don’t know if this is real…if this will last.

But it did.

Two little girls were growing and getting ready for this world.

Clothes were bought and a nursery was decorated.

Then the day came that they were told that one of the girls had a hole in her heart and most likely that was a sign of Down’s Syndrome.

Hearts were hurting all over again…but there was hope.  When the baby was born they would be able to close the hole in her heart and she would be strong and healthy.

Then my friend’s health started to decline.  The babies were toxic to her body.  She was hospitalized and put on bed rest.

We all prayed that the girls would get big enough before the doctors said they had to bring them into the world.

At 26 weeks Calista and Darby were born.

The littlest babies I have ever seen.

Calista was quiet and sweet from the beginning {the doctors said some of the most beautiful physical features that we loved about her were because of the downs}.   I could have watched her stick out her little tongue all day.

Darby was having a hard time with the noise and her whole body was having a hard time adjusting to such an early birth.

Calista would never be strong enough for her surgery.

Her body couldn’t take it and her heart was slowly shutting down.

Calista lived for three weeks.

Her life was precious.  She was loved deeply.  She is missed everyday.

Darby just celebrated her one year birthday.  She is gorgeous, happy and loved so deeply.

I didn’t know what to give my friend to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday but to also acknowledge the absence of her other daughter.

So, I painted.

I didn’t know what else to give.

I asked my friend how she would feel if I made the print available in my shop and proceeds would go to a charity of her choice…in Calista’s name.

She loved the idea and she has chosen Love 146.

I love that this is her charity.  I love that anyone who purchases this print will be honoring Calista and her life….and helping other children in this world.

I have watched my friends pain through all of this.

I once read that pain is a winding road.  Other people want it to have a beginning and an end…but pain doesn’t work like that.

If you are on this journey I am so sorry.  I wish I could hold your hand, sit with you, hear your heart.

I know from watching my friend that it can be a lonely road.

The best advice I can give you that I have learned from watching my friend….if you don’t know what to say just love on them anyways and don’t ever act like it didn’t happen.

We say Calista’s name often around here…..

Share this Post


  1. Destiny

    I love this idea! It’s so thoughtful and sweet of you to donate proceeds to that charity. What a touching story…I can’t even imagine the pain that lives inside after something like that. I love the art piece – it’s beautiful and couldn’t be more perfect for this situation. You have such a big heart Jeanne!

  2. Melissa

    Jeanne ~ it’s absolutely perfect. Your heart is so big, so loving, so beautiful. “don’t ever act like it didn’t happen” ~ no truer words.

  3. leslie

    This is an amazing post. My sister and my best friend lost a child at a very young age. It is difficult to know what to do or say to help but loving them just the same is so true. I’m sure this post will be the words of encouragement to someone going through the same situation.

  4. Amy Axe

    That is beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes this morning. What a wonderful gift for your Calista!

  5. Leah C

    Such a beautiful gesture to give your friend…a sweet & tender tribute to her baby girls:) You are a kind & beautiful friend, Jeanne! I think this print is your best one yet:)

  6. Deb

    I love this. What a wonderful gift for your friend and such a tribute for her little one.

    Bless your heart.

  7. Kate @ Songs Kate Sang

    As tears run down my face, I join them in their sorrow. I miscarried twins late September, 2010. I know I will see them again in heaven and that angels are caring for them until I arrive.

    Your painting is beautiful. What an amazing gift and tribute. Calista is such a beautiful name. I will be praying for the family as they continue to heal and miss their sweet daughter.

  8. Cathy

    My 25 year old son, Ryland is a twin. His brother, Griegh died when they were three weeks old. We keep his footprints and the knit cap he wore in the incubator hanging in my studio. Ry refers to his brother from time to time and it is a very strong bond that ties him to his spirituality. Beautiful piece… wish you would do a little boys version for me to give Ry as a gift.
    all love, c.

    1. jeanne Author

      I did not know this about you! I am so sorry. I can’t imagine. I will share with my friend that your son talks about Griegh from time to time and that he feels so connected to him…I know that will bless her greatly! I would love to make a boy piece. I will be thinking about it and how to will do it.

  9. Amy

    This is beautiful, Jeanne. My heart breaks for your friends’ loss. I have a dear friend who lost 2 babies in a row due to a rare condition. She already had 2 children, and went on to have one more after her losses. Nobody and nothing can replace those that are lost, and this is a grief that will be with her forever.

    I will check out Love146 today.

    Blessings to you…

  10. Lana

    This is precious. Our family has two babies in heaven. The line on your print got me.

    Such a sweet thing…remembering.

  11. Jennifer Snelllings

    Hi Jeanne!

    Thank you so much for sharing your friend’s story and how you honored her daughter’s memory. I can’t imagine a more loving, special gift that you could have given her and I know it will be treasured always.

    Your work is so unique and beautiful! I just love it!!

    Thanks again for sharing something so very beautiful!

  12. Diane Adame

    I can’t even see what I’m typing through all my tears. What you have written is the most profound writting I have ever read. I too lost my only Daughter “Heather Nicole” she had a hole in her heart as well, and was to weak to have the surgery. She went to Heaven three days after she was born. That has been 25 yaers ago, and I still miss her everyday.

    God bless you,


  13. Amy

    Jeanne, I am back to comment again 🙂

    I wanted to thank you for introducing me to I did go and visit the site, and the timing was perfect. You see, my husband and I were given a very generous sum of money for Christmas. We are blessed to be able to give this away, and have been praying about what ministry to give the money to. My husband’s biggest area that he feels called to has always been trafficked women and children. Thanks to you, I think we’ve found what we want to donate to….after spending much time exploring (and weeping our way through) the love146 website.

    Also, I have felt compelled, as a mixed media artist, to create a piece based on love146. I finally got started on it today, and have cried my way through it. I am enjoying the process of creating, though the topic makes me feel such grief at the same time.

    Just thought you might be interested…..


    1. jeanne Author

      That is amazing!! Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me. You are so blessed to be in a position to donate. Please share your art with me when you are finished!!

  14. Martha

    it is a beautiful piece of work Jeanne! And I love that you said the best thing is to acknowledge it:)
    What a beautiful gift

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.