We have received so many prayers and acts of kindness, thoughtful gifts and messages that have touched me deeply; I truly know that is why I am able to still survive what may no more be an unimaginable loss but a way of life for us, after our 16-year-old son, brother and grandson died on Mother’s Day 2014 from taking a relatively unknown synthetic drug, 25i-NBOMe.
One of the gifts I received, from the day I received it, I carried close to my heart for strength. It is a necklace with a key engraved with the word, COURAGE. It is part of The Giving Keys collection. The Giving Keys exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys that get sold and shared around the world. Each key is unique and carries a message. When the wearer of the key encounters someone else who needs the message on the key more than they do, they give it away and then post on thegivingkeys.com site the story of their key being paid forward. I learned all of this when I received the “Key of Courage.” I thought I would have it forever. It turns out I had it a shorter time than I had planned. This month, on the same day that Sam died a year ago, another teen lost his life in our community and as I contemplated a heartfelt note in the card I had selected for his mother, I remembered where I was in the midst of devastation a year earlier and how I wanted to help this mother now. It was quite simple really. I realized there was someone I knew who needed that key more than I did so I took it off and placed it in the card with a note about The Giving Keys.
And so I let go of the “Key of Courage” to hopefully, help another in some small way. And a few days later, I received a gift of my own. It was a necklace as well. The “Heaven” necklace by Premier Design. As I opened it, I was immediately aware of it’s many elements that remind me where my Sammy is… starting with the Heaven’s gate key lock charm and the key itself. The circle charm that represents Heaven and Eternity with the dozen city wall foundation stones encircling (Jasper, Sapphire, Chalcedony, Emerald, Sardonyx, Sardius, Chrysolite, Beryl, Topaz, Chrysoprase, Jacinth, Amethyst). And on the other side of these, the twelve stones encircling are the pearl gates of Heaven along with the pure gold streets of Heaven charm. Although made as an expression of faith inspired by the scripture of Revelation 21:18-22, my “Heaven” necklace tells me that we’ll be with Sam there, forever. #muchlovetosam