Patti Cortez, a nurse and artist, painstakingly made this heart-wrenching piece of art dedicated to the victims and survivors of the parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"Colors give to me hope and life. I love color.I just wanted something to show happiness. This is really not only for the ones that passed but also for the ones that are here (Marjory Stoneman Douglas) to say have hope in this sadness. Don't let evil things and dark times keep you from being happy and having joy," said Cortez.
That’s why the piece is titled “Dream On," a name inspired by the Aerosmith song.
"That song would inspire me, I would play it sometimes when I was doing the piece," added Cortez.
“Dream On” is made from buckets and buckets of medicine caps provided by fellow nurses.
It features a colorful eye and a single tear. Inside that tear are the names of those lost two years ago.
"17 lives lost that day. 17 families and friends severely affected that day. That was I think the hardest part, the first time when I had my daughter print all the names for me, cut them out and laminate them. I've had to pray 'God, help me'" said Cortez.
An emotional and taxing two-year process for Patti, a third generation artist, who was compelled to work on this piece.
She was inspired by her friend and co-worker Mary Chau who’s daughter survived the parkland shooting.
And the poem that accompanies this piece is also truly touching.
““Tears shed for lives lost should not be in vain.
Only let these tears, with memories dear, find soil -
That we may reap beauty from the pain.”
Now Patti is looking to share her art, and hopefully find a home where it can help those impacted.