Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Diamonds...

RED: infused deep pomegranate with a chameleon effect that change depending on the surrounding light conditions. 

In Victorian times, people wore mourning jewelery to remember a departed loved one. In pendants, rings and lockets containing hair or ashes of the deceased, family and friends would find comfort in keeping that person's presence close to their hearts.

DNA2Diamonds honors this tradition with the world's most personal diamonds. Created from a loved one's carbon signature taken from hair or ashes, these diamonds not only symbolize the deceased person, but actually contain the essence of life. 

As unique as the person's spirit, each lab-grown diamond is truly a one-of-a-kind. More personal than a photograph or other memorial items, this lasting tribute is a treasured keepsake for generations to come.

The Red Heather diamond is officially back in the USA. This evening, Monday evening, it will be shipped to New York City to IGI to be graded, certified and engraved. The jeweler will then pick it up and place it in the setting I have chosen. This all happens on 5th Avenue...Heather would be so thrilled. Her journey has been one of great adventure. The jeweler had made extreme changes to the original setting and the stone will fit into the setting I have chosen. Once this is finished it will be packaged with all the paperwork and certificates and then shipped to me. It should be on its way to me in 10 days or less.
Photo shop mock up of the stone in the setting. The jeweler moved out the 2 diamonds on the side to fit the larger stone in this setting. Also added longer prongs to hold the diamond in place.
The gold setting is just for shipping to protect the stone
Click on photo to enlarge you can see the bottom of the setting so clear
 I am proud to share the first cell phone photos of the red diamond. They have all said it is one of the clearest and fairest colors of red they have seen. Usually the bigger reds get really dark and don't infuse light well. As you can reflects the light very well...Once it arrives, Bill is going to do some photo magic with the ring and some placement of it....but for is here and safe and stunning...
Just stunning-can't wait

Friday, March 25, 2011

Princesses and Diamonds...

You're in a better place,
I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken
The reason shy I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you...

Heather wanted a pink dress for her ball. She wanted to be Princess Aurora. She loved Aurora with her pink ball gown and long blond hair. Heather ended up finding a blue one that was more like Cinderella's ball gown. However, upon my investigating of the original Sleeping Beauty revealed something very interesting. Two of the fairies were fighting over whether the dress should be BLUE or PINK. In the part where Aurora has "fallen asleep" she is laid out in her ball gown that was BLUE. So, Heather really was Aurora. The night that Heather died many of the people that came by said she looked like a princess. She looked as is she was only sleeping and a kiss would wake her up. After all the tubes were off her, it was the most natural and normal she had looked in weeks. She was wearing her tiara and her ball gown was laid on top of her as it had been all day. Heather will always be Sleeping Beauty.
L to R: Dr Chris, Shawna, Gayle, Emily, Heather, Stacey, Erin, Jan and Nurse Deb..

You always think that your child or children are exceptional and special. When you lose a child everyone tells you how sweet and extra ordinary they thought they were. When that child is gone you try to make talismans-physical reminders-of your child. I have 2 urns necklaces, a thumbprint necklace and a laser etched locket to keep Heather close to me. With all is not, nor will it ever be enough to fill the void of her actually being here, being able to touch her. When I began the red diamond process I wondered what kind of a diamond would be made. What would the clarity be? How many flaws would it have? How would it shine and sparkle in the light? What is the actual size going to be? (a 3/4 carat can be between .69-.89) I, of course, was hoping for the biggest cut I could get. While the diamond is taking its sweet time to get back to the USA~standard Heather never rush her for any reason...I did find out some information about the stone.
Cousin Heather with Cousin Addy...sweet kisses
The lab in Russia is saying that this is one of the most beautiful red colored diamonds to come out of the process in the 10 years that the tech has been doing this.  It also appears to have few flaws and be very clear. What else could I have possibly imagined since Heather was involved in the creation of this stone. I asked about the cutting process and there are not any pieces "cut" off the is dust when the diamond is ground into the shape and size. The size depends on the cutting in and around the flaws that are in the actual stone. You cannot cut through a flaw. You have to go around it one way or the other. This is why total weight varies from one stone to the next. I was told on Wednesday that the diamond appeared to be larger than expected. I was expecting it to be closer to the .89 size. Again, today I received the news that my diamond since it had very few flaws was able to be cut into the biggest red diamond they have ever done. The total weight is 1.24 carats. YES...that is 1 and 1/4 carats. Nearly 2 times the size I purchased. They don't even have a 1 carat red diamond available to be made. I sat and cried as Kathy, from DNA 2 Diamonds, and I chatted on live chat today about my diamond. I was overcome with emotions as I knew Heather was extra special but to have the diamond be so extraordinary too. It was very emotional for me. They have contacted the jeweler to make sure the setting can still handle this large of a stone. They have assured me it can, but will see once it actually arrives. Kathy will send me photos of the stone once it arrives in house in Pennsylvania, hopefully next week.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today and Always....

