Gung-ho Grandma

by Kathleen Huebener in Works in Progress


This is where the saga begins for me. I am an artist. I was at Mr. Bean’s in Marion having a spot of green tea, as many artists do. We meet, have a hot drink, and talk shop. Linda Maske, who works there, spotted me and having a free moment, came over to chat. Linda and I have been Christian sisters for umpteen years. Even though the Lord has sent us in different directions, it’s like we’ve never been apart when we see each other again. Do you have friends like that? These friends are extra special blessings!

Linda filled me in on what had happened in her
granddaughter Jasmine’s short life. What a precious wonder child Jasmine was, for she always brought an abundance of love and happiness to Linda and John, her grandparents. As Linda related all this to me, one could feel that the heavy pain and sorrow in Linda’s heart because of the absence of her beloved Jasmine. When she showed me her necklace, a special remembrance of Jasmine, tears were in her eyes… and in mine.


 The next day, since she knew I was an artist, Linda contacted me about a memorial idea; a butterfly garden in Linda’s backyard. To create this garden and to remember Jasmine was something she felt compelled to do deep within her soul. Linda went gung-ho as a woman on a mission.
Linda bought two flat stones from the quarry in Stone City, Iowa. She had hoped that at least one of the stones would work for her idea; a stone to be placed standing up in the garden. She wanted words to be painted on the front of the stone; something like this:

“In Memorial

Jasmine Jean Maske

Oct. 8, 1999Dec. 10, 2009.”

I had painted on stones before; it’s not my favorite thing to do. Stones usually are too porous for paint, even if one seals them with a varnish. But since this was for Linda, and for Jasmine, I told Linda I would do this for her. I would create different designs and she could choose the one she wanted. If she wasn’t too thrilled with the choices, I’d go back to square one. But before designing, it was necessary for me to bring those stones to my studio.


Once I had the stones in my studio, I encountered a great dilemma.

Next Monday…the dilemma and possible alternatives.