Friday, December 19, 2014
A few months ago I had the pleasure of being featured on Flourish and Thrive's blog in their Designer Spotlight.
Check it out here: http://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/2014/10/17/designer-spotlight-shannon-chomanczuk/
Thank you so much to Tracy and Robin!
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
I love this casual outfit. The sparkle of the hammered sterling and faceted labradorite stones really makes these earrings pop!
Sunday, December 14, 2014
At the age of 16, my little brother took life into his own hands and committed suicide. It will forever be a day I’ll never forget as I often relive those exact moments over and over again.
It took me a while to be able to share my story and not live in the past. Sure, I still get choked up and often still ask myself those questions that may never be answered “What if?” or “What could I have done different?”
But, instead of focusing on those things I can’t change, I’ve tasked myself with trying to help other families as chair of the first ever US Charter for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE).
If someone were to ask me if I ever saw it coming, I’d honestly have to say “no.” I don’t think anyone ever does. At least you don’t want to believe it could ever happen to your family.
Twelve years ago on just what appeared to be a normal August day, I received an unforgettable phone call from my mom. I dropped to my knees in complete disbelief. The following three words will forever be engrained in my memory: “Ryan attempted suicide.” “What?” “No way!” “It can’t be!”
As quickly as I fell to the floor I jumped in my car and proceeded to travel two hours back home. All the while, though, as thoughts were running through my head – tears, confusion, anger – I had hope. So I tried to remain positive. “He’ll be OK. He’ll be fine. My brother didn’t mean to attempt to kill himself. He’s only 16!”
As the dreadful drive seemed to drag and drag, finally we arrived at the hospital to only find my entire family waiting on the front grass. My heart sunk and vision blurred as I jumped from the vehicle in search of answers. I’ll never forget the look on everyone’s faces as they saw me. They all knew. As I ran out of the car, my father grabbed me and hugged me like never before. Just then it all sunk in. He was gone.
For the past four years, I have organized with several other survivors in the Oswego County community and we’ve created an event celebrating life and our loved ones and raising awareness about suicide.
You see, each year more than 30,000 people die by suicide in the U.S. and over 750,000 people make an attempt. These statistics are horrifying! Regardless of race, sex, age, where you live, suicide has no boundary and impacts every community across the country.
Suicide is not a topic that everyone quickly opens up and shares with everyone whether they’ve lost someone or not. But, I know I’m not alone out there.
On behalf of SAVE, I thank you for showing interest in our organization and we hope you will join us in raising awareness and educating, and together we can SAVE lives.
- Jamie Leszczynski
I hope that you will take a moment to read this article that Jamie has shared with me. It was written after the tragic passing of Robin Williams.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Tomorrow's blog post is written by an amazing young woman who I have had the pleasure of knowing for many years. It was through her story that I first became aware of the organization SAVE.org, who's mission is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce stigma and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide.
For the last few years I have donated pieces of jewelry to help raise funds for SAVE through the Walk To SAVE Lives which takes place in Oswego, NY during September. When Jamie would ask for a donation I would think nothing much of it, make a piece of jewelry and mail it off.
Then on October 11, 2013 my life was touched by suicide. We received a knock on the door that my neighbor was missing and there was a note. My husband and her son ran out the door to search for her while I sat in my kitchen holding my youngest, Eden, who was 3 months old. My 4 year old, Emily, kept asking what was going on and I said, just pray. After searching around town a while the boys decided to come back to the house. While they were planning their next move my husband looked into her car, it was there that he found her, she was already gone.
My memory of the moments that followed are broken, I can remember holding Eden sobbing on the kitchen floor, I can remember Emily asking what happened and my pathetic attempts to explain it to myself and to her. I remember shouting God no, no, no, and even posting on facebook, which I later removed. I remember standing on my porch as the police, ambulance, and later the coroner came. I remember pleading with God that is wasn't true and I remember holding my daughter's tight as we napped together later that day. I cannot bring myself to part with the gifts she sent when Emily was born, they are in Eden's closet and I smile when I think how happy she was when she found out we were expecting again.
My world was forever changed that morning, I cannot go back to the days before when suicide had not become a part of my world. Where it was something that happened to other people. Where it was something we didn't talk about. It was on the anniversary of her death that I started thinking more about SAVE.org and the work they do. That I started thinking that something was missing in my business and in my life. It was then that I started thinking about giving back.
I am so happy to share the news that with every Emily and Eden purchase you make a portion of the sale will be donated to SAVE.org! I hope you will visit their website to learn more, thank you.
10% of proceeds from each sale are donated to SAVE.org, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. The mission of SAVE is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce stigma and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide. Learn more by visiting their website http://www.SAVE.org