Friday, April 27, 2012

Memorial Tree

I just spent six days in Florida catching up with my mom, aunt, uncle, cousin and friends. It was just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, the trip was marred by some bad news. A friend of mine lost her 20-year-old stepson in a tragic accident.

It was her husband's only child so it is heartbreaking beyond belief.  I felt so bad that I had to leave Florida on Monday and would not be able to attend the funeral today. Just a week ago today, my friend and I spent a fun-filled day together.  He husband gave me a tour of the back yard that they are transforming into a beautifully landscaped garden replete with a waterfall, pool, sitting area and brick oven.

As we walked away from their back yard, my friend casually mentioned she hoped to see her stepson married in that very place that was to be their future garden sanctuary.

All week I sat up here in Connecticut feeling helpless because I couldn't be back down in Florida to comfort my dear friend. I wanted to do something--needed to do something--but sending a bouquet of flowers just seemed too cliche.

I trolled the internet for some ideas. Then I remembered last weekend walking at dusk in my mom's neighborhood and discovering a bush filled with fragrant, white gardenia blooms.  A fond memory came back to me I was living in Florida at 20 years old, and discovered this beautiful gardenia tree during the month of April. I picked a bushel full of blooms and put them in a vase, the sweet smell of the flowers wafted throughout the house.

My friend's stepson was born in April and died only seven days after his 20th birthday--April 22. I had a blooming gardenia tree shipped to my friend's home and suggested she plant the tree in the back yard in remembrance of her stepson.

It is my hope that every April that tree will be in full bloom to honor the tragic passing of a young man gone from this earth too soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Barbie Battles Cancer

Mattel To Make 'Bald Friend Of Barbie' In 2013

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 03/30/2012 5:49 pm Updated: 03/30/2012 5:49 pm
Mattel To Make Bald Friend Barbie
Mattel announced Thursday the company will make a bald doll months after a bald Barbie campaign took off on and Facebook.
A bald friend of Barbie's would be available next year, CNN reports, though the doll will not be sold in stores.
The move comes after parents took toFacebook and to lobby the company to create a doll to help children suffering from hair-loss feel better about themselves.
The doll comes with wigs, hats, scarves and other accessories and unlike other Barbie dolls, the toy will only be available through hospitals, notes CBS News.
Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times. We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie, which will include wigs, hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience. For those girls who choose, the wigs and head coverings can be interchanged or completely removed. We will work with our longstanding partner, the Children’s Hospital Association, to donate and distribute the dolls exclusively to children’s hospitals directly reaching girls who are most affected by hair loss. A limited number of dolls and monetary donations will also be made to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
Through a thoughtful approach, we made the decision not to sell these dolls at retail stores, but rather get the dolls directly into the hands of children who can most benefit from the unique play experience, demonstrating Mattel’s ongoing commitment to encourage play as a respite for children in the hospital and to bring joy to children who need it most. We appreciate the conversation around this issue, and are interested to hear what you think!
The bald doll isn't a first for Mattel. Last year, the company made a one-of-a-kind bald Barbie doll for a 4-year-old suffering from cancer who lost her hair during chemotherapy treatment, notes CBS New York.