My Porcelain Doll
I have a porcelain doll
She is so beautiful and fair
And whenever she needs anything
I will always be there.
Eyes as blue as the sky
Hair so pretty and long
This porcelain doll is my heart and soul.
I will never do her wrong
I put her on a pedestal.
She's so special in every way.
For this doll I will try and do everything
And for her I will never stray.
My porcelain doll is my daughter Heather,
If you haven't guessed by now
She is my heart, soul and my life
And I will be here for her forever
This is what I strive
Heather you are my porcelain doll....
~Ambra Waggoner~

Today, 2 years ago was another beginning of a life altering event. Only this one changed the course of my and my families life forever. It was the beginning of 33 days of pure hell on earth. Looking back now I didn't realize then I was walking through fire. Everyday for 33 days my life revolved around doctors, nurses, procedures, test results, watching Heather deteriorate a little more day by day. Today was the beginning of horrible procedures that would be done, that had to be done in order to save her life. In the end it made no difference. The outcome was still the same. Heather's life was finished. Just 21 years, 4 months and 10 days after it began, she was done with her life's work and could go home to be with Jesus. It was the plan from the beginning, even though I was not consulted or asked. Given the choice, I would still have lived my life with Heather in it. I would deal with the heart break and all the pain losing her has caused. To have someone so special be part of my life and to be able to call her my worth it all.

I wanted to share the announcements and invitations from the Grand Ball we had for Heather. Something I have not shared before. I thought everyone might like to see what they looked like. Anyone who knows me, knows that I pull out all the stops with parties. I take a theme and then run to the very last detail. I leave no stone unturned to find just the right things to make the party complete. Everything at the Grand Ball was done in Royal fashion down to the tiniest of details. Hope you enjoy:
The save the date
The beautiful invitation
Invitation wording
The Royal "H" seal  

Grand Duchess seat
Table setting
The Sally angel is still in the yard. The bush in front of her has the blue lights to look like a cloud. It has been there since right after Thanksgiving. This year to have a "floating lantern" feel..I have bought luminary kits. I bought different cardboard cutout inserts that go into the bags to illuminate different designs. I also bought special water filled weights that go into the bags to hold them down and also hold the lights. These will be placed outside at different times of the year. But especially on April 20th and December 10th. I am going to send up 24 lighted balloons into the night's sky on the 20th as well. I am thinking of having a ceremony/vigil so to speak for those who would be interested in coming and sharing this life altering event with us. More info coming soon....
Heather diamond is currently being shipped from Russia to USA by way of England. Should be in New York City on Monday. There it will be certified, graded and engraved. Then to the jewelers for setting and then to me. Should be about 10 leg of the process

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It Never Fails....

First thing I'd do is pray for time to crawl
I'd unplug the telephone and keep the t.v. off
I'd hold you every second
Say a million I love you's
That's what I'd do with one more day with you...

One more day, one more time
One more sunset maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing for one more day with you....
One More Day~Diamond Rio

Bill's mom, Margaret, always had a crochet project with her. On long trips or visiting she always had yarn or thread and a hook in her hands. Most of the time she worked with no pattern. It was a way to pass the time and just gave her something to do. It is very relaxing as long as you are not under pressure to get something finished. Also when you have company that you really don't wish to visit with it gives you something to do so you don't have to make conversation. (I have used this with Lola and my half sisters)

I had tried to learn how to crochet when Bill's mom was alive. I just didn't get it. For some reason after she died, Jenn was able to teach me how to crochet. It just clicked that time. Jenn is a very good teacher and had lots of patience with me. I then discovered the joy of yarn and a hook in your hands. It is very relaxing, time passing and it gives you a great feeling to make something for people. Crocheting and knitting is becoming a lost art. Not many in my generation know how to do this.
My bag that sat in ICU..
How do you say thank you to doctors and nurses that give so much of their time and heart to care for your daughter? Really, honestly, you can't. But I tried by making blankets for many of the staff that took such excellent care of Heather. The 6 months that she was in the hospital I made 12 afghans. I had lots of time just sitting either in the hospital or the ATU getting blood products. I always had a bag of yarn and a hook ready to go. I had several different bags so I could grab one and go. Here are just a few of the ones I made:
For Dr. Fastenberg
For Gayle
For Natalie
Nurse Deb, home health care
For Shawna
For nurse Jan
So, of course when Heather was in ICU I had my ever trusty bag of yarn with me. I finished a baby blanket and then began a full size afghan that was just something to do. I had no one in mind when I began it. My black bag was in the corner of the room when we were on 6 South and then in ICU till the night she died. I had lots of time just sitting in ICU. It is a quiet, lonely place with lots of time with not much to do. I also managed to watch the construction workers finish one section of the outside wall of the new emergency room. Yes, I was there that long. The night we left the hospital for the last time I put away my afghan and did not take it out till a couple weeks ago. It sat, folded the way it was the last time I had worked on it, with all the yarn and the hook in the bag. I took it out and began to work on it again with some bittersweet pains in  my heart. I have no idea yet what is going to happen to this afghan. I am not sure if I want to keep it since it was the last one I began with Heather still alive? or do I want to give it to someone special that would love it? I still have no decision yet.
Purple, cream and multi-color...2/3 done...
When I pulled everything out of the bag I found a surprise. Heather always took a purse sized bag of candy to the hospital with her. She then took sandwich bags filled with candy to the ATU for blood products. She said the chemo, steroids and blood made her mouth yucky. In the bottom of the bag was a sandwich bag filled with flattened jolly ranchers hard candy. I guess I had placed it in my crochet bag. I had no idea it was even there. I also found a set of PINK Victoria Secret patches we had bought after a trip to the ATU. Again, I must have placed them in my bag and just forgotten them.
Even with something so simple as finishing a project, the memories flood my heart and mind. Everyday simple things are just not so easy. Little reminders pop up to say hey mom...I am still here. It leaves me wishing for one more more more minute...even one more second to be with her.

My diamond has finished cutting and polishing and was shipped back to the USA from Russia yesterday. The shipping will take about 10 days. Then it goes to IGI to be graded and certified. Then to the jewelers for setting and finally shipped to me. I believe that we are behind schedule now and this will be arriving the first of April.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Floating Lanterns....

"And tomorrow night
Light will appear
Just like they do on my birthday each year
What is it like
Out there where they glow?
Now that I'm older
Mother might just
Let me go....?"
"When Will My Life Begin"~Tangled

Sky Lanterns, also known as Kongming Lanterns are airborne paper lanterns traditionally found in some Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or a fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lanterns, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern floats back to the ground. 

According to popular lore, the Kongming lantern was the first hot air balloon, said to be invented by the Chinese sage and military strategist Qhuge Liang, They were first deployed at the turn of the 3rd century as a type of spy blimp.

The early 16th century missionary historian Toribio de Benaventi motolinia describes luminaries in use by native Americans in Colonial Mexico, to illuminate midnight church services in outdoor chapels, and on their rooftops on Christmas Eve. Believed to have copied the Sky Lanterns from Asia.

I had no idea that the floating lanterns from Tangled were real. I have watched many videos online and Disney really did their research to bring to life the floating lanterns. It is the most emotional part of the movie for me. I have and I will cry every time I watch this portion of the movie. It has such an impact on me. I am reminded of the balloons we let go for Heather's birthday. I have no idea why releasing balloons gives such a feeling of comfort...

"  And then there are balloons. Balloons are free, they are beautiful, they dance. Balloons romp about as if they are having fun of all they float toward heaven. Balloons are for us a means of communicating with our children. We set balloons free as a way of greeting out lost children and sending our love up to them."
~Beyond Tears~

Writing a message and then sending the balloon off to heaven seems to bring a huge amount of emotions and comfort. Looking up to heaven and watching as the balloons go higher and higher till they are out of sight is such a indescribable feeling. It gives you the idea that the balloons really did reach heaven...or at least close enough for Heather to read the balloons and feel the love we are sending to her.

March has arrived...I didn't need a calendar to tell me when March 1st was. My body is programed for it already. I remember what I was doing on this day and that day. March and April for 2 years in a row had such major events packed into them. Beginning in March-I go from Jenn's birthday to Heather being in the hospital to her last hospital admission to needle biopsy to Wendy's birthday to ICU to cancer diagnosis to in hospital chemo for the 1st time to Heather dying to her funeral. Oh yes..and somewhere in there is Easter. Since the date varies it just floats around but is always there. All these events take place in a 44 day time span. Of course there are many other horrible events that come to mind that I will not go into that take place during this time as well. I would really like to find a calendar that replaces march and April with some other months or deletes them all together.

New traditions and ways of marking events have to be formed. The old traditions that we placed such meaning and value on are not possible. There is forevermore an empty seat for every holiday or family event. I would LOVE to send floating lanterns into the night's sky for Heather's birth and death day. However, living in the desert it is not a good idea. I would hate burn down someones house or start a fire in a field. I have decided that balloons with LED's in them and luminaries in the yard are going to be the next best thing. I am going to mark off the special days with balloons being released and battery operated candles that will glow thru the night. For some strange reason this gives me great comfort. I also feel that Heather would be tickled with this as well.

My Heather diamond is being polished and cut right now. I hope to have some news soon as to the actual size and how everything looks soon. This is being done in Russia. Then 10 days to be shipped back to the US. The stone will go to IGI to be certified and graded, then placed in the setting and shipped to me. I should have the ring by the end of March.