Friday, July 03, 2009

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you that I almost believe that they're real



Remember Shepard Fairey, of the iconic Obama campaign poster? Turns out he is friends with Jeff & Jo Ann, the parents of Pablo, the little dude who lost his fight with cancer last week. At the memorial celebration Tuesday night, Shepard's portrait of Pablo was unveiled. Aw, how lovely, you might say. Well, it gets better.

After Jeff introduced Fairey, they held up for all to see both the original photo which inspired the artwork and the new work itself. While hard to see over the standing-room-only crowd, I was able to get a glimpse of the new work. But Jeff, realizing that not everyone could see the new piece, simply handed it into the crowd to pass around so everyone could see. Keep in mind that Fairey prints sell for $400+, and original art commands an astronomical price, yet this act of trust and love seems typical for Pablo's parents.

Having worn their hearts and emotions on their sleeves for so long now, the idea that they trusted people, some of whom they had never met, with a new image of their precious boy, is mind-boggling, yet completely in character. Should such a tragedy ever happen to me and mine, these are the people I would choose as my guides.

Here is what Shepard & Amanda Fairey said about Pablo, along with the portrait:


Pablo is the son of our friends Jeff and Jo Ann. He died of cancer on Saturday, just a few days after his sixth birthday. As parents it is impossible for me and Amanda to imagine facing what Jeff, Jo Ann, and Pablo faced courageously. There is a moving diary of Pablo’s battle with cancer at getwellpablo.blogspot.com. Yes, we all know that cancer affects a huge number of people, but what you see at this blog is a very compelling demonstration that cancer can strike anyone, any age, and no amount of love can cure what science has no cure for yet. People like Pablo remind us why cancer research is so important. You can find out more and make a donation to the Pablove Foundation here: www.pablove.org/donate.html.
I lost my sister Kristin, my Mom, and our friend Lizzie to cancer (and side effects) in the last 7 years. I know, that and $.50 will buy today's LA Times, so prevalent is the disease. Yet Dr. Mascarenhas, Pablo's Oncologist, says we'll have a cure for cancer in the next several years. While this cure will not have helped Mom, Kristin, Lizzie or Pablo, it WILL help untold others who will not die from the awful disease that eats the body, and sometimes even the soul.

So may the universe bless Pablo's Papa & Mommy, Dr. Mascarenhas, Shepard & Amanda Fairey, and all others who's lives are altered by this awful disease.