Wednesday, August 11, 2010

hey sister, can you spare some bling?

UPDATE: This event was a wonderful success. We raised $3500 due to your generous donations. There are still some pieces and checks coming, so it is not too late, if you are still interested in making a donation just email me. My friends are in actually in the process of bringing their baby home, so the timing is perfect. Again, thank you all from the warm cockles of my heart!!! Read on for the whole story....

You know how certain people in your life just warm the cockles of your heart? You're not sure what "cockles" are, but you know they exist because you feel them get warm when you think about those people?

I have the enormous blessing of being friends with just such a cockle-warming family. They have spent the first year of their daughter's life at Children's Mercy Hospital, exhibiting profound grace and forbearance throughout. Every day they demonstrate the enormous power of family. They have loved, supported, and held each other up during a very challenging year. All the while, they have afforded their daughter the routine and regular family experiences of the first year-- in an environment that naturally does not feel like a home. But they've made it unbelievably homey.

I am not kidding folks, you can actually forget where you are, and you'll be surprised when a nurse walks in. The power to transform and transcend environment does not come from scotch taping some photos to the wall. It comes from within. This is a powerful family with a wicked bright light.

Their utter devotion and superb skills are evident in the smile and sparkly eyes of their baby. There is little doubt that their special little daughter found her way straight into the arms of the perfect parents for her, and in return they have been blessed with quite an amazing babe.

As my friends undertake the enormous and joyous task of preparing to bring their baby home, I ask you for your old jewelry. In case the connection isn't immediately apparent, here is the skinny:

To help my friends manage costs and make accommodations required inside their home, we're working with Mark's Jewelers. This WONDERFUL local business has agreed to take all of our unwanted bling and turn it directly into cash for my friends.

So if you have a Vanilla Ice-esque gold chain collecting dust, a broken promise ring, a tarnished purity ring (no questions asked!), a mismatched earring, a forlorn piece of silver flatware, whatever ... please donate it to this CWF (cockle warming family).

Come on, you don't really need to keep that, ahem, "body jewelry" you picked up during spring break '96.

Mark's is located at 817 Massachusetts, in Lawrence. If you walk in and say you are donating to the "Bling for Baby Leah" event they will happily accept your donation. I can also accept your donations and promise I am good for it. You will not catch me cavorting around town with your old class ring, no siree! Just send me an e-mail.

Thanks everyone for giving me the opportunity to share a bit about my friends – and for your wonderful compassion and generosity. Thanks also for sharing, Tweeting, and Facebook-ing this post (just scroll down and hit the word "share," located next to the orange square).

 to your mother.


  1. They are indeed some of the most cockle warming folks I've encountered. This is an awesome cause and I hope that many will donate. I don't know of any more deserving people than this family. Wishing you the best with this event!!!

  2. What a marvelous world we have with surprising connections between seashells and hearts and even pilgrims.

    Thus, a cockle is "any bivalve mollusk of the genus Cardium, having somewhat heart-shaped, radially ribbed valves, esp. C. edule, the common edible species of Europe" (

    is also, according to

    "The ventricle of the heart. The origin of the word cockle in this sense is a matter of conjecture but in medieval Latin, the ventricle of the heart was called cochlea cordis and cochlea may have been corrupted to cockle. "


    "Cockles of the heart: The ventricles of the heart. If a cup of tea or coffee warms the cockles of your heart, it gives you a feeling of happiness, contentment, satisfaction." (

    Touring Canterbury, England, a few days ago, I learned that religious pilgrims to the cathedral received seashell badges to document their journey. This practice that continues today.

    As I make my own pilgrimages, my heart rejoices to see the connections between people and the universality of compassion and service -- the essence of this "Hey Mothers, Let's be Sisters" blog and, especially, this campaign to help a family in need. So, I will definitely be making a donation and letting go of some bling.

    When I was a child (decades ago!!!) in Kansas, one of my favorite songs was an old Irish ditty, "Cockles and Mussels." Does anyone ever sing that anymore or have you even heard of it?

    Cheerio from London,

  3. Joyce I do know the Irish ditty of which you speak! My husband's mother used to sing it to him as a lullaby. I also see it in the piano teaching curriculum I use! :)

    CiCi aka Lesa--I need to send a check. I know the event is this weekend so there is no way it will get there before the event. Should I make a check out to you and mail it to you or to them and just send it to their home address? I really meant to take care of this sooner but obviously waited til it was too late. ALSO---we need a new post, young lady. I keep checking back and get my heart broken every time. hehe. I know you're busy but you should take care of my needs first and foremost. :)

  4. Well I like to build up a good anticipation, you know like how fast food tastes good after you have been thinking about it and reading about it on this quality blog.

    Seriously though I just wanted to leave this up as the most recent post until I closed out the event. It is going great... A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you have participated! Gold has gone up $40 an ounce right we started, so if anyone out there hesitated because they thought that lone earring wasn't enough, there is still time to send it my direction. Look for my new post this weekend. And thanks again everyone!

  5. Well I guess that makes sense to leave this one up until the event is over. Ga, I totally get it now. I was just thinking selfishly. hehe!

    So, where should I send my monetary donation--directly to them or to you? I ain't got no gold.

  6. But what about all that gold on your grill? What you don't love them enough to pull your teeth out? $ donations can be sent directly to them, I will email you their address. Thank you!

  7. Greetings to everyone from Madrid, Spain. A few days ago, I toured the fabulous Prado Museum and thought of you sisters as I gazed at the many dramatic representations of strong mothers, sisters, and daughters that the Spanish masters attempted to depict so long ago. They come close, but how could Goya and Velasquez and Titian ever begin to capture the true essence of our unlimited compassion and maternal devotion?


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