The Story

About My Jewelry Designs: The Story

My jewelry designs began in the most unlikely of settings… a children’s hospital oncology unit. For three years, our son Jenson endured 55 rounds of chemo and many procedures as we fought for his precious life.

A special program called Beads of Courage became a bright spot in his treatments. After each procedure, kids with life threatening illnesses receive different colored beads as a symbol of their bravery. Jenson had close to 1,000 beads.

A month before he passed away, Jenson made a Beads of Courage necklace with his favorite beads. He handed me the remaining beads and said, “These for mommy and Sydney (his compassionate sister and bone marrow donor).” Jenson would depart this world at the tender age of three. My heart shattered in a million pieces.

Overwhelmed with grief, I put the beads in a closet unable to face what they represented. About a year later after church one Sunday morning, Sydney said, “Mommy, let’s make necklaces and bracelets with Jenson’s beads. It will be fun!”

I reluctantly went to the closet and grabbed the beads. I followed Sydney as she bounced with excitement up the stairs to her bedroom. I poured out all the beads on the carpet and sat totally overwhelmed. And then something amazing happened…

From the ashes of life came amazing beauty as we started creating jewelry with Jenson’s beads. And I discovered one of the many lessons Jenson taught along the way: When we mix joy into the ashes of our lives, they can be transformed into something beautiful. Butterflies became a symbol of transformation reminding me to be brave and choose joy.

Inspired by this life altering event, I started making “beads of joy” bracelets for friends going through difficult times. The beads on the bracelets represent the hard times we walk through in life. When we string them together and mix in joy (represented by a special bead) like a butterfly they can be transformed into something beautiful. “Circle of joy” necklaces would follow and eventually an entire jewelry line designed to inspire joy.

I hope these designs inspire you to choose joy and find beauty in each day! 🙂

P.S.  With each purchase, a donation is made to Beads of Courage to help support their amazing work providing arts-in-medicine for children with serious illnesses.

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