Louise Hicks breathes new life into the memory of her daughter, Robbi Jeanine Wylie-Hicks, through a butterfly painting.
In October 2002, Robbi, a graduate of McEachern High School and Kennesaw State University, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following chemotherapy and radiation treatment Robbi was cancer free.
Passionate about helping others with cancer, Robbi who lived at Lake Oconee, Green County transported cancer patients to their treatments free of charge through a transportation company owned through her business, The Lakeside Companies at Lake Oconee.
“(Robbi) was known as the ‘Chemo Limo’ lady,” Hicks said.
“She was one of a kind. Robbi was always setting goals and meeting them too,” the Mableton resident added.
With both parents cancer survivors as well, the Hicks clan became dedicated supporters of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Swordsman’s Ball and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
It was not cancer that took Robbi’s life. The evening of Jan. 11, 2010, Robbi, 48, tragically died in a one-car accident while traveling home from work. Struggling through the shock of Robbi’s death, Hicks came upon photographs of butterflies taken by Robbi and her sister, Sherri Moore, at Hicks’ home.
“The butterflies symbolize our grandmother’s garden that was always full of butterflies. It meant something when we saw the butterflies and that’s why we took the pictures,” Sherri Moore explained.
Louise decided to bring the butterfly to life on canvas. While recovering from major surgery, she completed the watercolor painting on silk, naming it “New Life.”
“I named (the painting) New Life because after you are diagnosed with cancer and then become cancer free you get a new life,” said Hicks who moved to Cobb County after marrying her husband, John A. Hicks, a Marietta native.
“A butterfly has to be born again before it becomes a butterfly,” Hicks added.
Hicks copied the painting on note-cards that she sold for $15 per pack to friends from Florida to Washington State. She donated $1121 raised from sales to the Green Chapter of the ACS in memory of Robbi. Green County ACS is using the butterfly painting for their T-shirts for the Relay for Life Race in May 2012, according to Moore.
The butterfly became not only a symbol of Robbi but also of healing. “When I handed the check to the ACS, I could feel that I had them (Robbi and Sherri) both again,” said Hicks who has 8 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
“I’ll always have a hole in my heart because Robbi and Sherri have been my whole life. It’s a big loss but God is the one making the decisions. He’s never wrong and I know he has a reason. We sure do miss her,” Hicks said.
Hicks’ butterfly takes flight with a new life