“You’re What I Need” by Fabio Napoleoni

Nothing is greater than a parent’s love for their child.  I learned this quickly a few years ago when I first became a mother.  Words cannot describe the emotions one feels when one welcomes a new little one into this world, and is immediately charged with protecting them and keeping them safe, in each and every way.

Those who know me personally are familiar with the challenges I faced with my first pregnancy, which continued long after the birth of our precious twin girls, Eva and Zoe.  After spending three weeks in the hospital under 24/7 observation, I delivered my sweet girls nearly three months early, only to have to leave them behind in the NICU for another two months before they could come home with us.  It was an experience I could have never predicted, or prepared for, even with the dozens of baby and pregnancy books I had read.

Two years later, Eva and Zoe are doing great and are blessed with their new baby brother, Lucas.  This time around I had more of a ‘normal’ birth experience, and am so happy I was able to spend the first few hours of Lucas’ life with him and also bring him home with me when I was discharged.  I am grateful every day I am a mother, and feel blessed with the beautiful family God has given me.

I do not forget what we went through though, in our early days as parents, and because of this my heart always goes out to others who face similar fates with their new babies.  I get a soft spot in my heart each time I learn of a new story like ours, as I did a few days ago when I discovered a new artist I instantly fell in love with.  My husband, Victor, and I stumbled upon the art of Fabio Napoleoni in a private art gallery and it immediately caught our eye.  His art filled a small space on a back wall, and it drew us both in at once.  Hearts were everywhere in his art — a large one with stitching on it, dozens of tiny ones floating the skies.  The characters he painted appeared solemn and hopeful.  The colors he used were vibrant, yet dark at the same time.  It appealed to us on so many levels.

We slowly learned of the symbolism and meaning behind his art.  These beautiful paintings were created by a father who had also struggled with pain and uncertainty when his precious daughter was born.  When his daughter was born, she had to remain in the NICU due to heart complications.  Since then, she has had several surgeries and is now doing well.  In his paintings, he depicts himself and his wife as ‘rag doll’ characters, and uses a heart to represent his daughter.  Fabio turned to art as an outlet for what he was experiencing as I am sure it was also difficult for him to find someone he could relate to.  His images caught my eye even before I knew his story, but once I learned of his inspiration, I was even more touched by his art.


~the sweetest mami~

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