I was honored to sculpt a piece called “The Healing Tree” which is installed at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. This piece pays tribute to families of fallen Police Officers and the sacrifice that not only the officer made, but the family as well. The large bend in the tree symbolizes changes, hardships, and accomplishments we all endure throughout our lives. I hope that family members can see themselves in this piece and appreciate the past, and look forward to the future, despite the twists and turns.
The tree shows branches twisting and turning from the main trunk, with the words “Rebuilding Shattered Lives.” As a family, we all encounter many twists and turns — some unexpected, some tragic – yet they are all part of our story and what weaves us together in the end. Each family finds different meaning in this memorial piece, but all can agree that together, as families, as communities, we are stronger.
I enjoy seeing my pieces throughout the seasons. This photo was taken a week before Christmas, when we are lucky enough to be surrounded by family, and also take time to cherish moments with loved ones who have passed on. During install, it’s a wonderful moment seeing the bronze shine in the sunlight; a happy and monumental occasion for the individuals and groups I sculpt for. Yet seeing it on a cold day, or covered in snow, reminds me that every season of life brings many changes and challenges, but I’m always grateful for the communities and families I get to serve not only as a firefighter, but as an artist.