Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

Lost My Mother Today…

I received word today that my beautiful mommy (yes, I’m 36 and still call her mommy), my best friend, my heart passed today. I am grateful that in August when her liver cancer was discovered (gall bladder cancer that metastasized in addition to surviving endometrial cancer a year prior) I had the opportunity to go and have some girl time with her thanks to by BFF from college, Ricardo, and his wife, Amanda. We shopped, we laughed, we enjoyed the ocean, we held each other and we cried together. A month and a half ago, she had a stroke as a result of the stress the chemotherapy was putting on her heart and she entered the hospital. Two weeks ago, she was moved to a beautiful hospice filled with beauty not just in looks, but in terms of people too. The nurses taking care of her were phenomenal. Thanks to my wonderful now fiancee, he, my son, and myself were able to spend a week with my mom and were blessed with moments of consciousness with her. Mom was able to snuggle with her youngest grandson, she was able to snuggle with her “baby girl” as she called me (past tense…going to have to get used to that), and meet the man who has made me happier than anyone outside of my amazing son. My fiancee asked her if he could marry me and she said, “Of course.” Thank you God for those moments and for a man who has been my rock through all of this. To know my mom was to love her. She was quite possibly the most determined and selfless person I have ever known. She didn’t let cancer stop her from getting her Masters Degree in Marriage Family Therapy or from counseling her clients (some of whom others had difficulty counseling). She always thought of others first and she was loved by so many. She made me the determined individual I am today and to never stop dreaming. When my health got weird and I lost my job as a result (fired the day my FMLA ended), she told me that this didn’t mean I could give up. When I went back to my young adult dream of owning my own high end alternative salon and just two months after starting cosmetology school my knees gave way and I needed surgery on both…when my surgeon told me I couldn’t go back to school, I thought my dream had died, but there was my mom supporting me and telling me to keep dreaming until I found another. When I found another dream that went back to doing what I do best: events and weddings, she was so proud and even now when I am struggling financially to get clients in this economy, she told me to stick to it, “because Sherman women CAN DO!”

A couple of weeks ago I said that I would be sorrowful because she’s gone and rejoice that she is no longer in pain. Some people thought that was a bit strange. Shouldn’t I just rage and wail because she has been taken from me at the young age of 65? NO! My mom was a woman of deep Christian faith. She believed in focusing on the words in red and doing what Christ had commanded, to love one another as you would want to be loved and my mom had a great love for people that translated in to her work and her ministry. She is now in heaven and for that I rejoice.

I can feel her around me now and I’m sure if I had one of those energy monitor thingies that supposedly measure spirit activity, it would be pegging. I can feel her arms around me and her gentle words. I can hear her soft well enunciated southern voice telling me that it’s okay. That right now, it’s okay for me to cry, to be sad, and to be angry, but that I will need to pick myself up and be the best me I can be.

Rest my dear sweet mother. You are and always will be my heart and my best friend.

Ema Sherman
3/17/1946 – 3/30/2011

Etsy Virtual Bridal Show: Bags and Purses

Welcome to the Etsy Virtual Bridal Show with links for readers to donate to Wish Upon a Wedding and For Japan With Love.

Wish Upon a Wedding is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization that provides weddings and vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. Often, couples facing such situations do not have the energy, time, money, or resources needed to plan their wedding. Our organization takes care of all the details, offering couples a chance to relax and enjoy a very special day while surrounded by the love of their closest family and friends.” -www.wishuponawedding.org

When I originally came up with this idea, it was solely to benefit Wish Upon a Wedding. However, given the recent disaster in Japan, I am aware that some viewers might want to donate their funds toward relief efforts. Well, thanks to Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours, the wedding and event blogging world is coming together to support For Japan With Love. “For Japan With Love has a direct link on the website to our fundraising page for ShelterBox. ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.” -http://www.utterlyengaged.com/please-help-for-japan-with-love-update/

No matter where you direct your donation, be it Wish Upon a Wedding or For Japan With Love, you will be making a difference in the lives of those facing life’s most difficult of circumstances. If you are unable to donate monetarily, your thoughts and prayers will truly touch the hearts and lives of those affected. I send my thoughts, prayers, and strength to those affected by such life altering circumstances.

While I am a volunteer with Wish Upon a Wedding and a participant with For Japan With Love, Parties by Kristen is not affiliated with Wish Upon a Wedding or For Japan With Love in any other capacity and is not an official representative of Wish Upon a Wedding or For Japan With Love. In addition, Parties by Kristen is not affiliated with Etsy or the vendors featured and is not an official representative of Etsy or of each of these vendors. I am simply a fan of these artists/vendors and a volunteer with a passion for what I do and for organizations I have chosen to donate my time and finances to. I have sought permission from each and every vendor featured to use their products and their photos. Please do not use these photos for personal gain or copy the designs presented. These products are the livelihood, passion, and intellectual property of each artist and to copy these items or to use them for person gain is both illegal and unethical.

Powder Blue Bijoux is our first artist in this category. “All items in my shop have been handcrafted with care and attention to every detail. Enjoy luxurious accessories directly from the designer at affordable prices.” “I LOVE this purse! Even more gorgeous in person and worth every penny! So much cuter than anything I’ve seen in my local bridal stores!”

Next we have Davie and Chiyo who have this to say about their work, “The use of high quality materials and attention to detail ensures the excellence of each product, while our youthful energy and drive, and our ability to create new designs and customized products on a weekly basis, provides the engine for high growth. From oversized fuchsia bow clutches, to subtle floral chain models, the Davie & Chiyo collection is wide enough to attract a diverse market – from prom queens to brides-to-be, bridesmaids, and those looking to improve their collection of stylish, unique and one-of-a-kind accessories.” “I received my custom clutch yesterday and I absolutely LOVE it! It’s perfect. Great quality. It makes the perfect match with my wedding dress. Thank you!! XO”

Bella Fiore: “Color is what inspires me, unexpected color combinations and textures. Layers upon layers of colorful goodness is what makes my heart go pitter patter. When in the fabric store I can spend hours just going through the racks, touching the fabric and envisioning what they would look like paired with another fabric. How it will give my purses dimension and my hair accessories POP. I think about who would carry a purse in those colors and where would they be going.”

Our final artist is Murwati, “Hello there, I design and make handbags and clutches. They are available in many colors and are handmade by me in my smoke and pet free home studio. If you have particular colors or sizes that are not in my shop, I will be happy to customize them for you.” “Love these wristlets!!! They were ready and arrived so quickly!! The quality of workmanship and materials are incredible… will purchase these for another occasion and will be purchasing from the Murwati again !!!”

UNITE TO HELP: For Japan With Love

Those affected by the disaster in Japan still need our help. Please consider making a donation to For Japan With Love. The proceeds will be donated to ShelterBox. For Japan With Love has raised over $60,000 thus far and even $1 helps.

“We’ve all seen the images and videos rolling in of the devastation from the Japan earthquake and tsunamis. While aftershocks and tsunami scares are still happening days later, the nation is in for a long long road of recovery. So far, the death toll is estimated to be over 10,000. In just one town, 9,500 are missing. And 660,000 are living in shelters. Not only do the survivors have to suffer the loss of loved ones, but as temperatures fall, electricity, water and food are now scarce to none. Many have tried to go back to their homes and to start picking up the pieces, only to find the tsunamis have plowed their homes down and there is literally nothing for them to come home to. Convenience stores have lines hours long and a limit of 10 items to each person. The second crisis has only begun and so many are left helpless.”- http://www.forjapanwithlove.com/about.html

Here is a video of ShelterBox in action: