Sunday, June 24, 2012


Hope arrived in the mail yesterday.

A few weeks back, Jasper and I had a particularly hard day at Children’s. Two opthalmology appointments that would give a better idea of Jasper’s vision. The moment of truth, I thought. I now know better - there is no one moment of truth with Jasper - it is a long, drawn out process.

I told Jasper we were going swimming. Children’s has a pool for children and family to use on the day of an appointment. After Jasper’s dismal ophthalmology test result, I was numb. I wanted to go sit somewhere by myself and cry. I held it together enough to visit a friend and his daughter, who was recovering from surgery. Open swim was at 4 p.m. After seeing our friends, we had a good half hour longer to wait. I debated skipping the swim. But I had promised Jasper. I had enjoyed packing his new swim diaper, his towel, a comb for his wet hair.

It was almost snack time. We cruised through the cafeteria then found a table in the lounge next to the gift shop. There is always a vendor alongside the gift shop. I fed Jasper his snack, and kept peeking over at the jewelry set out on tables. When he was finished I made my way over to browse. The jewelry designer had a selection of silver wire bead necklaces, bracelets... and charms. It was the charms that caught my attention. Assorted shapes of flat silver with hand etched designs and words. I pored over them for a long time. Walk on the beach. Hearts. Swirls. I decided on a charm with a heart and star. I paid for my purchase and Jasper and I made our way to the pool.

I began wearing my charm as soon as we got home. A few days later, I sent the jewelry designer the following message:
Dear Halina,
This past Tuesday I was at Children’s Hospital and purchased a charm from you. My 16 month old son had two opthalmology appointments that day. Afterward, we hung around, waiting to go swimming at four.

Our appointments were disappointing. At birth, my son had a stroke in the occipital lobe (vision area) of his brain. That day, the opthalmologist had nothing good to say about my son’s vision. I looked at your charms for a long time before selecting one with a star and a heart. What I was really looking for though, was hope. You should have some charms that say hope. Because that is what parents at Children's need.

Halina replied:

Dear Brenda,

I am very touched that you took the time to write to me and suggest that I have Hope charms available at Children's. You are absolutely right, and I had not thought of that. Thank you so much.

I am very sorry to hear about your son's diagnosis. It is so difficult to see challenges put upon our children and be powerless, no matter how much effort we are willing to put into it, to change it. My heart goes out to you and your family.

I would be delighted to create a charm for you that says "Hope" as my gift to you. It will be in sterling silver, but it may be slightly larger so that I can fit the word on it.


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