04 December 2012


The day after Lula died, someone told me a dream.  I keep it with me like the locket around my neck. Like my L and R tattoos, I revisit it constantly, retracing it with my thoughts.

Lula had several therapists who came to work with her at our house on a daily basis.  One of them I liked especially, a feeding therapist, but she had to leave because she was pregnant and a therapists'  job can be quite physical.  The day after Lula died she showed up at my door and I looked at her face - she has a beautiful, open face - and I knew she had lost her baby.  She looked pained, almost startled. She told me she wasn't pregnant any more.  She came inside and told me her dream.

When she was pregnant she and her husband discussed names for the baby, as all expectant parents do, and they could never seem to quite agree.  At one point her husband said that she could name the baby whatever she wanted but insisted, "just don't call him Pablo!"  So, of course, she started to call the baby Pablo, and they affectionately referred to the baby as Pablo after that.

There were complications and she lost Pablo.  It was agony.  She was devastated and frightened and sad. And so angry.  A couple of weeks later she had a dream about Pablo.  He was standing in front of a tree branch in the sky among the clouds.  He was a 3 or 4 years old, a healthy little boy. He spoke and said "don't cry mommy, it's ok, I'm ok". To his left was a little girl about the same age in a white dress with a scalloped collar and bangs. He pointed to her and said "she's ok too, see she can eat". She was holding a slice of cantaloupe.  She smiled as she ate it.

It was Lula.   She had never safely been able to eat very much by mouth in real life, but she loved gnawing on pieces of cantaloupe, which the therapist often gave to her. In the dream Lula was a happy little girl and Pablo was happy too and they were keeping each other company.

She had this dream two weeks before Lula died.  She hadn't worked with Lula in months. At the time the dream confused her but made her feel a little bit better.

When she told me this dream it was a moment of utter clarity.  I knew that Lula's life was meant to be exactly what it was for exactly as long as it was.  I knew that she was no longer in pain, no longer frightened or suffering. I knew we had done the right thing in letting her go.

I don't really believe in religion or reincarnation or spirits or ghosts.  But I believe in, I guess "energy" for lack of a better word, and I believe that we pass it like a torch to one another.  I believe that we all take care of each other even after we are gone from this earth.


This project is for Lula Neave Walker Murray, who died on December 4, 2011 after a challenging eighteen months on this earth.

Lula taught us that everyone has something to contribute, so we asked people to create a "Lula" in her honor and memory and send it to us. Thus far we have received over 100 Lulas from friends, family, and total strangers from all over the world.   If you would like to contribute to the project please email me a jpeg of your "Lula" with your name and location to mwalkerphoto@me.com

We learned from Lula that no ones' worth is determined by their wealth, talent, ambition, or status. A life of value is possible to anyone with a willingness to affect others lives for the better. Lula was a little girl who couldn't even hold up her own head, but could routinely galvanize others to see themselves and this world in a new light. 

In her brief time with us she taught us what is truly important; not your IQ, SATs, the pedigree of your college, the importance of your job, the size of your house, the speed of your car, the firmess of your abs, or the artisinalness of your tomatoes. All that is meaningful is that we take care of those we love and that we are good and generous to everyone. To us this project has proven exactly that.

Thank you, Lula Neave, for teaching us everything we ever need to know. 

Agata Adamowicz My Living Room, Brooklyn NY

Agatha Ponickly Glitter Tattoo, Brooklyn NY

Whitney for the Wangsten Family, Clermont Ave Brooklyn NY

Aunt Boo wearing Grandma Marions Ring, Prague

Becca and Ladybug Nahlia Howlett, Brooklyn NY

Becky Lichtenfeld Kitchen, London UK

Brian Hall, Brooklyn NY

Cecelia Rembert, Pier 6 Brooklyn NY

Charlie Adams, London UK

Claire Buchanan, Brooklyn NY

Clementina Fletcher Patio Doors, Bampton Oxfordshire

Corrie Moore Mums, Lawrence KS

Cousins Jamie Ronan Declan Dylan Lori Luca and Saire, Valley Forge PA

Amy Wegenaar, Brooklyn NY

Cristina and Ladybug William, Brooklyn NY

Dad Sawdust in the Woodshop, Brooklyn NY

Dave Cooper, Brooklyn NY

Deanna and Melanie Sanford Sewing Room, LucasTexas

Bret Sigler, Brooklyn NY

Jessica Torres, Canarsie Brooklyn NY

JoAnn Liguori Kisses in my Living Room, Brooklyn NY

Diana Oberlander, NYC

Karen Dumonet, Long Island City NY

Elizabeth Hutchison, NYC

Paul St.Savage Studio, Brooklyn NY

Eliza Factor, Brooklyn NY

Erin Prezkop, NYC

Eva Barash, Brooklyn NY

Forest Ray, Brooklyn NY

Gabe Banner, Calexico NYC

Grandma Soup, NYC

Claire Meidroth, Chicago IL

Heather Gray and Charles Kannair, Pittsburgh PA

Ingrid Goodwin First Snow, Budapest Hungary

Jessica Houser Christmas Cookies House of Houser Kitchen, Philly PA

Jim Sanford, DallasTexas

Joel Rachel and Ladybug Coco, Brooklyn NY

Kate Milford Extreme Kids and Crew Ballpit, Brooklyn NY

Kate Sigler Lulas World, Brooklyn NY

Katharine Heller, Brooklyn NY

Katie Schmidt, Radio City NYC

Aunt Cicely, London UK

Kia Davis, Tribeca NY

Ladybug Nico Yelling LULA! Brooklyn NY

Roans Class the Ladybugs at the Coop School, Bed Stuy Brooklyn NY

Molly Caruso Kitchen, Seattle WA

Leigh Hill Kader Kitchen Table, Brooklyn NY

Leigh Lumford, Prague

Lena Corwin, Brooklyn NY

Ana,  Brooklyn NY

Leslie Grossman Laser Pen on the Bathroom Wall

Libby Jagessaar, Brooklyn Bridge Park NYC

Lior Lev Sercarz at La Boite, NYC

Liz Galvin, Kensington Brooklyn

Lucy Matt Mimi and Esme Clermont Ave Brooklyn NY

Luke Wallace Marble Himalayan Pink Salt Kosher Salt Black Pepper, NYC

Jordan Kraft Garden, Cobble Hill Brooklyn NY

Lynisse Ladybug Cole Zara and Khemenic, Brooklyn NY

Jim Houser, Philly PA

Lynn and Harald Husum Appaman HQ, LES NYC

Ladybug Suraiya and Cherry Family, Brooklyn NY

Marina Naumovska Bedroom Rug, Brooklyn NY

Marisa, sister of Abby, an Extreme Kid!

Matt Holly Annie and Maisie, Brooklyn NY

Mom and Lulas Twin Brother Roan, Fort Greene Brooklyn NY

Aidan and Hazel McNary Magnetic Blocks, NYC

Mindy Dulberg at By Brooklyn Store, Brooklyn NY

Mistura Bashiru Lulas Favorite Nurse,  Brooklyn NY

Nadine Westcott Beckys Beach Brant Point, Nantucket MA

Dennis Sanford Woodworking Tools, TX

Grandpa Terry and Crandma Cam, London UK

Noemi Bonazzi and Claire Buchanan Island Neave Embroidery, Brooklyn NY

Nora Wojiechowski, Iron River MI

Olivia and Ladybug Conor Burgess, Brooklyn NY

Paloma Sanchez, Savannah GA

Cristina and Ladybug William, Brooklyn NY

Lisa and Lior Lev Sercarz Page from The Art of Blending, NYC

Penny Fyman, West Hempstead NY

Katharine Heller Above Barney's, NYC

Rachael Shapiro, Syracuse NY

Aunt Boos English Class on Saint Mikuláš Day, Prague

Granny Jos and Grandpa Neil on Murray Tartan, Cleish Hills House Scotland

Kristen Mulvihill, NYC

Rob Schipano, Oakland CA

Ryan Sanchez Bathroom Mirror, Savannah GA

Sacha Vega,  Brooklyn NY

Sharda Sekaran High School Necklaces, Brooklyn NY

Slavica Naumovska, Oakland CA

Sonya Rhee, Brooklyn NY

Stephen Mary Connor and Alexander, Grace Church On The Hill Toronto

Raymond Oberlander, NYC

Tim Hutchison Vegemite, Brooklyn NY

Vanessa Dumonet, HongKong

Lulas Twin Roan and Mom, Fort Greene Brooklyn NY

Dad in Flames, Brooklyn NY

Jean Louis Dumonet Kitchen, NYC

The Wallaces, Greenpoint NY
Cousins Erik Hailey and Joel Living Room, Colorado

Laurie Siegel Mullodzhanov's Kindergarten and First Grade Class

Michelle Zack, NYC

Rob Schipano, Who Stopped Traffic to Take This Photo, Toronto Canada

Whitney Bedford, Kauai HI
Bella Lincoln and Her Owner Jennifer, Edgewater NJ

Tina Layton, Brooklyn NY
Suzan Tom Devin and Serra Akyali, UES NYC

Ladybug Alexandra Hartmann, Brooklyn, NY