Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Seize the Day


awarenessbloghop

Welcome to Lori Anderson’s Awareness Blog Hop.   Lori gave us a challenge to use a hand made “awareness bead”, a cute polymer clay bead with an awareness ribbon on one side and a mantra on the other.   These beads were each made for us by Heather Millican of Swoondimples who did a fantastic job of creating each bead with the correct color for awareness of that issue.

Lori truly gave us a challenge this time because while most often, we are inspired by nature, art or music, sometimes our muse will not come unless we examine the trials we are facing in our lives, the dark twists and turns that we are stumbling through.  In fact, for many of us, it is these dark times that brought us to embrace our creative side to “save” ourselves.   I know that is how I started.   I took my first jewelry class when I was struggling with the worst challenge of my life.

You will find that each of us has a life altering illness or issue that is our own because we have had experience facing this challenge.  With these beads we are to create a piece, “even if it is only a keychain”  and write about our experience then share the photos of our work.  There will not be a lot of pretty pictures in my blog and if you are looking for an easy read, stop right now.  This will not be an easy and fun blog hop as you journey with us in our struggles while we re-examine our Life Challenges and try to create beauty from the often depressing and devastating paths we follow. Still,  I encourage you to hop along with us.   You may be or might at some time be facing similar issues or challenges and it might help to know how much using your creativity to express yourself helps you grow and change and also, to cope. Making jewelry is sometimes what keeps us sane.

I know that my own post is upsetting and I want readers to know that I am not looking for a pity party here. There are lessons I have learned and strengths I have gained.   I have touched people all over the world who have been through the same thing and found strength in that.   I have a strong faith and encourage that for everyone.   I also encourage looking within and finding something creative, not necessarily making jewelry but using and developing a talent to help you through hard times.

My ribbon is red and black.

carperib

Most of you, who are mothers, have had this experience and can relate.

You are at the mall or a festival/parade/ ball game or somewhere in public, you look around and your child is NOT THERE.   Your stomach clenches, your heart starts racing, your legs become rubbery and the air you are breathing seems too heavy.   You franticly look around while your thoughts are racing……ohmigod, he was RIGHT HERE  I stopped to talk to someone, I wasn’t paying attention   where IS he?  visions of a scruffy pedophile smiling and taking his hand flood your brain and the feeling gets worse while you call his name and other people are looking now and is your heart going to stop or beat right out of your chest and where is he?  and finally………..finally, there he is……..happily engrossed in whatever caught his toddler eye oblivious to the panic in your eyes and voice until you sharply say his name and he lifts up his angel face and says mom?  why are you crying?

benlittle

Months or weeks pass and you forget about it until a newscast comes on with a poster of a missing child  Just for a moment, you relive that day when he disappeared. Your breath gets short and your heart starts thumping and you cannot watch that broadcast without that feeling.   That night, you hug your own a bit harder and remember those feelings and wonder about those poor parents.   Was it the same for them?  Does that feeling lessen or go away while the days go by and they search?   You hug yours closer and thank god that he is safe with you and all is right in your world.

But it is never again all right in the world of a parent with a missing child. That terrible panic……does it go away?

No.  It is there while you search the woods and gets worse when you spy a bit of fabric in the mud and say please god, don’t let that be his shirt in a shallow grave.

It stays while you walk the river banks ……..is that a turtle floating out there or is it him?  Please do not let it be him.

It is there when you approach that dumpster…….please god when I lift that lid, do NOT let him be tossed in there like the trash.

At night, if you can sleep, it goes away.   In the morning, you open your eyes and take that first breath while the sun streams  in the window but as you exhale …….Ben…..his name echoes through your mind and you KNOW he is missing and that feeling comes back and you have to jump out of bed and clean the floor or do the laundry or  something………., anything to keep from thinking.

It is there when someone tells you that you  need to go get something to eat, get out of the house!  It s days later and your friend is trying to be kind and take you away from the phone that won’t ring with his voice at the end.   For a few moments it subsides till you get to Subway and there is the Missing Poster with his face.

It gets worse when the police are walking toward you,  their faces like stone and now it’s time to face a horrible truth.   You know where he is now and he is never coming home again. And even that knowing does not stop it.  Because he is gone and……….. what was it like?

Was he scared?

did he call your name?  Was he in agony?  All of his life you have watched over him and now he has gone somewhere you have never been and no one you know has ever been and no matter what you believe you have NOT been there where he IS!  And he is alone without you.

