loss, grief, doing something about it, joy

My family has faced tremendous losses over the last six months or so.  A dear friend of my husband's succumbed to cancer after a long, vigilant battle.  I lost my closest friend to suicide, have seen another sweet friend's marriage fall apart, job loss and the associated struggles, we watched our dear pet decline, and discovered that a family in our church community was struggling with emotional and physical abuse, much much too late to help.  This week the authorities found the mother's body and her husband was arrested.  She leaves two children that I know well.  One is my son's age, and the other was in my sunday school class for four years.  I have fought with how to deal with her senseless death, how to help her children, how to help other women in her position.

When I began making these cups in 2012, they were intended to help bring hope to a friend.  I want to continue that mission.  For the next month, 30% of the sale of each cup will go into a fund for my friend's children.  After that, a percentage will go to my local domestic abuse shelter.  I can't do a lot, but this I can do, and it gives my heart solace and joy to be able to make some sort of difference through my work.

The day we found out about my friend's death, we brought joy back into our household in a big way.  We brought home an 11 week old chocolate lab puppy.  His name is Ajax and he has really lifted our hearts.  He is curious and sweet and everything you want a puppy to be.  And he reminds me to be present and not dwell in the past, but to notice and take each day on its own, finding the joy in the small things.