Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Strand by Strand...A Day at a Time...

The past few weeks have been rather difficult emotionally. Struggling with pain both physical & emotional has placed dire strain on my body. Most days I can't get out of bed in the morning without some type of incentive..i.e. scheduled transportation  to the clinic for a doctors appointment. I'd much rather lie there in silence, captivated by my wandering thoughts & aching body. However, the stress of my emotions believe it or not trumps the physical agony of bruised ribs & pulsating stress fractures. I'm so accustomed to it that I only notice a difference when I'm NOT in pain. It's such a normal part of my life that I'm able to function day to day activities with a pain level of a 7. You'd be surprised at how sadness dictates ones quality of life. How the mere comings & goings are decided by each thump of the heart. Sometimes I wonder what will become of me. I think, how can one live in such darkness & despair, not to mention  the loneliness. I keep myself occupied with my bracelet project but I have to say, as much as I LOVE it, even getting the "Blues" won't allow my pencil to scratch a dot on the paper. I am in a deep, dark place......What brings me to the surface is thinking of the fantastic parents who may feel alone, isolated....fearful & uncertain. What motivates me is thinking of my beautiful Haley Jean's memory...How the thought of not blessing others will do a serious disservice to not only the cause, but the very things she personifies. In that alone, I can create!! Not 1 second passes my thoughts without her. Not 1 night goes by without my lighting her candle......In that I feel her near me...Her soft touch, deep eyes & infectious smile, captured in the stillness of her. Each night at 10pm, her candle is lit, her teddy at my side then I sketch...... Everything about the bracelets are a reflection of both her & I in very unique ways. For one thing I ALWAYS search for strands with worn or cracked beads....That representing the rejected stone...My darling, My blood. And it is a reflection of my style, taste & personal liking. I'll NEVER make something for someone that I wouldn't wear myself. NO bracelet is the same....I want to emphasize each piece is special to the recipient by reflecting one's individuality.

So I've been asked about many things in terms of how I've been keeping busy, to the process of shopping for beads....First let me say....I'm a NEUROTIC when it comes to selecting beads! I select them the same way I shop for clothing or home decor. I touch, feel, ponder, think....touch again. Nothing cheesy, always selecting beads with depth & abrasions which in my opinion tell a "story"....those with weight & bulk....Also I purchase strands consisting of imperfectly perfect beads; those with cracks, scratches, bruises & abrasions. Those kind reflect my Haley Jean & her many ailments. Though her health wasn't perfect, I accepted her in spite of.....i.e. the rejected stone!!

A more masculine look :) 

By the way.....;)


Monday, May 9, 2016

Psalm 118:22...

When I first found out I was pregnant one would say that I was full of many emotions. Out of everything  I was experiencing, fear was right at the top. Being that I was 32 years old with Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 3, statistics and science would say that a person like me should not have children. The likelihood of passing the gene to my unborn child is very high. After weighing my options and thinking long and hard I opted out of an abortion I even opted out of an amniocentesis to determine early on if the baby had OI. Besides in my opinion it wasn't going to change anything.  I was ready to accept her in any form God gave her to me. As time persisted, it was evident  that my life was going to be an uphill battle. After giving birth I became so calcium deficient that it was undetectable. I experience pain and frequent stress fractures in my ribs arms and legs. In spite of the challenges, motherhood was my number one priority. With that being said, our life became a roller coaster, not necessarily overnight but gradually.

To this day many people still question the route that I chose.  I wanted to give my child a chance at life. I wanted to give her the chance that we all had.  Since her transition,  I've had much time to reflect on the time she was on this Earth. As I think back to the statistics and science and Physician's opinions,  I have come to the realize that my daughter Haley Jean is the stone that the builders rejected. Like many other children who are born with genetic disorders,they flourish in spite of the circumstance. Looking into what may come, this rejected stone became [is now] the cornerstone, even in death. She's touched lives, hearts near & far. Given hope to the hopeless, proven that unconditional love is evident. Motherhood is a blessing no matter the formality & I was adamant about building on that principle alone. Afterall, who are we to deny ANY person the right to live, the right to motherhood....The right to a productive life.

