NAPERVILLE — Sarah Ferguson Potter’s lone tattoo, a lotus flower, rests peacefully on the within of her left arm.
It is a fixed reminder that, just like the flower itself, magnificence can emerge from the muddiest waters as soon as it reaches the sunshine.
The Naperville resident fell into her personal darkish depths in July 2020 when her husband died unexpectedly after problems from a extreme bout with pancreatitis. Scott was solely 36 years outdated and left behind Sarah and two younger youngsters.
Scott was a filmmaker and artist who had been engaged on a documentary to lift consciousness about acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, a uncommon neurological illness that causes muscle weak spot and generally paralysis, the Every day Herald stories. That, too, seemingly was left behind.
However after her journey to search out the sunshine, Sarah Potter has taken up the venture as a tribute to Scott’s devotion and inspiration – and the legacy he left behind for her and their youngsters Logan, 7, and Ellie, 3.
A speech pathologist for 15 years, Potter knew little about filmmaking when she made the leap of quitting her job in Indian Prairie Unit District 204 on the finish of final faculty yr to decide to a brand new profession.
One of many first issues she did was discover a becoming title for the documentary. It is now known as “When the Lotus Blooms” and can deal with AFM along with Potter’s exploration of her personal private loss.
“I reprioritized how I wish to be spending my time,” mentioned Potter, 40. “I wanted to be doing one thing that was extra significant and gratifying for me, but additionally one thing that might give me flexibility to be there for my children.
“The secret’s discovering a brand new path,” she mentioned. “You do not have to be completely satisfied about how you bought there. However to go ahead, you need to discover a means that’s going to be significant to you.”
Potter started a Kickstarter marketing campaign to fund “When the Lotus Blooms” with data that is additionally discovered at whenthelotusblooms.com. She should increase the complete $100,000 objective by March 19 or the contributed cash is returned.
Greater than $21,000 has been raised for the reason that marketing campaign began on Feb. 15. Sponsors will add $10,000 if 200 backers be part of within the subsequent week, making the subsequent handful of days essential.
“I will end it in no matter means I can,” she mentioned. “As soon as we get this Kickstarter, we hope to get some grants and sponsorships, and actually simply use these sources to make a distribution-worthy movie that would win at movie festivals and get picked up by a streaming service.”
The months after Scott’s dying have been about mere survival for Sarah. She returned to work within the fall however struggled to deal with grief whereas additionally determining tips on how to be a speech pathologist throughout distant studying in the midst of a pandemic.
The whole lot modified over Thanksgiving weekend in 2020. Some individuals who labored with Scott on the documentary inspired Potter to journey to Hawaii to take part in a unique manufacturing. She accepted the supply regardless of preliminary doubts.
“I brushed it off at first, however it gave me a likelihood to see what Scott’s world was like,” Potter mentioned. “It was an unbelievable expertise, and on prime of that they adopted me with a digicam and put collectively this wonderful video about why I used to be there and why this film must be performed.”
Maybe it was the tranquility of the setting, however she took like a fish to water and developed a love of filmmaking. She has since labored on a number of productions all through the nation.
“I’ve truly needed to flip down work as a result of I have been so busy,” she mentioned. “It is actually been nice for me.”
Scott had traveled to California to movie an interview with a household coping with AFM, however past some modifying he had performed, most of what stays of the documentary is an inventory of unfinished tasks written on a whiteboard of their home.
Proper now, she and her crew are narrowing the main focus of the story, however they hope to renew filming in the summertime.
Between from time to time, she might get one other tattoo.
This one can be of a small ocean wave to commemorate Hawaii and, just like the lotus, her rebirth.
“Grief continues to be form of a taboo topic,” she mentioned. “It may be isolating for individuals to undergo medical points or the dying of a beloved one.
“We actually wish to create an area for individuals to have a dialogue and to provide visibility to these going by means of it.”