Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In Memory

On November 24, 2009, I lost my mom to cancer. My friends in high school never really understood when I said she was my best friend. (Parents weren’t supposed to be your best friend at that point in your life.) She was always there to listen if I had a problem, needed to bounce an idea off someone or just talk. She was also very supportive and interested in the various projects I have undertaken in my life, from work to volunteering to hobbies. She often likened me to Johnny Appleseed with the way her garden and many others bloomed with plants that I divided and shared from my own gardens.

My mom is the reason that I got into designing and making jewelry. That is something she had done for many years and I had admired her creations. (I had made a few things with my son for gifts, but really hadn’t done much with jewelry until my mom helped me with a special project.)

A few years ago, my husband gave me an amber pin/pendant that I wanted to be able to wear both as a pin and as a pendant on a beaded necklace. My mom helped me look for beads that would compliment the piece and I found a bail that allowed me to remove the pendant without disturbing the rest of the necklace. After we had gathered a good variety of beads, she helped put together the design and walked me through stringing up the necklace. After that, she encouraged me to try my hand at designing a couple of pieces to put in her booth at an antique/craft mall. A necklace and earring set of mine sold and I was hooked.

Unfortunately, this was also about the time that the economy went south. My mom closed up her space and I discovered Etsy. We decided to open a shop on Etsy together and EDCCollective was created in February of 2009. My mom always enjoyed collecting and had been the proprietor of different shops over her lifetime, so she had a great store of vintage collectibles to contribute, as well as some of her own jewelry designs. My first listing was actually a pair of cute coyote vintage earrings, but I quickly added listings for my handcrafted jewelry items as well as photographic art. My mom listed a variety of her vintage treasures as well as a couple of her handmade pieces. Later, I expanded my offerings to include note cards and bookmarks based on my photographic art as well as some hand crafted wood items.

We worked hard to get our little shop noticed. Sales began to trickle in. October was shaping up to be our best month yet when my mom began experiencing health problems. Towards the end of the month she was diagnosed with a very aggressive late stage cancer. Still, she managed to keep her spirits remarkably high and continued to put her efforts into building our shop. On November 11, she mentioned how pretty the front page of our shop looked. I decided to capture this with several screen shots, not knowing then what I would do with the resulting image. Now I do.

I would like to end this post with the view of our shop that my mom liked so much, as a memorial to her. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) Her journey was much too short in the eyes of the people that knew and loved her, but I am very grateful that she was my friend in high school and beyond. She is very much missed but I know will never be forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. Cathy, I am so sorry your Mom is not here to read this! You both were so fortunate to be such good friends through the years, and I know you miss her very much. What a great tribute, and way to honor your Mom!