In light of Mother's Day weekend, I'd like to share photos in chronological order. My Journey to Motherhood...

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone" Psalm 118:22

So much has happened in the past few years that I'm not certain where to begin. I can say that in the face of adversity, the Lord was present. It is by Him that I prevailed in the dimmest of nights & coldest of days... I believe my disability & upbringing set the tone for the many decisions I had to make in this part of my life. This premise served as a prerequisite for the assignment I was chosen to execute. And since her transition, I have found when you lose something you'll never see again, you love & appreciate it even more. So this bracelet project is a motivational tool, even in my darkness I'm able to create, design....In fact I believe this is the only upside to grief. 

Many hve reassured me that once a mother, always a mother. I can't tell you how painful of a day I had yesterday....Internally I was broken, angry, hurt......The idea of a lifetime without her is one that I face each day. Most days I don't feel that I fit in that category of a mother. Trying again looks like it's no longer in the cards for me. Another harsh reality that I face everyday. Thank you all for your patience & understanding as I work through the darkness. I do know that no matter what, I am & will always be Mom Hart....

Happy Mother's Day!

By the way...;)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Candle to Light the Way Home...

I've gotten comfortable with lighting a candle each night, beginning the 1 year anniversary of her transition. Somehow I am at peace while it's lit. I find myself starring at the burning flame illuminating in the night.... Lighting the way back to my purpose. Often it trumps the sadness, briefly relieving my heart of the pain it ensures each passing minute without her. However the sadness returns once it burns out & my only hope is that sleep steps in beforehand, saving me from the cold emptiness the darkness represents. Sleep is practically non existent, or hard to come by lately... So I have allowed the darkness to be my friend. I stare at the candle, the flickering flame reminding me of my purpose, sealing my fate.... Reassuring my spirit that she is well. I am safe, I feel her near, I feel her presence... The burning flame tells me she's free... My Darling, My Blood...xoxo 

Reminder links....

Giving is Joyful...

Greetings everyone!!! I'm very excited about my bracelet gifting project. So far I've created & gifted 18 bracelets!!! The feeling of blessing others is so rewarding... I'm feeling a sense of purpose again, sharing my Haley Jean's unconditional love & beautiful spirit with others makes my heart sing. I haven't felt this optimistic in a long time. Beading has served as a hobby of mine for nearly 10 years now. In fact I guess you can say I created my first #BraceletsForBravery for my mother, not knowing back then my gift to her set the path that I'm on this very moment. I made my mom's bracelet as a get well soon  present...To lift her spirits. My mother, Imogene was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma in July of 2011 & transitioned two months later.  Although she was incoherent by the time I finished, I gave it to her anyway. I even made her necklace & bracelet......That she is wearing now...to match the dress my sister made for her....That she is wearing now. I could go on for hours about the compassion my mother embodied, her diligence & innocence that radiated from her presence...As you know, that's where Haley Jean's name derived from....:)

So I wanted  to share a couple things with my readers in this entry so pardon me if it seems like a lot.....As I've mentioned before this project has provided me a great sense of purpose. The feeling isn't manufactured or scripted in such a way. It isn't tailored to fit a specific emotion or to purposely fill a void. It's as simple as providing acknowledgement of the struggle, giving back & being kind to others I empathize with. I get messages or posts from those who have received a bracelet, they're excited, grateful & determined more than before to continue the fight & that's all I want to accomplish. The pleasure is all mine, more than they'll ever come to know. Well I hope I didn't bore anyone to tears!! Finding solace in giving back is therapeutic & emotionally worthwhile. I do this out of pocket when I can & I've received donations towards more beads & supplies for other recipients. The generosity of people reaching out, wanting to give...wanting to be a part of this project & how they yearn to know more about Haley Jean  means so much to me. May the Peace of the Lord comfort you all & as always be kind & stay encouraged.....:) 

Just to name a few :)

By the way...;)