This story is a repost from April of 2020, during the early days of the global pandemic. By far, it is one of my favorite pieces of writing to date here at Nunn Design. I hope you enjoy it too.
A Sign of Hope When I Needed it the Most
For the first six years of operations, Nunn Design filled the back bedroom of our house, an 1100 square foot 1929 cottage in Port Townsend, Washington. Product spilled down the halls and filled the basement, mingling with the stuffed animals, books, and toys of our little family. As our two daughters became older, and my husband began grumbling about sharing the kitchen with employees at lunch time, I started to look for a location in which to house our growing business.
I was able to find an office space through a connection of Brett’s. A blacksmith he worked with had recently passed from Lou Gehrig’s disease. His widow needed to rent his former studio, but was reluctant. The grief of losing her life’s partner was still very fresh. As I spoke with her about the space, I had suggested that we do a ritual together to honor her time with her husband, while at the same time welcoming new creative energy into the space.
We met on a Saturday afternoon at the studio. I brought with me a satchel filled with flat rocks, and several Sharpie Markers. As we walked through the rooms, I asked her to think of special memories that she had of her husband within those spaces. With each memory she told, we took a rock from my satchel, wrote a word on it that captured the essences of her experience, placed the rock on the floor of that room, and moved on to the next.
When we arrived at the sleeping loft, she told a story of how she had climbed up into this space after her husband’s memorial services, laid down on the bed, and cried for what seemed like hours. After her sobs subsided, she turned to see a bird sitting on the window ledge inches from her face. The bird perched there, on the edge of the open window, looking at her. Without a shadow of a doubt, she knew with all of her being, that this was her husband coming to let her know that all would be okay.
I loved this story so much I told it to my father. He had previously told me about his belief that his own father had returned to him as a wild turkey walking into his family’s farmhouse shortly after the funeral. We made an agreement then and there that when he passed, if possible, he would come to me as a bird to let me know that everything would be all right.
My father died two years ago when I was exhibiting at the Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show. In the weeks to follow, I spent a lot of time with my mother while she grieved the loss of her husband of sixty-five years. During one of those visits, my mother pulled out several of my father’s journals and offered them to me. I reluctantly reached out for one to make her feel better. The journal that I selected was a daily record of his experience with the book by Julia Cameron titled, “The Artist Way.” I had given this book to him on his 80th birthday. As I randomly flipped through the pages, I found myself having a conversation with my father.
“Dad, this is your personal journey. I feel uncomfortable reading your thoughts. Show me what I need to know about you.”
My fingers stopped flipping, my eyes went right to this sentence; “It has come to my awareness that creativity is the highest form of spirituality that one can experience.”
To this day these words still make me tear up. In that moment, I felt great gratitude that my father saw me, and that he really understood my life’s passion and purpose.
As Nunn Design has navigated the past couple of weeks, I have experienced many waves of grief. I have doubted my purpose, my mission, and the voice that I bring to this community of makers. A week ago, that’s two years and two months since my father’s passing, he fulfilled his promise. As I was sitting in my bedroom with the morning light filtering through the window, a small bird fluttered up on the sill, landed, and cocked his head back and forth looking at me for a good thirty seconds. I knew it was my father letting me know that my life had great purpose. That I could navigate this pandemic with my community of makers, and we would find a new normal together.
Thank you, dad. Thank you for fulfilling your promise. Thank you for helping all of us find a sign of hope when we needed it most.
We, together, can find hope.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Shop Nunn Design Wholesale
Nunn Design has been supplying jewelry artists with findings for over 20 years. Shop wholesale jewelry findings for creative jewelry makers.Shop Nunn Design!
How to Purchase Wholesale?
If you are interested in becoming one of the many designers who trust their jewelry to Nunn Design Findings, please join us by registering to become one of our wholesale customers!
Please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe to our blog. Here are 10 Reasons Why to Subscribe and a place to do so!
15 thoughts on “A Sign of Hope When I Needed it the Most”
Such a sweet story Becky! Bless your heart!
Beautiful story! The death of my mom 8 years ago is what started my journey on trying to learn how to make jewelry. I have learned many things but have a long way to go. I have ordered several products from you and have never been disappointed. I enjoy your posts also. Keep on creating because we all need inspiration! Hope you have a good day!
An absolutely beautiful and touching story. Thank you!
Very touching story. Brought tears to my eyes…
What a heart warming story and gift to give us all in these troubling g times. Thank you for sharing your heart and hope with all of us.
Just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I think we are all having tough moments right now and this is just what I needed to hear. Much appreciated 🙂
Have a great week!
Thank you, Becky. You are so important to all of us. Your thoughful creations bring a quality to my work that I only find at Nunn design. Truly Inspired! Happy Thanksgiving, every day!
It is a joy to see how each person’s creativity is expresses with the same parts and pieces.
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. It touched my heart. We have all lost friends and family over these years. Thanksgiving remembered of past times we had together are times that lightened our hearts. It’s a time to be thankful for the bounty they have given us. The friends we knew and the friends we are with today. Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone who knows at the heart off Nunn Design your father’s words echo and give us all hope to persevere what ever trials lie ahead. Love and Thanks for the many years of friendship we have shared. Happy Thanksgiving!
Love you Susan Ray!
Thank you for your guidance, encouragement and faith in me. Nunn Design would not be what it is today without you!
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. It touched my heart. We have all lost friends and family over these years. Thanksgiving remembered of past times we had together are times that lightened our hearts. It’s a time to be thankful for the bounty they have given us. The friends we knew and the friends we are with today. Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone who knows at the heart off Nunn Design your father’s words echo and give us all hope to persevere what ever trials lie ahead. Love and Thanks for the many years of friendship we have shared.
I’m absolutely surprised at your candor and honesty in sharing such a very personal story. Been shopping your creations. Ideas, supplies, etc. Forever. Thank you!
Thank you for reading and commitment to Nunn Design.
Dear Becky, I loved reading your story. I lost my mother in 2017, to Alzheimer’s
disease, but really I lost her a long time before she died, because she stopped recognising me. At the time, I’m sorry to say, I was taking a lot of medication that stopped me feeling the grief that I should have felt, but, of course, once I got off the meds, all the grief came flooding back and now, 5 years later, I’m feeling the grief that I should have felt then. I miss her so much, we were like best friends, and we did a lot together. And even though it’s painful, I’m glad that now I can cry and grieve for her. As human beings, we need to grieve for the people we’ve lost or it comes out in other ways that aren’t good for us. When I read your story about the bird it made me smile because, since my mum died, I’ve been feeding a lovely little bird (I’ve named him Fred 😊) who comes to visit me everyday, and I wonder if he’s telling me that my mother is still around somewhere, in a different form. I ❤️ your creativity Becky and all the beautiful bezels and charms that you design. Keep going. Love from Amanda in Melbourne, Australia ❤️
I am sorry for your loss. Not only for your mom’s passing, but the navigation of her disease. All of that is painful and sad. I’m glad you are experiencing the grief now. I hope that creating beauty brings you joy. Thank you for reading and choosing Nunn Design Findings.