My awareness ribbon is red and black.   These are the colors for Homicide Awareness.   My mantra on my bead is Carpe Diem.   Seize The Day!   Your days may be consumed by illnesses that no one else understands, or racked with pain.  Maybe your financial state is in chaos  or you hate your job  or the bills are piling up and you do not know what you are going to do….. If your child is alive and you can hug him.   Let that hug sustain you and seize that small bit of joy.  Hold on to it.   Cling to that seemingly small blessing.   SIEZE the DAY!  ……the day that  you have right now.  The hugs you can get right now!   Seize the day.  Say I love you when you walk out that door!   Say it at night and in the morning.  You can’t say it too many times.   In the morning, look for the possible good things that can happen.

My ribbon is red and black. 

My colors are for Homicide Awareness.  And yet, Seize the Day can apply for anyone.   You can lose a child through accidents, disease or suicide.   So when your children  are driving you up a banana tree, seize the day by learning to embrace the  small things.    the simple joys that  can get overwhelmed by  life’s stressors  Never forget that joy can all be snatched away in a moment.   Take time to laugh and time to play.

My necklace is red, black and silver.  Red and black are the colors for the homicide awareness ribbon.   I used silver to represent the memories of my son which are like tiny lights left by him to brighten my own path  into the Stillness beyond.  The beautiful black “book chain” comes from Bsue Boutiques. The bead of course is from Swoondimples.  Thanks Heather for making a “special” red and black for me.  The tiny beaded chain is my own

There is a clock charm because somehow there is never enough timeYou must make time to love and enjoy.  And because time can be snatched away from you in a heartbeat.     It’s better not to waste the time you have.  Seize The Day!  Make the most of the possibilities!

carpedi

I wear this necklace for 3 members of our family all taken  from us suddenly.

Ben Koopman, my son, age 17,  born Father’s Day 1979. 

benbaby

Murdered  on Mothers Day, May 11 1997.

Benguitar

He has taken his light and is gone now……….into a room I cannot find…….but I know he has been here…..by all of the lights he has left behind.

Tim Coffman  my son in law, son of my heart.   Murdered  May 18th 2006.   Carjacked and shot to death by five teen aged boys.

timjessie2006

Katrina Coffman killed in a freak accident May 16th 2007.

katrina51607

If you notice the dates, you will see how appropriate this hop is for me.   The sadness at this time of year engulfs our whole family.  Our family has learned to SEIZE the DAY! 

  .   If you have lost a child, you may find this previous blog post helpful.   It is a very powerful post.

If you nave never lost a child, I pray for you that you never will know the pain.

Again, I encourage you to visit the others in this blog hop and support them in their struggles.   Here is the list of those who wish to share their stories.

Note to my awesome daughter:  thanks for the input on this design.  xoxoxo

Lori

Heather

Anderson

Millican

www.PrettyThingsBlog.com (hostess) www.facebook.com/swoondimples (bead artist)
Candida Castleberry www.spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com
mischelle andrade https://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Paige Maxim http://delightfullittlegems.blogspot.com/
Laurie Vyselaar www.lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Alice Peterson www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com/
Audrey Bélanger http://esperianterra.blogspot.ca/
Karen mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.com
Jean Wells jeanawells.blogspot.com
Ann Schroeder www.beadlove.wordpress.com
Gail Accinelli facebook.com/oregonmadejewelry
Tania Spivey www.moobiegracedesigns.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/
Mary K McGraw mkaymac.blogspot.com
Shai Williams www.shaihasramblings.com/
Beth Emery storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com
Catie Doman http://drcatie.blogspot.com
Lorelei Eurto Http://lorelei1141.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Katie Nelson https://www.facebook.com/katiebead
Patty Miller http://pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Charlee Griffith https://www.facebook.com/charlee.griffith
Kelli Nelson www.afamilyaffarekelli.blogspot.com
Catherine King http://catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger beadrecipes.wordpress.com
susan Bowie https://susanbowie.wordpress.com
Jennifer Justman www.soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
K Hutchinson http://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Veralynne Malone www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
Evie and Beth McCord http://ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com/
Mihaela Georgescu http://michellemaya2005.wordpress.com
Rebecca Anderso Www.songbeads.blogspot.com
Charlene jacka www.clay-space.com
Kim Stevens www.pickingpoppies.blogspot.com
Susan McClelland Mistheword12.wordpress.com
Sally Russick www.sallyrussick.blogspot.com
Gina Hockett www.freestyleelements.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Sandi Volpe www.sandivolpe.com
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Janine Lucas http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Lori Bowring Michaud www.artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Christie Murrow Www.charisdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com
B.R. Kuhlman www.mixedmayhemstudios.com
Lupe Meter www.gesmpccorner.blogspot.com
Lucy Bejarano www.lucybejaranojewelry.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Perry www.mustardbeadbystephanieperry.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld www.beadsforbusygals.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Heather Powers www.humblebeads.blogspot.com
Katie Hacker www.katiehacker.blogspot.com
Kepi Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.ca 
Gail Vanderster-Zwang www.angelmoose.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Hodges http://thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com/
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May 16, 2015 - Posted by | challenges, Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

41 Comments »

  1. Oh Lee I am so sorry for your loss. I am not a mother so I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. I am sending healing energy to use as need for you and yours during this difficult time of the year.

