At the end of December, Bridget Spence wrote this to those who followed her blog—My Big Girl Pants–as she shared her last entry of her journey living with stage IV cancer:
“I’m going to ask now for just one more favor. It is time for me to ask each of you to let me go. It is time to say goodbye…My mother and brothers have flown in to help. I’d like to…enjoy a nice cold drink with my husband on a beach somewhere. I want some time alone with him. Time without doctors, appointments and scans…just the two of us…No trials. No hospitals. Just Bridget and her Big Man…Please, don’t forget about me.”
The impact of Bridget’s words upon those who know her or her story was like a drop-kick into reality.
Several who have known her through an association with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure wanted to do something to make sure that Bridget knew she would never be forgotten. They knew that Bridget loved pearls.
And what began as a simple, “What if all of us were to send a single pearl to let Bridget know (we care)?” exploded over three weeks into a project, which has far-exceeded anyone’s expectations.
(To read more about the early stage of the project, please read—Bridget Spence and a Pearl to Bridget Project.)
There have been hundreds of people who have sent thousands of pearls—real, glass, other type of beads, charms, etc.—to the project organizer, Malinda Humes; each representing a life that Bridget Spence has touched by the example she has set, becoming a force for courage, hope, love and inspiration.
Malinda and her local team went through the process of stringing all of these “pearls” into garlands to send along with cards, pictures, notes of encouragement, etc. in a scrapbook to Bridget. (Read more about this project and its updates at the A Pearl to Bridget Facebook page.)
Jeremy Shepherd, Founder and CEO of Pearl Paradise, partnered on this project opening it up to those who wanted to purchase pearls that could be fashioned into something that Bridget could wear. He also committed to donate half the price of the pearls ordered and the shipping costs to the Susan G. Komen foundation in Bridget’s name.
Jeremy shared that there were 511 orders. Some people purchased single pearls, others bought multiples, and others an inch or two (3-4 per inch). There were a variety of pearl types, sizes and colors ordered. The total number of pearls ordered through Pearl Paradise was 1,369!!
The Pearl Paradise team got busy designing, stringing, hand-knotting, and finishing many beautiful one-of-kind pieces. Each of these pieces shown below and on the Pearl Paradise blog, were all sent directly from the company to Bridget and were delivered to her. (View all of the individual photos at the Pearl Paradise blog.)
A donation has also been made by Jeremy Shepherd and Pearl Paradise to the Susan G. Komen foundation in Bridget’s name in the amount of…
To all those who have come together to honor Bridget Spence and A Pearl to Bridget project:
- Project organizers—Malinda, Alisen, Brenda, and Aubrey
- Jeremy and his team at Pearl Paradise
- Each who made a purchase through Pearl Paradise website
- Each who has sent pearls and items of any kind to Malinda
- Jeff, the mailman who delivered each of the packages to Malinda
- The bead stores which donated stringing materials and supplies
- Those who have volunteered time to assist
- Each and everyone who has left words of support and encouragement
- To those who have been involved, working quietly behind the scenes
- And to all the others that may have been missed, but who have shared Bridget’s story and the story of a simple request to not forget…
Thank you. This could not have been accomplished without the contribution made by each and every one of you.
THE POWER OF ONE
One thought…one idea…one pearl…
for one woman.
One “pearl of a woman”.
That’s all it takes to make a difference.
one at a time.
the potential…the power…
the impact…the reach…
that “one” can have.
Joy, peace, love and laughter are wished for all~
(“The Power of One” written by Coral Levang 1/25/2013–Dedicated to Bridget Spence)