Pencil drawing of a young African-American boy sitting on Jesus’ lap. The Savior knows and loves each one of God’s children and regards them equally. In addition, the passing of a loved one never goes unnoticed by Him. He welcomes all. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father…Fear ye not, therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matt 10:29-31).
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It isn’t rare for a child to become ill, but it is rare when that illness is so aggressive that it results in a child’s unexpected death. That is exactly what happened to Bryan. One day, he started running a fever, and within 24 hours he passed away, leaving his parents and two older brothers stunned and grief stricken.
Bryan’s family commissioned me to do a drawing for Bryan’s headstone. When I sent the drawing to them some time later, I expressed my hope that it was worth the wait. Within days I received a note in reply: “Worth the wait? It never ceases to amaze me how Heavenly Father puts people in your life when you need them. You see, today was the first day of school, and Bryan would normally be my only child home. But there was no Sesame Street today- just an empty, quiet house and a mother mourning for her baby. Then came a reminder from Heaven that I was being loved- your picture.”
Bryan''s mother writes: My son, Bryan, died suddenly in 1999. He was two years old. It was very difficult to let him go, he was such a bright spot in our family. Jean Keaton''s artwork has helped us remember that he is not far. We hope sharing this will brighten your day and strengthen your faith.” (See “My Beliefs”)