    Like

    Comment by Shaiha | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  2. Your necklace is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. You are right that the message, carpe diem, can be for everyone for a variety of reasons. Definitely cherish family as long as we are able. I appreciate you taking your experience and reminding us of that. I also went and read your firewalking post. Beautiful.

    Like

    Comment by beadlove | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Ann, thanks. And thanks for stopping and reading my fire walking post.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  3. Lee I am so sorry for your loss. This is a very powerful and painful story. Thank you for sharing. May must be a hard month to get through. {{{hugs}}}

    Like

    Comment by Laurie Vyselaar | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  4. Mother~your necklace is absolutely beautiful and your blog made me cry. You have captured the feelings of that time perfectly…with words. While Ben was my brother not my son, I felt each of those things with you as if he were. Thank you for sharing. I love you!

    Like

    Comment by Dawn Ball | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Daughter, I love you too. This sure was a hard one to write but every may…….ya know……. Anyhow, I guess I’m going to have to make more of these. Jessie wants one too.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  5. Oh Lee, what a heartbreaking story, and a beautiful message to seize the day, every day! Your necklace is special and stunning, and I’m sure you’ll wear it with all of your heart!

    Like

    Comment by mtrudinger | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Melissa, it’s a message we all need to be reminded of now and then. We get caught up in “life” and forget.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  6. Lee, I am so very, very sorry for your losses. Your necklace and post are a wonderful tribute. I, too, have lost a son on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2004. Peace to you.

    Like

    Comment by Lori Bowring Michaud | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Lori, I’m sorry for your own loss. And on Mothers Day. It changes that day forever, doesn’t it? Blessings from one mom to another. My kids and I are doing Mothers Day this weekend. We sort of skip the real one and try to make at least one other Mother’s Day in the year.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  7. Lee, your post is so beautifully written. I cannot even imagine what that kind of loss feels like. I have no words. The necklace is so lovely. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Like

    Comment by Tammy Adams | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Tammy, thanks so much, for taking the time to read my post and for being a friend to a relatively crazy lady.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 17, 2015 | Reply

  8. Many Hugs Thanks for sharing your touching, powerful story! I am in tears! May today be extra-beautiful:)

    Like

    Comment by Elizabeth Hodges | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Elizabeth, I got your hugs today and thanks so much. Every day with my family and friends IS extra beautiful!

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 17, 2015 | Reply

  9. Lee – thank you for sharing your heartache and strength with us. Even now, my heart breaks all over again re-reading your story. Make no mistake about it – you are one TOUGH MOTHER! =) *hugs*
    Linda

    Like

    Comment by yoda14me2 | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Thank you Linda, for taking the time to read my post and for being a supportive friend HUGS back atcha.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 17, 2015 | Reply

  10. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know this is a hard thing to cope with. My own family has suffered from loss due to homicide, and I lost a good friend of mine when she was only 17 to it as well. It’s a terrible, tragic thing to have to experience. Carpe diem is a wonderful phrase to keep in mind. Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful design.

    Like

    Comment by B.R.Kuhlman | May 16, 2015 | Reply

    • I am sorry also for such a loss in your own family. You well know that homicide has a profound effect not only on a family, but upon a whole circle of friends and indeed, a whole community. It marks the whole rest of your life. You go on, you find strength through your faith, but you always know that there are people out there who can steal a life without a second thought. Carpe Diem is the best way to live, being thankful for small blessings every day.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 17, 2015 | Reply

  11. Your post was beautifully written and so very powerful, you necklace is beautiful and powerful as well. I also have no words, I can’t imagine the amount of heartache you must feel this time of year. I am sending lots of peace, love and hugs your way.

    Like

    Comment by Kim | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  12. This is an awesome blog. You definitely have to seize the day when all of this happens in our family. But everyone needs to do this no matter what the problem is. Love it!

    Like

    Comment by Jessie | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  13. This being about our family it is hard to read but being the daughter of Tim Coffman in this blog he taught me to be strong. Thank you Mimi for sharing our story I know it was hard to write and relive. Love you

    Like

    Comment by Jessie | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  14. Oh and thank you to everyone who commented and for all your kind words!

