Okay, can we just…off the bat, I suck at keeping up with my blog.
I have a million things going on at once and I throw this on the back burner and don’t forget no, no. I watch it burn and do nothing about it.
So, I am making a conscious effort to not let it die. I love writing and this blog allows me to wright everything I love: Fashion, my business and the weird that is my life.
Having said that, I want to keep this blog focused. I won’t say it’ll be short because well, it’s not.
I want tell you why I started the charity t-shirts. These are near and dear to my heart; you can read on as to why.
The Nani Tee - Alzheimer’s Research Society
Nani translated in Hindi means maternal grandmother.
My nani, she was an amazing lady with a sense of humour and amazing cooking skills.
She passed these abilities to my mom and in turn to me. She was kind and always welcoming, but lost who she was at the end because of this disease.
My nani lived in the Fiji Islands all her life and was able to make it to Canada a couple times. We flew out more to see her there. She was that feeling of comfort you get when you eat stew on a cold day in the winter, chicken soup when you’re sick, or that warm feeling in your chest when you put your head down on you mummy’s lap and she plays with your hair. My nani did that. She used to play with my hair when I would put my head down. She never raised her voice, always even toned, even her laugh. It wasn’t hard or sharp, but more rounded, no sharp corners. Does that make sense?
After she passed, a few years later, I found myself working in a retirement home. I met all walks of life and heard many stories of what the world used to be like. I also, experienced watching people so full of life, vanish before my eyes in a span of a year. Watched them forget who they were, who they’re loved ones were and all their memories. I could only imagine what my nani was like in her last year. We weren’t able to be with her and we got updates regarding her situation but it still makes you wonder from her side. Was she like this? Did she vanish as quickly? Was she scared? What was she thinking?
The placement of the flower is on the sleeve because she always wore her heart on her sleeve.
The design basis of this shirt is a hybrid flower created by The Only Fancy P between a hibiscus and an orchid. Both tropical flowers, native to Nani’s home country of Fiji.
Dakuwaqa Tee - Diabetes Research Foundation
Pronounced Dah-koo-wan-gah, is the shark god in Fijian mythology known to protect fishermen on the sea.
My dad is the biggest bear I know with the biggest teddy heart. He is most definitely the definition of “his bark is worse than his bite”. He was born in Fiji and moved to Powell River before his 10th birthday.
Raised in Powell River, he lived a very outdoorsy life, taking an affinity to fishing, hunting, chopping wood and other things that I feel might have involved bugs crawling on him.
After the 4 of us came along, we were raised in the same outdoor life with multiple fishing trips along the West Coast, especially to Tofino.
I have one particular memory, we are in my backyard of my childhood home, I must’ve been like 4 and I’m wearing a multi-coloured smocked body dress with red frills for straps and along the bottom. Hardcore 90’s. My father called me over to the these massive Styrofoam coolers and I walked over and he pulled these 2 salmons out. Now, as a 4 year old, I think I was of average height, say 3/4 feet tall andddd these damn sea creatures (because they were not regular fish) WERE BIGGER THAN ME!! From tail to mouth the damn things were taller than me! I remember my dad lifting them and I was standing between two of these things and I had my arms as close to my body clasped in front of me, so I wouldn’t touch them. This is just one of the million memories I have of my dad and fishing.
This is why I have chosen the shark god to represent my dad.
A few years ago my dad had a stroke. In fact, he had multiple small strokes at the age of 54. He had just been recently diagnosed with diabetes and, at the time, we had no idea that this was the cause of it all. He had massive headaches and we mistook them for being just that, headaches.
It wasn’t until one night my parents were talking and my dad wasn’t making any sense. My mom was trying to have a conversation and he wasn’t being coherent. She asked him if a few questions and he just kept repeating “yeah, in a minute”. We called the ambulance and when the paramedics came in they asked him how he was he responded “Not bad. How are you?” When they asked does he know where he is, he replied with not bad, not bad. When they asked with does he know his address, he replied with not bad, not bad. They determined something was wrong, but in BC, apparently if someone is conscious and still able to answer questions and they deny help, the paramedics can’t do anything. So, my dad obviously conscious, who is not able to understand what is happening or answer simple questions like his address of 25 years, denied help and the paramedics started to leave.
This was one of the most infuriating moments of my life. These people, these professionals know something is wrong. Hell, they were the ones that said it to us! This man they are trying to help clearly is unable to make sound decisions, but they “can’t” help. I call BULLSHIT!!! If you are a paramedic reading this , explain it to me. Explain to me how these possible signs of stroke and high blood pressure make it so you have to listen to someone who can’t even answer your questions correctly . They don’t know something is wrong. They don’t understand something bad is happening in their brain; hence, the lack of understanding. You as a medical professional, should have the ability to say “Sir, something is wrong, you have to come with me. It is critical.” Had something worse happened that night, it would’ve been on them because my dad was unable to make the decision and they were the professional that could’ve talked some sense into him. Instead they got their shit and were walking out faster than a crack addict stealing cheese from the corner store.
We ended up convincing him to go to the hospital with the ambulance and he had a CT scan done. This is when we learned what happened. He had multiple small strokes a month prior. They were old. His current confusion was due to something else that I cannot remember at this moment. His motor skills were intact, but his memory was affected. Everyday numbers and letters had become a challenge. Along with the memory issues, he also now suffers from peripheral neuropathy. For about a year, he was completely blind, after many surgeries, he is now able to see in one eye, but the other is still blind. However, he still cannot see in the dark with the good eye.
All these issues were brought on by diabetes.
The design, created by The Only Fancy P, is a representation of what my dad means to me. He is strong and a true power entity. The size and placement was key to this design, placed on the back of the shirt, just below the collar.
This represents the always presence of Dakuwaqa and how he is always there protecting, like my dad.
Smidget Tee - Cystic Fibrosis Research
I had the honour of meeting this amazing little girl a few months ago and she is one of the most darling little people I have gotten to know. She calls me her best friend, but apparently she calls everyone her best friend after hanging out with them for a few minutes.
She’s turning the big 5 this July and I am truly at a loss of words when it comes to her. Me! I know, loss of words do not go together. But she is the best!
I know I won’t be able to do justice in telling you about her, so here is a note from her dad about this beautiful soul.
Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that affects the lungs mostly, but also causes liver, pancreas and digestive issues. I saw a poster once that said it was like downing from the inside…and that will always haunt me. I’ve had family that have had CF, and unfortunately, we lost them young. But in€ the thirty years since their passing, we’ve had great strides in therapy and treatments that have more than doubled the lifespan of someone with cystic fibrosis.
That someone for me is my beautiful daughter, Smidget.
Smidget is four, love animals, running around, often in circles, and is way too smart for her own good. Shes going to be smarter than me by the time she’s 8. She’s amazing and she gets more amazing everyday, just as my love for her. I look forward to seeing what kind of person she turns out to be, but I also dread that cloud that looms in the distance. I encourage everyone to get a t-shirt to help out even a little bit, because even that little bit can push that cloud a little further away.
She’s been fortunate so far, but fortunes can turn quickly. She’s on transplant lists and if I thought they could just take it all from me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. You don’t have to give your organs, but getting a t-shirt seems like a good trade off.
The placement of the respiratory graph wraps from the front to the back around the chest under the left arm, essentially encompassing the left lung.
I hope these stories inspired you to help out or at least, get to know me a touch more. You can support these charities by either buying a t-shirt or donating direct. These are the stories behind the specific charities. They mean the world to me because of the people and stories behind them.
Until next time, adios bitchachos.