OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – It’s a love story bound with trials. Jamie Taylor and her late husband, Dave, met in 2020 and quickly bonded over their shared love of art. That bond grew the two closer. But after the couple battled Covid in late 2020, something felt off.
“It got to the point where he was losing 5 to 10 pounds a week and he was having trouble swallowing,” recalls Jamie Taylor, “and I was finally like, ‘Listen, I don’t know what’s going on but you need to go get seen for this.'”
Tests would later reveal Taylor had stage 4 esophageal cancer. Immediately, he made his dying wish known to his wife, Jamie.
“He blurted out, ‘I want Aaron Kizer to paint my portrait with my ashes’,” says Taylor.
On Labor Day weekend of 2022, Taylor sent artist Aaron Kizer a message on social media, expressing his love for Kizer’s work and detailing his unique request. But just 12 hours after sending the message, Taylor would pass away.
“I didn’t read much into it,” says Kizer. “I was like, I don’t know how I feel about this. Then I got back onto Facebook and I saw his obituary.”
Kizer would later receive two photos of Jamie and Dave, and he went to work, using paint mixed with Taylor’s cremated ashes.
“I think for me, I didn’t know how to approach the ashes part of it,” explains Kizer. “There’s always a chance of messing a painting up. I’ve done it a million times. I’ll get started on one, hate it and throw it away. This is not one you can get started on, hate and throw it away.”
“It kind of just blew me away,” says Taylor, “because I really was just totally open to whatever it was. Because my husband wanted Aaron to do it, and I wanted Aaron to show up in the portraits as well for my husband.”
While their time together was brief, Taylor says this story shows the proof of beauty in the ashes.
“We were brought together for a reason very specifically and in very good timing. And I just want people to know that you can enjoy life with cancer and you can enjoy life after you lose someone that you love very much.”