Stairway to Heaven.jpg

TITLE: Stairway to Heaven (2017)

ARTIST: Abby Kamen

MEDIUM: Oil on canvas. 16 x 20 in.

STORY: It was a hot summer evening in July and I was finally going to meet Jennifer Lawerence at her foundation’s “Power of One” event. I had been wanting to work with her for some time and her energy kept circling me in a “few-degrees of separation” fashion. Louisville is close knit. 

Anyway, Amy (my medium) advised that the event held significance for me, but not necessarily because of Jennifer. I should remain open. A little deflated and anticipatory off I went. I hit the red carpet solo. My husband needed to work late and would be meeting me at the after party.

After my photo had been snapped, I was greeted with a cocktail and led to a charming lobby. From there I would be escorted in a small group through the elaborate, multiple-floored Hunger Games Exhibit. It was obvious Melanie was also alone, so we introduced ourselves. 

I was completely thrown when she mentioned her attendance was on behalf of her recently deceased twelve-year-old daughter Reagan. It was on her child’s bucket list to have pizza with Jennifer. Tears prickled my eyes. Somehow I was able to keep them from running down my face. Wow. Melanie was eloquent, poised, and relatable. Her pain enveloped her to a level of grace beyond anything I had ever witnessed.

Champagne in hand, we toured the exhibit, gently sharing the stories that brought each of us to the event. At one point she turned to me and inquired, “Do you think we will ever be able to teach our children empathy?” To which I replied, “I certainly hope so, because it appears to my be life’s purpose to try.”

There was a receiving line for Jennifer at the end of the exhibit and we got to met her briefly. As we entered the event, Melanie and I were seated at different tables. I was presented with a myriad of interesting encounters throughout the night, both from people I knew and those I didn’t. More stories of loss, some of hope, all believing in the “Power of One,” Jennifer, and the messaging from The Hunger Games.

I couldn’t sleep when I got home. The overarching meet was Melanie and I was still flush with her story. What did it mean to me? I Googled her website and clicked on a video of her daughter. It was chilling to watch this wise child speaking on behalf of the Universe.

“I love you. I don’t even know you, but I know I love you. So if you need me, call me, text me, I don’t know, just find me. Because I will be here for you.” 

Reagan’s honest plea had a tone of joy. She begged us to open our hearts and see that LOVE has been and will always be the answer. Yet, she was bullied to death. This beautiful child was just too weary. She overdosed on cough pills. I do not believe she meant to take her own life. By the time she was able to inform her parents, it was simply too late.

A few month later Reagan contacted me through Amy!! She appeared as very pink entity showing Amy a scene from the movie Letters to Juliet. Specifically, she highlighted Amanda Siegfried’s beautiful blond hair to indicate that the message for me would be revealed through Sophie, Amanda’s character in the movie.

Of course, I watched the movie that night. I awoke with the inspiration for this painting and the following message from Reagan in the closing line of the movie, “What if?”

My take-away from this experience is that ascension isn’t a choice. It’s happening whether you are aware of the process or not. It’s vast, nuanced, comprehensive, complicated, and full of wonder. 

Let’s let Reagan’s wisdom guide us to gear up and collect as many tools as we can to make the climb easier. Let’s catch each other when we loose our footing. Choosing to be actively part of the discovery is a choice. I’m in. You?