"Healing from grief is not the process of forgetting,it is the process of remembering with less pain and more joy."
We engage the world with our eyes but are unable to close them when the unthinkable occurs. This is a story about how a community came together to help a grieving family. In the near future, I am going to write a story about mosaic artist, Robin Indar, who was involved in this project, but before I do that, I'd like to share the story of the project itself.
In December 2005 tragedy struck a local Chico family. Nico Cardoza, a happy and healthy 16 month old little boy, died suddenly and unexpectedly one night in his crib. His family and friends were blindsided by his passing. The sense of tragedy and loss was felt by everyone there. Out of a desire to “do something” in this time of sadness and grief, friends and family of the Cardoza’s decided to build a memorial play area in a local Chico park.
Organized fundraising efforts raised close to $120,000 in 12 months. In 2007 the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission approved the final design of the Nico Project.
The project, which included a giant mosaic sea serpent, was opened to the public on July 10th 2007, on Nico's birthday.
Robin Indar created dozens and dozens of hand-made tiles to adorn the serpent and his five humps and tail that reach out of the water-like flooring. It was important to Robin that all of the mosaic portions be of whole tile and included no cut pieces or shards to maximize child-friendliness.
Without once turning away from pain, this playground communicates hope for the children who remain. The fullness of life is it's own meaning. As this remarkable community effort conveys, there is hope in that.
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