Saturday, January 12, 2013

memories and thanks

I don't talk about my childhood a great deal. There are not a lot of good memories. My home was not a happy place.
I came from a large family where I was not wanted or liked by anyone. I tried to make sense of the world the best I could under those circumstances.

I have an early memory of hiding behind  a living room chair. I can still see the ugly upholstery. It was colonial themed, gold with pineapples and eagles holding arrows in their talons. I was hiding there because my mother  unpredictable and dangerous, was  having an episode of  fury, directing it at anyone in her path. I knew if she could not see me I would be safe. 

There was a woman who lived 2 houses down our street. She was a single mother to three grown children. Her name was Helen. 
She thought my sisters and I were adorable little kids. 
I attached myself to her, as she was the only person I knew  who actually liked me and I could trust. She had a big tabby cat named Junior. He had quite an attitude but I was fond of him and he tolerated me.
I would wait for her to come home from work. She would invite me in and give me cookies. She never spoke down to me, she  didn't judge me. She opened her home to me and never turned me away. I never felt like I had to hide in her house.  
As I grew older I would go to her house  after dinner and watch TV. She would make tea and we would talk about current events, talk about things like what her grown children were up to, or she would tell me stories about growing up as a  Chippewa girl  in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  
I don't know if she was aware of what went on in my house. It was never mentioned, but I have to believe  she had an idea of the chaos that happened there.But I don't know if she really knew how important  she was to me, how she  taught me the value of kindness and gentleness and love. 
When I graduated from high school she gave me a  card with some money. I sent her a thank you note and I told her that she had made a difference in my life. She died from cancer a few years later.  
She was the first person in my life that believed in me. She took a fragile child and showed her that life didn't have to be unhappy. 
When I think of her now, I remember how the smallest kindness can give a child hope.

This blog hop is to remember  those people in our lives who mean a lot to us --  a mom, a friend, a brother -- anyone who has meaning to us.  Create a piece of jewelry that tells that story.

Hostess, Lori Anderson       Pretty Things

 Adlinah Kamsir                   Dream Struck Designs
 Aimee Biondolillo               Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
 Alicia Marinache                 All the Pretty Things 
 Andra Marasteanu               Handmade by Indra Marasteanu 
 Andrea Trank                      Heaven Lane Creations
 April Grinaway                   Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem                         Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake                    Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery                         Stories by Indigo Heart
Bonnie Coursolle                Jasper's Gems
Cassi Paslick                       Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King                    Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier                      The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz                     Juniper Goods
Charissa Nesler                   FireStorm Designs
Charlie Jacka                       Clay Space
Christina Hickman              Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Murrow               Charis Designs Jewelry
Christine Stonefield            Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman               Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson                      It's My Sea of Dreams
CJ Bauschka                       4 His Glory Creations by CJ
Crystal Thain                      Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin                        Beading Arts
Debbie Rasmussen             A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman             Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez                  Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey                    diane hawkey
Dita Basu                            ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington             Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Emma Todd                        A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny                         beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz                  Treasures Found
Gina Hockett                      Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen                        Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston                 CSW Designs
Inge von Roos                    Inge's Blog
Iveth Caruso                       Creative Atelier
Jacqueline Marchant          Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp                         Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates                          Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno                     Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo                   Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten    Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren                  Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray                   Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams                     lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton            It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne                   josjewels1
Jodie Marshall                    Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes                 Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen                 Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe                       The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean                           Blue Pig Blog
Karen Mitchell                   Over the Moon Designs
Karin King                         The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton                       Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas                       Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton                        Toodles and Binks
Kelly Hosford Patterson     The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor                          Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak                       CianciBlue
Kim Houston                       The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter                         Kym Hunter Designs
Laren Dee Barton                Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch                          LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus                      First Impression Design
Liddy McLaughlin               Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian                       Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder                     Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton                      Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver                            Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud        Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe                           Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell                    Southpass Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marie Covert                      Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite     bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo                        Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo                           Ornamento
Marti Conrad                          Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker                  BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars                        MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell                          Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly                 Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay                       The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin                         The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara                      one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta                         Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz              la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi               Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody               Who Does She Bead She Is?
Nan Emmett                          Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen                    Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson                  NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas                      Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren                           re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister        The Crazy Creative Corner
Pam Traub                            Klassy Joolz
Priya Krish                           Hellopalz  
Rebecca Anderson               Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag                 Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed                   Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson                  a creative chelle
Rosa Maria Cuevas              Helena de Troya
Sabine Dittrich                     perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe                          Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff                    Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode                         Pookledo
Sarah Singer                         String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent                         All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams                       Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac                        Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis                         Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner        Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey                       Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun                         Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z                         Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler              Pixybug Designs
Tania Spivey                        Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G.                                Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter                         Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk                    Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels                       Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse                         Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin                        Nutkitten's Jewelry
Zia Parks                              Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe
Zoe Marcin                          Beads, Tea and Sweets



