Today marks a day of celebration for me
April 2, 2017
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Journey of Reflections by Sara Kramer


Joe Budde (Joey)

As I geared up for several drawings that I have been creating in my mind, it was only fit to draw a portrait of Joseph Budde. As I reflect on my week when I first started drawing Joe it is an experience I will never forget just like him.

Joseph Budde meant so such to many people, he is my friend who we acted like brother and sister; there were times we spent almost everyday day together. The funniest thing was watching the news with him.

The day he found out he had cancer I was at his house that evening. Others didn’t know yet. I realized the day I paid for Joseph Budde to be cremated and sat in his dining room that I was going to make sure that I had a blast with him until his body was no longer with us. And we did. While Joe was in hospice we had so many great moments and laughed so hard just as we would do before he got sick. I always wondered why I was one of four people he selected for his hospice care. I would tell him “I have no clue what I am doing” he would smile and tell me he loved me. I know why he picked me now after 3 years.

I started drawing Joe on the Sunday prior to date May 6, 2017. As I had his picture up on my laptop and sketched him I listened to his top 25 most played songs on his iPod. When I looked down and could see his face popping out at me, tears rolled down my eyes. I thought I was finally after all these years drawing him! I put my pencil down and picked my friend and soul sister Heather Hanson. We spent the afternoon in my drawing room; she filmed and took pictures of me while I got in my zone.

Art by SaraK

Photo by: Heather Hanson

The next few days the energy of Joe was everywhere, different occurrences happened. I would blow it off thinking it was due to the time of year and that I was drawing him. When I draw anyone I listen to that person’s type of music, I don’t know why? It just helps me. I was fortunate that I had his iPod during the course of me drawing Joe; he was telling me a story through the music he listened to.

Social media does an outstanding job of reminding you of past events. Facebook showed me a lot of memories of that week in 2014. It also showed me prior years. The day this week when I thought I lost my mind was Thursday. Joe’s cell phone activated an Instagram account and was following my art account. Not my personal “Sara” account but my art account. I thought okay Joe is telling me something. I thought I needed to finish drawing him.

I came home sat on my front porch talking to Broc Hammond and let everyone know I left work early and was home. I started to focus so I could draw. I turned my laptop on and plugged into his iPod. Apparently my laptop needed to complete two updates at that moment. When that was completed I would open Joe’s picture and it would turn black. Just then Heather Hanson sent me a message and said I need to listen. So I listened to his iPod and the story Joe was tell me through his top 25 most played songs. When I finished all the songs his picture wasn’t black on my laptop. By then it was dinner time. I didn’t draw Friday. Saturday May 6, 2017, I woke up early before my uncle Vern’s funeral and finished Joe’s drawing. I wasn’t meant to finish his drawing until 3 years after the day when he took his last breath with Elton John, Candle in the Wind in the background, surrounded by those he selected to care for him.

There is no question that Joe and I loved each other like brother and sister but why was I selected? He knew I would keep his memory alive, he knew I would tell his story. He knew I would be a family to his family. He knew I would always be there. And I am.


P.S. Joe’s Instagram account liked the drawing of Joseph Budde.


One of the songs from Joe’s playlist

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