Sometimes blessings come into our lives in the most serendipitous ways. For me, one such blessing recently came into my life through the guise of a crushed box. It was an order that I had shipped to a customer. It was a pink elephant ornament personalized with the name Bella. Well, unfortunately it showed up at her door looking as if somebody had jumped on the box. The box was completely crushed as was the ornament inside. I received a very sweet email from Gwyn (the Mom who placed the order) wanting to know how we should move forward. She felt badly for me that my work had gotten ruined, and then she went on to explain how sad she was that the ornament could not be used. Every year she seeks out a special ornament for her daughter Bella to be hung on their family Christmas tree. But it's not Bella who places the ornament on the tree... it's Bella's Mommy and Daddy who hang it “in honor” of Bella. You see, they lost their Bella in 2017 when she was just 3 1/2 years old. Bella had complex congenital heart disease and a rare genetic disease named Heterotaxy. I am sure I don't need to tell you how her email (especially the photo of Bella she attached) affected me and continues to affect me. What can I do? How can I help? How can I help honor little Bella?
I am a very firm believer in guardian angels and their constant presence in our lives and that they often send us signs as reminders that they are still with us. Gwyn told me that Bella sends her family signs all the time in the form of butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, and herons. So I repainted Bella's pink elephant ornament that was from her mom and dad, but I wanted to give them one from me. I designed a new ornament that celebrates Bella and her “angel signs”... her butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs and I named it “Butterflies from Bella”. I originally planned to just make one for Bella and her parents. Then, it came to me that I might be able to do more; to use my passion for painting and Bella's story to help other children and their families battling Heterotaxy and Congenital Heart Disease. I've now decided to take the design I did for Bella and to use it on some of my other products as well as the ornaments. It will be my “Butterflies from Bella” product line. I will include some of my existing products within this line as well. I will donate three dollars from every sale of the products within this line to a foundation for Heterotaxy (The Heterotaxy Connection) in Bella's honor. You can learn more about Heterotaxy and Congenital Heart Disease by visiting the Heterotaxy Connection website at https://www.heterotaxyconnection.org By purchasing one of the specific products from this line, you not only bring some beauty to the little ones who receive it but to Bella, Bella's parents, and other children and their families… the “fighters” ... battling this disease. During this holiday season, and always, “purchase with a purpose” and help give Bella's butterflies flight.
With Love, Kristin Boutin