This is the first memory wire bracelet Zoe ever created.
She was 10 years old at the time.
I was making jewelry for one of my upcoming craft fairs, when Zoe sat down next to me and started playing with a bowl full of beads, as she had done a hundred times before.
I looked over at her, and she looked sad.
I asked her if something was wrong.
She hesitated for a moment, and then said “When do you sleep?”
I laughed and said “What do you mean?”
She said “When I go to bed, you’re making jewelry. When I wake up, you’re making jewelry. You work at the hospital during the day. When do you sleep?”
I have a 10 year old with a 30 year old’s maturity.
She has had to grow up very fast because of her brother.
You see, I am a single mother of two amazing kids.
Like most parents, I do everything I can to provide for them.
I say most parents, because not all parents do their part.
That said, I raise my children by myself. They do not have visitation with their other parent. They do not receive assistance or freebies of any kind.
I work my fingers to the bone every single day to provide them with what they have.
Zoe’s little brother is named Zion. He has Autism. I spend more on his medical care and therapeutic education each month than I spend on my mortgage. And because I choose to work, we do not qualify for any type of governmental assistance.
For this reason I have had to move and shake.
Cleaning houses, selling homemade salsa, selling my jewelry at craft fairs….anything I can come up with to make sure Zoe and Zion have what they need.
“Mama, I want to help you. Can I make a bracelet?”
“Of course you can, love.”
So I wrapped her up a piece of memory wire. And with no real training, or coaching, or jewelry classes, she came up with the beautiful bracelet you see pictured at the very top of this blog post.
Over the next several days, I noticed Zoe sidling up to me more and more.
She made probably 2 dozen bracelets that week.
Then one evening she said, “Mama, I think this should be our lemonade stand to help Zion.”
I smiled and said, “So we will sit out on the sidewalk on our caul-de-sac and sell bracelets?”
She said “Nooooooo mama. Like a fundraiser.”
My heart swelled with pride.
She started brainstorming all kinds of names for her fundraiser.
A to Z.
Then she stopped and by the look on her face, I knew she had it.
I knew immediately what she meant.
When Zoe was little, I used to tell her a story about a little boy who was running along the beach, throwing the starfish back into the ocean that had washed up on the beach.
A man walked up to the little boy and asked what he was doing.
The little boy said “I’m saving the starfish.”
The man laughed at the little boy and said “There are hundreds of starfish washing ashore every morning! You can’t possibly save all of them. It doesn’t matter in the end.”
The little boy just threw another starfish back into the water and said “It matters to this one.”
Zoe looked at me and said “Mama, Zion is our starfish.”
That was a year ago this month.
It is now April 2014 and it is Autism Awareness month.
Please support the starfish in your life by becoming a starfish thrower, in some capacity.
Because it really does make a difference.
Buy our jewelry and support our fundraiser by visiting: