The Evolution of Team Brown

The evening of August 18 is a bit of a blur. I know I walked into our house a little past midnight after a four hour drive from Arlington, VA to the North Carolina home I grew up in. Our street was flooded with familiar cars. I rushed in the side door and saw a crowd of friends gathered in our kitchen, quiet with heads down and tears flowing. Everyone looked up. I zeroed in on my dad and ran to him.

Minutes later my brother rushed in. My dad and brother had a moment together. Then the three of us huddled up, only while being surrounded by a wall of friends symbolically but ever-presently reminding us we were not alone.

A little while later friends headed to their cars for what I imagine might have been a somber drive home. That night we had our first “team meeting” as a team of just three. Our minds were mush. Our eyes were clouded by tears. Our words were honest and raw. Our souls were weary after being absolutely socked. That night set the tone for so much of what was to come. We all tossed and turned in our sleep as we each claimed a couch or pile of pillows on the floor in our living room. We stayed together.

The next day friends showed up early with food, toilet paper and Kleenex. They made sure we were fed, and cared for. Still the three of us huddled together, while all kinds of friends and family shuffled in and out of our house. My dad, brother and I became a weary, yet tenacious unit. We made decisions you never expect to make, said things I never thought I’d say at just twenty-five years old. We picked out a casket, an outfit and chose songs to be sung and prayers to be read. We all went shopping together for clothes to wear to my mom’s funeral. I couldn’t even offer a polite smile back when the Fitting Room attendant smiled and said to me with a wink, “Can’t go wrong with a little black dress.”

We went to my mom’s visitation. Family gathered and prayed together before guests and friends came through. Soon we learned of a line that took two hours to make it’s way to the room we were in. We stood, shook hands, hugged. Shared tears and knowing looks of “how could this be?” We talked about her and heard stories about her. About three hours in, my dad, brother and I needed a quick break. My uncle stepped in and held the line while we took an intermission. After a quick drink and bathroom break, we looked each other over. “Hands in,” my dad said. With a fist bump, we headed back out.

We didn’t know what to say to each other but knew enough to not venture too far from one another. At the funeral the next day, we stayed close and sent my mom to heaven with hymns and immense, immeasurable love. The church was full and empty at the same time. So many people but lacking the one we wanted most.

Leaving the cemetery was the hardest part. All I wanted to do was get my new perfectly pressed, Little Black Dress covered in the dirt that my mom rest in. I just wanted to collapse on the coffin and yell and cry and scream and fight. I wanted to sit there and never leave. Instead, I moved away in what felt like the hardest step I’ve ever taken. I slowly turned my head and walked to the black limousine with swollen eyes and a quivering bottom lip.

The next day we crashed. This was when I first learned of the sheer exhaustion of grief. I slept and slept. I cried and cried.

Then people left. There were planes to catch and highways that couldn’t wait. One by one, sound by sound, our world got quieter while their lives resumed. We eventually returned to our towns and began to pick up where we abruptly left off. My brother headed down south to resume college classes and I headed back north to the city. My dad and the cat held down the fort at the house that never felt so big.

We started Family Conference Calls, dialing in each night around 10:30 to check-in with each other, to talk about everything and nothing, to hear a familiar voice. We were as close and as familiar as we could get to her so we stayed tight, although far.

We went to family weekend at USC.


We ran races.

We talked about hard things. We questioned a lot. We talked about the how the Cubs were SO CLOSE and how she’d never know the glory of the newest Adele album (maybe that was just me). We asked for strength to make it through just that one day and no more. Thoughts of time measured by more than a day were overwhelming.

We leaned on others. We tried to find our new dynamic as a unit of three without the organizer, never-ending-question-asker, the baker, the cook, the snuggler, the runner, the lover of everyone, the ever-includer.

We’ve fumbled. (Read about Thanksgiving if you need proof.) But we’ve also nearly made it a whole year together. A whole year without the woman I’ve always admired. The woman who reminded me who I am and what I’m made of. The woman that brings us to this blog on a regular basis.

The woman whose love and actions are still working and weaving us all together, a firm reminder that nobody is completely gone in death.

I need to tattoo that on my hand and permanently wrap my heart in that truth: Nobody is ever completely gone in death. 

Maya Angelou said it best: “A great soul serves everyone all the time.  A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.”

We’re launching a newsletter later this week with Whistling & Co. updates, stories and more. If you’d like a little email joy (I promise, no spam. Ew.) every once in a while, sign up here.

Thanks so much for following along!


My Little Cookie Momma

If a family could have a love language, no doubt, ours would be cookies.

From a young age, I remember my mom making her famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. In my mind, they were out-of-this-world spectacular. They  were big, chunky and hearty cookies. She would make the cookies for special occasions or upon request. They were easily my favorite food.
Mom and Cookies StuffOne summer, I remember my mom making the cookies. She would make huge batches of the dough and freeze half. The only trouble was as much as I loved the cookies, the dough was my kryptonite. I couldn’t get enough. My mom knew of my whole-hearted, unabashed love for the dough. One particular summer afternoon, she hid her surplus dough in the back of the freezer in an empty Country Crock container. I was on to her, though. I nibbled away at the dough over the course of a few days, careful to replace every item hiding the dough in the back corner of the freezer. The day I finished the container — I believe with a little help from my Dad and Brother — I left a note in place of cookie dough in the Country Crock container. “Whoops! Sorry, Mom!”  That next Saturday morning my mom went for the dough. I was upstairs and heard the unmistakable EMILY BROWN! in a way only she could. I knew exactly what she had stumbled upon. I laughed so hard. So did she.

