Seize the Day
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.
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?
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 time. You 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!
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.
Murdered on Mothers Day, May 11 1997.
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.
Katrina Coffman killed in a freak accident May 16th 2007.
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