If you follow the Bedford Landings blog, you have been seeing teasers about a new art piece to be added to the water feature area in the yard. Thanksgiving day, our family gathered to reveal and dedicate the sculpture designed to be in memory of Karen’s daughter, Whitney, who died this past June, 2020.
The artist Larry Betchel from Blacksburg, VA, entitled the piece, STRENGTH, FALLEN, SOARS.
The sculpture is abstract encompassing the Chinese symbol of strength, which Whitney had tattooed on her shoulder. The complementary tendrils reach towards the heavens and drape to the ground. Some days when it rains, the raindrops will flow into Marthy’s creek which was designed for and named after Whitney’s Grandmother (died 2014). The sculpture was conceptualized to represent Whitney’s fierce strength and determined movement. At some angles, it looks like a bird in flight while others days, a dancer, or a scarf in the wind.
There is a purple accent jewel which honors her beloved husband Quentin (nicknamed Purple) and represents her favorite color and her birthstone. Glassblower, Tim Burke, from Floyd, Virginia (Crenshaw Lighting) blew this teardrop-shaped piece particularly for the sculpture. Incorporated in the glass are some of Whitney’s ashes. The glass will reflect the light during different seasons of the year.
Jack designed and constructed the base. It is a Scottish cairn (a tower of rocks). Cairns often mark a grave. The old Scots Gaelic blessing ‘Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn’ or ‘I’ll put a stone on your cairn’ is said to mean ‘I’ll always remember you’ and ‘you will not be forgotten.’ Each family member added a stone to the base.
We apologize to our readers that we have (therapeutically) been such an open book about our losses this year. Hopefully we can bring some closure as we share a few other important celebrations.
Our friend and artist, Nancy Rae Brown (previously of Smith Mountain Lake and now living in Wilmington, NC), completed a beautiful colored pencil drawing of our sweet Bella who died in October. The sketch of Bella (lower) now join Kramer (upper) on our walls. She did an amazing job capturing her sweet personality!
Fire Chief, Michael G. Brown of Virginia Beach, Virginia was my (Karen’s) brother. Along with my sister (Sheridan Brown), we edited and completed a book Mike had started featuring his standard poodle, Ax as the storyteller. The book teaches about fire safety using the ABC’s. Designed for 5-12 year old children, the book has pages where children can “fill in the blanks” and gives at least 26 safety rules to learn. This book was presented to each family member and we read it together Thanksgiving night. The book is available on Amazon.
It is entitled “Oh Snap, It’s Ax!” Perhaps this would make a good gift!!
Our home becomes your home (all except use of the kitchen and my room!) when you stay at Bedford Landings B & B. So please visit so we might share more with you.
We wish you a happy holiday season! Wear your mask, stay safe and above all, remember to love each other NOW!
Thank you for explaining the symbolism of the beautiful sculpture created in memory of Whitney. I'm honored to be mentioned in your blog and pleased to see my artwork of Bella and Kramer together.
Your blogs are beautiful and healing for all. 2020 will be over soon and we can look for blessings and strength in 2021.