It’s been awhile. If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that my mother passed away two months ago, after a rampant spread of renal cell carcinoma that we were told would be cured with her surgery last October. I’m still reeling from the loss and am taking it one day at a time to find my footing. It was a struggle to get myself to sit down and write this. If you’ve lost someone this close to you, you know fairly well how I feel.
My mom was the catalyst for Tula in Bloom. She exposed me to jewelry making through her own business, Daima’s Pearls. Many know my story of how I returned home after living in Los Angeles over a decade, choosing to leave my career in healthcare management to start a new creative path that began with writing and illustration. Seeing my mother, working quietly amongst the vast stock of vintage jewelry she collected in what had been my younger brother’s bedroom, sparked an interest in making and selling jewelry of my own while I waited for my children’s book to be accepted for publishing. Yet, instead of my jewelry business being a side venture on the road to children’s book authorship, it became the main vehicle for my art for the past seven years. My mom was there every step of the way, first as a teacher, then as a peer and occasional assistant, sometimes as a student, and always as a cheerleader. This work bonded us in a new way and provided me with memories and feelings I will always cherish.
And now she’s gone. And her absence is felt in each moment.
To be honest, I haven’t touched my jeweler’s bench in months. Not since her hospital admission in February the weekend of my sister’s and brother’s birthday (same day, seven years apart — Mom liked to joke that she planned it that way), when I was told by the same surgeon who said her cancer would be cured that now she wouldn’t even live two years. Not since her second hospital admission, which turned out to be her last. Not since her funeral three weeks later, in which I immersed myself planning a homegoing celebration that would honor her the way she deserved. And not now, two months after her passing, when life has continued and the world has moved on and we’re still trying to get by, one day at a time.
I don’t know if the urge will arise to return to jewelry making any time soon. In another admission of frank honesty, I was experiencing burnout last year and had been considering other options for Tula in Bloom. I always saw this venture as more than jewelry but had a difficult time clarifying what that ‘more’ would look like. I love the designs I’ve made and enjoy seeing how happy they make the people who wear them. I know continuing to engage with it could be a way to stay connected to my mom. But, at least for now, I need an extended break.
Next month, I’ll be traveling to Europe to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It’s a pilgrimage that will last a few weeks. I plan to take my mother with me, in spirit. We’ll see beautiful terrain, connect with fellow travelers, and hopefully, I will be inspired to create upon my return. I will put the online shop on hiatus but will keep my blog and social media up with travel updates. Until then, the online shop will be open and in-person appointments are available. I have no shows scheduled to date. With Mother’s Day and my birthday approaching, all items will be on sale starting Saturday, May 12 through the first week of June; no discount code is needed. Customization and special orders may be available on a limited basis and by request; email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
Thank you for your time in reading this, and thank you for understanding. Thank you for the kindness and well wishes sent our way, and thank you for supporting Tula in Bloom. Wishing you and yours health and well-being.