It was a normal day until Carrie look at me and said, “I think I feel a lump in my breast”. My heart sank, but I put on a positive face. A few weeks later it was confirmed. She had breast cancer. At the time, we were engaged to be married. We postponed our wedding so we could focus our efforts on the fight.
Fast forward to today and she is cancer free and we are married. Life is funny and good in that way.
The Courage Heart is something that I dreamt about. The imagine appeared to me when I was sleeping. I woke up and in my awkward, non-artistic way, I sketched the image on a piece of paper with a pencil.
Why the two colors? Carrie battled breast cancer (pink) and I battled leukemia (orange). They intertwine and form a heart. The heart symbolizes our love for each other. The two ribbons together show the strength, courage, faith and hope that it takes to battle challenges that we face in life.
To bring this pencil sketch to life, I approached a local art teacher and asked him if he could create this imagine with ceramics. I wanted to give the ceramic image to Carrie as a Christmas gift. He said he could. He kept me apprised of the progress. He also let me know that his art students were helping him on the project. I thought that was so cool.
After one of our last meetings he let me know that this was much more difficult than he thought. He had made 6 attempts with 6 different clay and technique and none of them worked. The image kept cracking and falling about when he fired it in the kiln. Intertwining the ribbons to form a heart was proving to be the issue. But forming the heart was the purpose of the creation.
He let me know that he was in contact with college professors and experts he knew that worked with ceramics. He was hopeful, but not overly positive. They gave him one last option. They were clear to him that if this last technique and style of clay didn’t work, then it couldn’t be made. It was now early December and I was nervous that my dream would not become a reality.
I got the call I had been waiting for. It WORKED!
When I first saw it, my eyes teared up. I was speechless. It was the most amazing, beautiful and meaningful thing I had every seen in my life. I carried it around that night like a newborn baby. It was fragile, unique and a symbol of my love for Carrie.
Today we are sharing our image and story of the Courage Heart to the world. It symbolizes not just the fight, but also the victory that comes from a major challenge. It is about more than just battling cancer. It is about living your life with passion, purpose and courage. We don’t always get to choose our battles, but we get to choose how we fight our battles.
Help us spread the word of the Courage Heart. Tell the story, contact us or just know than any challenge you are facing can be won with Courage, Faith and Hope.