Rushville mother honors slain son, spreads hope through art

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A Rushville mother is using art and flowers to lift up the community.

Misty Kuneman wants her “hope flowers” to not only spread joy, but to honor her son who was murdered almost three years ago.

"All the love I can’t give to my son, this is a way to give back to others," Kuneman said.

These recycled flowers are made to honor her son Justin Crowder, who was just 19 at the time of his death.

In the summer of 2017, Crowder, along with his friends Dominique Miller and Jordan Wright, was shot and killed.

"It’s been a up and down roller coaster as anyone would imagine," Kuneman said.

It wasn’t until the killers were sentenced that Kuneman was able to move past the hate she carried.

"I kept arguing with God. I didn’t really understand why on earth you would ask me to forgive something like that," Kuneman said.

Now she pours all those emotions into her vibrant artwork.

Her whole basement has been transformed into a working studio. She creates the pieces and gives them away for free.

"Each time I’m sitting down and I’m painting these, I’m doing something in his memory and creating a positive legacy," Kuneman said.

It's simply an act of kindness that spreads a little hope.

"People are dying every day. People are doing bad things every day. So if in response, we do something kind, we are creating that ripple effect. That ripple effect will go a lot further then always being negative," Kuneman said.

Kuneman never thought she would be able to find a sense of peace, but by spreading joy in honor of her son, she’s regained some of it back.

"He’s just not a murder victim, he is my son, and he lived. I love him, and this is a way to continue on the love I have of him," Kuneman said.

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