“Amanda’s Tree” was planted while my sweet friend Amanda Jones was battling colon cancer.
When the news arrived and the treatments began, I was looking for ways to contribute. How can I help her? How can I help her family? At this time, the community of Tyler, Texas had come together in a way that only seemed possible in a storybook. Meals, grocery runs, carpools, kids activities, prayer circles, you name it- the people of East Texas were joyfully serving this incredible family. It was amazing!
So tell me Lord, how can I bless Amanda at the most difficult time in her life? I’m not a very good cook, so that was scratched, what else? What can I do that isn’t being done already? That’s when the Lord spoke to me and reminded me of the gift he had given me. The gift of making jewelry. That was it, yes, that’s what I had to offer. Chemo was intensifying, she was losing her beautiful hair and maybe this was how I could help?
It was Fall of 2017 and I started leaving notes with scripture and pairs of earrings in her mailbox, a little “happy” if you will. Little did I know the impact it would make. In a blog update Amanda wrote, “A friend gave me the gift of earrings because it is what she makes, not realizing the confidence and boldness they gave me.” Later telling me, “they make me feel bold and beautiful.” It was then, that I knew I needed to make something of this.
Together Amanda and I spoke about donating earrings to female cancer patients, which was something she had never seen in all of the cancer centers she had been to. She loved the idea and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. “We need to start in our own backyard,” she said. So that’s exactly what we did. It was summer of 2018 and Amanda’s health had taken a turn for the worse. I knew I wanted to make this happen while she was still with us, so while she wasn’t well enough to go with me, she told me where to go. Trinity Mother Frances. “Start there,” she said “and hopefully it will grow.” And it has! We're now at UT Health MD Anderson also!
I was able to spend time with her the week before her passing (Sept 3, 2018) and we talked about the earring tree. “I’m going to make this happen,” I told her. “I’m going to keep this going and I’m going to make it big.” And with the sweetest smile, she looked at me and said, “I know you will.” That was the last time I saw her.
It has been my mission to make "Amanda's Tree" grow nationally. Jewelers from all over the country, cancer centers across the U.S., let’s join together and help these strong women feel “bold” and “beautiful!”
Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer"
For more information or to get involved, please email me at Susanne@susannelizabeth.com
UPDATE: I have had so many incredible messages about how they can help, here are some easy and incredibly helpful needs.
BUY AN ENTIRE AMANDA'S TREE (AND WE WILL MATCH IT)
FRAMES FOR SIGNS:
TREES FOR EARRINGS: