D. from USA. XIZOZU and the New Old Sister

Customers Share:

A few weeks ago I received a custom order request from a woman who was meeting her sixty-nine year-old sister for the first time. She wanted to bring her a gift of a custom XIZOZU to mark the occasion, privately. Of course being a story addict, I was captivated by the story and asked “D” if she would share some of the details of how this came to be. Here’s what she told me. She was gracious enough to permit me to share it with you.

My mother became pregnant while in nursing school in the late 1940s. When she graduated she went directly to a Catholic home for unwed mothers where she had the baby and gave it up for adoption. The baby, let’s call her Lisa, was raised by wonderful parents.

My mother assumed all records would be sealed forever but of course several years ago the law changed. Nobody in my mother’s family ever knew. AS it happened my brother is big into ancestry and uses an online site with a DNA service. Lisa was also in the system. Last year the website matched their DNA to be first degree relatives.

My mom had large family and I would have thought she would have been the last of her siblings this would have happened to. We had been communicating with Lisa trying to figure out which of our uncles or aunts would have been her parent. My brother and I were the only ones who knew at this point.

When the birth certificate was found and clearly showed my mom’s signature you could have knocked me over with a feather.

It’s 2017 and my ninety-year-old mother’s health is failing fast. My brother and I did talk to her about it and she really wanted nothing to do with it and it was not to be talked about to anybody else. Lisa eventually wrote my mom a wonderful letter and spoke with her briefly on the phone. Lisa wanted them to meet. My mom, a wonderful, popular woman with many friends, could not handle it at that time; she declined.

Ultimately I did convince my mom to meet with Lisa which I swore would be unbeknownst to anybody else. So the arrangements for a mother and daughter reunion were were made. Two days before they were to be together, face to face,  my mom passed away.

Since then I have stayed in communication with Lisa and my other siblings all now know. My sister and I are going to meet with her this summer and I wanted to bring her a gift.


Sisters meet their sister who was given to adoption in the 1940s.This is the custom XIZOZU™ created exclusively for this wonderful event. What D. doesn’t know is that in gratitude for her being so generous with her story, I’m sending one for her and her other sister as well. Only these three women ever have to know the true meaning behind the piece.

How about you? What makes you indestructible? Tell us here.

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International Day of My Father

Suicide has no face

Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day.

Today would have also been my father’s 75th birthday had he not committed suicide when he was 56 years old after an acute struggle with his own inner demon—depression.

If you had met my father, you’d have liked him. Everyone did. To the world he was charming, funny, and gregarious; quick with a clever joke or a pat on your back. Men and women both were easily dazzled by his charisma. Even near the decided end of his life, you as an onlooker would have never guessed that he was suffering with depression of any sort. I was among the people closest to him and, while I knew very well that he was troubled by many things, even I didn’t appreciate the depth of his pain and anguish.

He and I had been silently quarreling at the end of that summer. Like a lovers’ spat. Or a riff with your BFF. I was avoiding him because I found dealing with him a bit infuriating and, if I’m honest, a little exhausting. He was avoiding me because I suspect he was tired of my constantly judging his choices. We had gone more than a week without contact, which was unusual. I was glad for the break. But then it started to pull on me. When I finally called him and asked could we have dinner sometime soon so I wouldn’t have to remain mad at him for the rest of his life. He said “Sure, how about Wednesday.”

I had no idea that the rest of his life was so near.

It was a perfect blue-sky evening at the start of September. We sat at table for two on a dock at a nearby lakeside restaurant. Outside of pushing it around the plate, he barely touched his food and I don’t remember whether he ordered his usual vodka martini with a twist. He asked questions about my work, and my husband, whom he adored. When answering the questions I tossed to him he looked me in the eye and assured me that everything was “going to work out.”

“Are you sure? That’s good to hear because I’m a little worried about you.” This was probably the closest I’d come to saying “I love you” in years.

For the rest of the meal that only I ate, we talked about how we were going to spend New Years Eve – it was 1999, the century was turning. He threw pieces of his uneaten hamburger roll to the panhandling ducks swimming fidgety circles in the water beside us. There. Right there. Amidst the bobbing lake current, the chatty small talk, the clinks of silverware, and the perfectly comfortable silences, we had made up. Tacitly.

I paid the bill, insisting since I had invited him. Then we walked to the parking lot together until our paths divided and we each headed to our own cars. No hugs or kisses good-bye. Just a smile from across the lane of car rooftops. He told me to say hello to my husband. “Have him give me a call.”

“Or you can call him.” I replied, an eyebrow raised.

He smirked and said he might. I knew he wouldn’t. He knew he wouldn’t.

A quick wave good-bye. With our cars pointed in opposite directions, we drove away into the last night my father was  alive.

Of course I replay that dinner a lot when I think about my dad—grateful for having had the chance to repair the small tear in our bond. I look for the ordinary things that might make it feel like any other day, any other dinner: the ice melting in our water glasses, his clasped hands as if in prayer; his elbows on the table; the dependable twitch of his mouth; a small chuckle; his eyes and attention often elsewhere. The rim of light around his face as the sun dropped behind him and the hills across the water. The alleged everyday-ness of it.

I had no idea that would be the last time I’d see his face. Or that his was the face of a suicidal man. There was now way to know that because, I have since learned, suicide has no face.

Today the XIZOZU™ I wear will honor losing a father and losing someone to suicide. That’s where I will send my love and find peace in his memory.

XIZOZU™ for focusing the special grief of losing someone through suicide
Sympathy Gifts for Loss of Father
Unique unisex pendant for keeping a father who has passed close to your heart.