Big Shoes to Fill

They were a little snug and a lot uncomfortable but when I was selecting what to wear to the Governor’s mansion I knew that I had to wear these shoes.

I couldn’t wait to tell my mom when  the possibility of my work being at the Governor’s mansion first began. It was just the kind of thing she would be so proud of! But she was in hospice care at home and to be honest I wasn’t sure if she heard me when I shared that news.

Matt and I traveled to Montgomery and spent some time with the Governor's wife, first lady Dianne Bentley. We walked around the property and discussed all the possibilities for an oil painting. I was thinking of a magnolia for the sunroom. But Mrs. Bentley had a better suggestion. How about a nest that incorporates state symbols? Perfect! So, I painted a nest surrounded in blackberry blossoms, a tiger swallowtail butterfly, and yellow hammer eggs. We agreed four eggs would be a fun nod to their 4 sons.

Amy Crews "Alabama Nest" oil painting
Amy Crews Artist and Her Mom

My mom and I were adventurers. When it was time to return and deliver the finished painting, it hurt me to know I would have surely asked her to go along with me. And she would have been prouder than a peacock and loved every minute! But she had passed away prior to this meeting. 

Amy Crews & Dianne Bentley

So, at the last minute, I decided I would wear her shoes! They were a little snug and a lot uncomfortable. I know how silly that must sound and I’m a little embarrassed to share that. But it was a way to have her with me on that special day. 

Dianne Bentley, former First Lady of the state, stands next to Amy's painting "The Alabama Nest" the day it was delivered to the Governor's mansion.
I received a most thoughtful thank you note from Mrs. Bentley. Not only did she thank me for the painting, but she shared her condolences for the loss of my mom. Not long after delivering this painting, the Governor had some "indiscretions" make the headlines. There was quite a scandal and I wondered if it was happening when we had met. But, ever the model of a strong, true southern lady, she'd have never let on! I'm thankful for the opportunity. I know it's not biblically sound, but I could not help but imagine my mom pulling some strings in heaven to make this adventure happen.

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