Forever In Our Hearts

Brianna Lauren Grant ~ Jan. 12, 1990 - June 15, 2007

Our beautiful 17-year-old daughter Brianna underwent a bone marrow transplant in February 2007. I was with her every step of the way. I wrote about our four-month journey on our blog:
     On June 15, 2007, our  Brianna died. My husband and I and our son are left with the worst kind of heartache and grief. I miss Brianna's fun-loving, vivacious personality and most of all her hugs and words, "I love you, mom."
     Brianna fought courageously, and told me in the hospital that I was her hero. But in reality, she was the true hero. (I wrote about this and created some art in published in the May/June '08 issue of Somerset Studio.) She had so much to live for and was an artist to the core. Her fight touched the lives of many, and she will always be remembered.
     Following her funeral, four wonderful women organized an online art auction called Angels for Brianna. They gathered more than 75 artists to contribute beautiful, hand-crafted angels of all kinds. We remain overwhelmed with the love and support of all who were part of this effort, from the talented people who donated lovely pieces to those who bid on them, and of course the friends who coordinated the whole event. The week-long auction raised more than $18,000. Brianna would be so amazed.
     We have set up a foundation to honor our beloved daughter: the Brianna Memorial Fund through Fidelity Charitable Giving. We have donated a stone bench in her honor at the St. Augustine Art Association, in St. Augustine, FL. A plaque bears her name. It is part of the artistic Touch Garden before you enter the association's building in historic downtown.
    In addition to the funds raised at the auction, more than $3,000 was donated to the National Art Honor Society at Monte Vista High School in Alamo, CA. Brianna started a local chapter at the school in 2006 and was president before she could no longer finish her 11th grade year. She was such a self starter! Her close friends and NAHS board members have vowed to carry on with the organization and use the donated money to hold art events in conjunction with NAHS. Budding high school artists will benefit because of Brianna.
     We thank you for sending us your prayers and condolences. We are thankful we had Brianna, even for a short 17 years. She taught us to love and to live. And she is missed every minute of every day. Life can change in the blink of an eye, so remember, each day is a gift.