Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Custom Tribute, Post 2

I will be honest, little Joel Smith captured my heart from the moment I saw his sweet pictures.  His smile was so big and bright and hid the fact that he was actually fighting a very difficult battle- the battle against cancer.  Aside from his smile I also noticed something else about Joel, something that everyone who knew him also knew- Batman was his hero.

Working on a child's headstone is always extremely difficult for obvious reasons.  Of course part of me always wants to cry for (and sometimes with) the family, for all of the pain and heartache they have been through.  And then the other part of me wants to give the family my absolute best efforts in honor of their child.  So, when I begin working on a child's stone, I always listen to the parent's ideas and try to come up with a design that is both beautiful and appropriate given the child's interests and hobbies.  While many parents do know exactly what they want for their child, others have no clue what they would like and simply want us to take an idea and expand upon it. 

In Joel's case we visited with the family and then got the opportunity to "meet" Joel through a news broadcast about the Make a Wish Foundation and how they made Joel Batman for a Day.  Check out the link below to learn about Joel and what an amazing super hero he truly was.

Joel as Batman by the Make a Wish Foundation

Of course, after watching the videos we knew that the memorial needed to incorporate Joel as Batman and, with the help of his family, came up with this proof....

One of the wonderful things about technology is that we can make changes to monuments until the family is 100% satisfied with the way the memorial looks, and this case was no exception.  The family wanted to move some text to the back thus resulting in the second proof:

Many families choose to put information on the back of their memorials and there is really no right or wrong inscription to use.  Of course I prefer to recommend that you go with an inscription (or epitaph) that is natural and truly "fits" your loved one's personality.  In this case "Our Little Super Hero" is completely appropriate.

Joel's memorial is absolutely beautiful and is such a special tribute to an amazing little boy.

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