road trips of my childhood were always measured by my family's “five-hour” rule. any trip under five hours, and sure, my family (six of us: dad, mom, son, son, son, daughter—in that order!) could handle it, without much complaining. a trip that lasted longer than five hours? “let’s fly,” my dad would say to my mom, she quick to agree.
to truly understand, you need to have sat in my family’s 1993 sky blue minivan whose air-conditioner whined a whimper, with back windows that only wedged open, and all kinds of food, candy and sticky soda stains in the cupholders. we could hardly sit still (mom called it “horseplay”), and we certainly couldn’t remain calm in tight quarters with one another. my sister had the toughest go of it: three older, rowdy, smelly brothers taking up more than their fair share of space. it didn’t take her long until she learned how to use her elbows.
but what i remember most from those road trips were the reasons why we subjected ourselves to our family’s, well, growing pains. we were off to see grandparents, whose stories of my parents put me into stitches. we were off to see aunts and uncles, who, having grown up with my parents, know them just as well as i do. memories, stories and family awaited me at the end of these road trips, generations speaking across generations to bring us all closer.
stories helped me understand where i came from, and all the love that continues to surround me. and one of the best things about glassybaby is exactly this: stories, from all of you, that move and teach all of us just how much compassion, beauty and love there is in the world.
a woman called our store in madrona earlier this month and asked for help. she wanted to make sure that her close friend was going to know that she was there for her over the next three months. this woman’s friend was about to undergo treatment that was going to test her will, patience, and even make her feel alone in her struggle. by the end of the phone call, the woman had decided to send three glassybaby to her friend each month: strength, breathe and hugs.
and for mother’s day, a mom shared a note with us, saying that her “sweet three year old (and his daddy)” gave her a glassybaby (mom, of course!) when she awoke to her special day. this sweet son presented the glassybaby and said “look, mama! i got you a glassymommy!”
there are the stories that also surprise us: a firefighter in eastern washington recalled his very first call on the job. it was to a home that had, very unfortunately, been completely burned. he and his crew needed to carry out the furniture out of the home, and to do so, they put down boards to walk over. hours passed, all of the furniture had been moved out, and when this young firefighter picked up the final board to bring out of the house, he noticed something shiny that was partially uncovered among the burnt debris. he picked up several glassybaby—all completely unscathed from the wreckage.
and the photo that graces the top of this post is a tribute to the story of a touching relationship between a daughter and her father. she shared with us that, as the three year anniversary of losing her father to pancreatic cancer approaches, she lights sweet pea because she “can’t think of a more beautiful way to keep his memory alive than to light a candle and know that he will always be with us.”
many of the stories that we hear make us stop and marvel at the amazing beauty that the glassybaby community shines with. everyone who has given a glassybaby is already doing so much good for the partnering charities that make the world a better place for so many. these stories help us realize that the good doesn’t end there. there are so many creative ways you all are honoring loved ones.
we love to hear your stories — please share them with us in the comments section below.