    Like

    Comment by Jessie | May 16, 2015 | Reply

  15. So sorry for your losses, and that you for sharing your strength!

    Like

    Comment by Elisabeth | May 17, 2015 | Reply

  16. Thank you, Lee for this read. I’m not sure where I am in all this loss we ( our families ) share. I do know that through it all many of us have gone places we shouldn’t have, emotionally, mentally, physically. On this day, today, it hit me really hard. I spent most of the day in bed. Depressed, I guess. What I am doing on the farm keeps me sane (busy). Most of the time, what I do is second nature. I guess it make me feel needed. You have been a long time, good friend to me. Prayers are always being said for you as well. Again, thank you.

    Like

    Comment by Angela Trochelman | May 17, 2015 | Reply

    • Angie, I know your farm keeps you sane just as my creative outlets keep my sane. We have gone through such emotional mental and physical changes. It’s been quite the ride. We do have such blessings left. I had to go today and look at Trisha’s page and see the pictures of her kids. Hugs and love to your little family.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 17, 2015 | Reply

  17. Oh I have no words but to say as a mother and grandmother how my heart aches for what you’ve been through. Your post is brave and beautifully written, and your necklace is gorgeous.

    Like

    Comment by lilruby jewelry | May 17, 2015 | Reply

  18. I am at a loss for words, because what can I say? Except thank you. Thank you for sharing your story, which I cannot even imagine how hard that must have been. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your beautiful piece. I have three little ones, they drive me crazy, but I love them to distraction. I say I love you so much that it’s become a bit of a joke around here, I say… “guess what?” and my youngest says, “you love me!!!!!”. I am sending you all the love and prayers of another mother and virtual hugs, I honestly wish I could hug you for real. You are so STRONG to be here, to be able to share your story with us. Thank you. Thank you.
    http://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/

    Like

    Comment by Jenn | May 17, 2015 | Reply

    • Jenn, I laughed right out loud to read your comment. I can just see a little kid throwing their hands up and saying “you love me!” It’s beautiful. You already know how to seize the day! xoxoxo

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 18, 2015 | Reply

  19. My heart aches for all you have been through. I thank you very much for sharing your and your loved ones story. I am comforted by the story of your fire walk and how it helped you to say goodbye to your son and start the journey forward again. Thank you for sharing your story. May you and your loved ones find peace.

    Like

    Comment by Mona Arnott | May 17, 2015 | Reply

    • Mona, I am so happy you read my firewalk story also. I know both blogs were long. I appreciate your time.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 18, 2015 | Reply

  20. Thank you so much for your post. I’m at a loss for words and I am so sorry for your loss. I am not a mother so I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. Thank you for your strength to put this all in words. Big virtual hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Janine Lucas (Esfera Jewelry) | May 18, 2015 | Reply

  21. Thank you for sharing your powerful story, Miss Lee. May the fact that you are sharing their memories to live on bring you peace and power. I am sending you hugs! Enjoy the day. Erin

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by tesoritrovati4800 | May 18, 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks Erin for stopping by and reading my post. I have to say it was a struggle to writ this and not have it seem like a big “let’s feel sorry for Lee” blog. Though I relive this every year, it’s the first time I have put the feelings to paper and I have to say how cathartic is was, not just for me but for other members of the family.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 18, 2015 | Reply

  22. Losing a child is one of the most horrible things I can imagine, and to go though it as many times as you have… oh, honey, I am so sorry for your losses. /hugs

    Like

    Comment by Audrey Belanger | May 19, 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks for the hugs, Audrey! They are much appreciated.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 20, 2015 | Reply

  23. I am sorry for the pain you have suffered, what a powerful sad story and what a beauiful tribute you created. I cannot imagine this kind of pain and tonight I am going to give my two beautiful daughters long and thoughtful hugs. Thank you for baring your soul and sharing. {Hugs}

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by kepirasmussen | May 20, 2015 | Reply

  24. Oh God, honey. Mother’s Day? Good lord. I am so incredibly sorry and that is such a stupidly simple thing to say to you but I hope you know what I mean. And that you make this is a clock charm is AMAZING. Seize the Day indeed. Much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Lori Anderson | May 23, 2015 | Reply

    • Lori, simple things are never stupid. Sorry sometimes seems “not enough” to most people. I know that is how a lot of my friends felt. It’s such a huge thing, murder, something not real, something you see on television shows that no one ever feels they have the right words. I did want to thank you for this hop experience. It was truly the appropriate time for me. Every year, I relive the whole thing…..we all do but I have never put it down on paper, out there for everyone to see. It was so cathartic. And now I have this fab necklace.

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | May 25, 2015 | Reply

  25. I love your sentiment and your clock works perfect on your piece. I am so sorry for your losses, I can’t even imagine. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Like

    Comment by gail zwang | May 28, 2015 | Reply


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