  1. Such a an honest and brave story to tell and a lovely tribute to the lady who took the time to care.

  2. That is a wonderful story --I'm so glad she was there for you. What a difference a person can make in someone's life.

  3. A very touching story - I'm glad you had someone in your life who could reach out to you like that.

  4. It's hard to remember the difficult times, but what a difference this wonderful woman made in your life!

  5. Diane, thanks for sharing this. Hope appears when you need it most, doesn't it?

  6. You brought tears to my eyes fortunate that you had her as your angel.

  7. What a beautiful story Diane. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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  9. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. You were indeed lucky to have found such a friend. I have a feeling she probably felt the same way about you.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story of such an amazing woman! Love your hope necklace!

  11. Thank goodness that you had a Helen in your life. We really never know just how much our kindness to others can really effect their lives. Thank you so much for reminding me of this.

  12. You're a wonderful writer and your story here is very touching. Thank you for sharing.
    Peace and Love.

  13. Thanx for sharing your story with us. It's great that you had Helen in your life. I love the necklace that you made. Hope is a perfect sentiment.

  14. I love the simplicity of your necklace, and the word "hope" speaks volumes! I too, feel your pain of such a childhood.


  15. Thank you for sharing your relationship with Helen, she sure sounds like she was a great relief to you in life.

  16. You shared your story so well. The truth is we don't know what goes on in others homes. Sadly not everyone comes from a loving nurturing home. Thankfully Helen was in your life and you could see that not every home was like the one you grew up in. So the theme of your necklace...hope... with the heart and key is on the somewhat fragile glass ring is just perfect. Enjoy the hop.
    Terri G.

  17. Beautiful story and I love the jewelry design. It is amazing what a bit of hope in our life can create. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I thought of your post today and wanted to let you know I made some earrings for the neighbor girls this morning. It's a great feeling to give.

  19. I am glad you had someone in your life that gave you hope and made you realize you are worth something, thank you for sharing your story. The necklace says it all.

  20. I cried as I read this, but am so grateful that you have such a wonderful memory of the woman who helped you and gave you a safe place to go! Beautiful piece of jewelry, too - I love the word Hope!

  21. Thank you for sharing your story - it touches my heart deeply. It's so difficult for me of finding the right words in English ...- just sending you a big hug..... You've made a piece for an angel!

  22. The embracing circle, the heart of hope, and the key to unlock possibilities - what a perfect summary of the woman who meant so much to you!

  23. A safe haven is so important while growing up and becoming the person you are today. So glad you found yours. Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.

  24. I am so very glad to know that you had someone in your life who showed you kindness and love and acceptance when you most needed it. Thank you for sharing your story - your post and necklace is a beautiful tribute to Helen's life and her memory.

  25. I am thankful for the safe place she gave you. I love the fact that you can look back on her with love, a good story & a lovely necklace.

  26. Oh Miss Diane! What a heartfelt story! I am sure that Miss Helen benefited as well from your relationship. I am so glad that you found each other and were able to make so many happy memories! Thank you for sharing your story. Enjoy the day. Erin

  27. Anonymous9:24 AM

    So simple but so elegant. How wonderful for you that this lady was there to bring peace and joy into your life.

  28. What a meaningful and heartfelt story. Thank you for sharing.

  29. what a sad and beautiful story all at the same time. I'm so happy you had each other. I'll never look at your hope bead the same way again :)

  30. i understood your story, with my poor english. everyone has a story, mine is so, so. you have an wonderful soul and you're a lucky woman having such a good friend.

  31. Wow this story sure strikes a chord, having need of and having had a few 'Helens' in my own life. Diane, this is a beautiful post and I love that you shared what part this lady had in your life. There is absolutely no doubt that you also meant an awful lot to her. Blog hopping around today and so glad I saw your post. :-)

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  33. I grew up with a similar situation and like you, I don't talk about it much. I hid under the bed far against the wall where I couldn't be reached by my mom. I loved my mom but I grew up in terror. But one thing I know is that all it takes is one adult in a child's life to show that child that there is more to life than what goes on in the home they were born into. I had that and I am so glad for you that you had that one adult also. What a difference it makes and what a treasure! Your work is beautiful and I love it!

  34. Hi again, I looked for a contact me link but I will do it here. I was inspired by your post to start a new blog called Fairies Whims as a personal journal. I used what you wrote and linked it here. let me know if it's ok with you. Thanks