My mom was so good at relationships and remembering to care for people even during the busiest, most hectic seasons. In recent years, as many of my cousins began going off to college, she would send them all a pre-stamped postcard at the beginning of the semester. On the card there were check boxes of all the cookie varieties in her repertoire. They could check off their cookie preference, send the post-card back with their order and expect cookies in the next two weeks.

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I could go on and on about our love of cookies. Like, when I was in college, the office I worked in at the Student Union was right next to a deli that made the best cookies on campus. From time to time, I’d meander next door and without fail order two cookies. I’d mumble something about splitting cookies with, you know, ALL THE FRIENDS I had but actually, I hardly shared. Everyone in the office knew my not-so-secret love and my inability to order just one cookie. When a few friends from that office came down for my mom’s funeral, what might you guess they packed for me: SO MANY cookies from my favorite place. We’re famous for our cookie love.


You get the picture. We’re cookie enthusiasts.

Back to my mom’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (or Breakfast Bars, as she called them when when she ate a few for breakfast). My mom hardly looked at a recipe as she made them. This is all well and good until now when she can no longer keep an eye on me as I prepare the cookies without her supervision. The most important thing she told me was to never, never, never under any circumstances exclude the shortening in the recipe.

WELL, last week I wanted to make my mom’s cookies for a dinner party and had all the ingredients except the dang shortening. I really didn’t want to run to the store so used coconut oil instead. The verdict: The cookies weren’t horrible but they were lacking. I tried to eye-ball the recipe a little and learned I am not advanced enough for that. I learned that just because I flippantly toss in baking soda or handfuls of oats in the name of Mary-Browning it, it does note guarantee success.


I reflected on my so-so cookies with a friend. We agreed: “Cookies without shortening sounds like life without Mary.” We’re lacking the richness, the glue that holds us together so effortlessly and the guaranteed flavor she added. We’re living that coconut oil life.


At my mom’s funeral, a few friends asked how they could help us. A friend suggested we ask friends to recreate make my mom’s famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the visitation. We loved the idea and distributed her famous cookie recipe to a handful of folks. As we arrived to the visitation, we saw plates of small cookies all over. “Mom’s were much bigger, much chunkier,” my brother whispered to me. We tried a few different variations of the cookies throughout the afternoon. None were quite right but none tasted bad. They were actually really good cookies but just not the same as my mom’s. I had such an appreciation of people trying for us and being so willing to jump right in. That day the cookies were much more than sustenance for our bodies. They were reminders of the sustenance of care.

Life feels like it’s lacking shortening. We will never fully overcome that. BUT I’m convinced that the same way friends jumped in and recreated my mom’s cookies is the same way we trudge through adversity. We know the task is insurmountable but we attempt any way together. The act of trying together is much less distressing than the possibility of not attempting at all or feeling like we must go it alone.

Grab a cookie — maybe even one or two for breakfast — and let’s carry on.


The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far

Last week, one of my dear friends (and now FORMER roommates) moved from our cozy, familiar home in Arlington, VA to take on seminary in Orlando, FL. (Floridians! If you see a gal chasing her dreams somewhere near Red Bug Lake Road, give her a hug for me!) Another friend and I road-tripped down with her to check out her new digs and get a little R&R of our own. Conveniently, my family has a little beach house located on the South Carolina coast so we split the trip over two days and docked there after our first day of travel.

My brother and I have grown up at this house. My parents honeymooned in this very house never thinking they’d stray far from their Illinois roots to visit again. Life sure is unpredictable and wouldn’t you know within a year of getting married, they found themselves living just 5 hours north of this historic little house of ours.

It’s an unlikely story how it came to be ours. My parents bought the house from friends that are much more like family to us. Teach and Mrs. Teach (Teach, short for Teacher) were great mentors to my parents while my parents were in college. Teach called my mom Stud (short for Student) and they were fast buddies. As a wedding gift, Teach and Mrs. Teach gave my parents a week at this humble little home they’d bought. Years later, the house became ours.

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Growing up in North Carolina, we traveled down as much as we could. It became our oasis and safe spot where the world couldn’t touch us. One of my favorite trips down happened on an unsuspecting 3-day weekend. We’d cleaned up the house one Sunday morning. We packed all of our belongings and piled into the car. One of us lamented leaving. There was a heavy sigh of agreement from another. We paused and then my Dad asked aloud, “Maybe we just leave tomorrow then?” We all perked up! We looked at Mom who was the only one that needed to be back for work the next day. “You guys want to?” With a holler from the backseat, my Dad peeled into a quick U-turn and that was that. One more night in paradise.

Even just a night there with the gals sounded dreamy. The last time I was at the house was early last August, the last time my mom, dad, brother and I were all together. My mom loved it down there.

Early Thursday morning I woke up and threw my running gear on. If I lived by a beach, I’d be a much more frequent runner. I slipped out of the house and jogged to the beach. It was low tide but even with an expansive beach I ran right next to the waves. I trotted along and spotted a dolphin. Then I stopped. I looked around. It was a PERFECT beach day. The weather was ideal, especially considering it was late June. The water was peaceful as it steadily waved in and out.


I started thinking about my friends, likely still in bed. They were SERIOUSLY missing out. I wrestled with going back and dragging them on the beach with me but thought maybe sleep was more valuable to them. No trouble! I kept jogging along but was more and more convinced that if I WERE THEM I’d rather be on the beach than in bed.

I decided to take a few pictures (the pictures you see included in this post!) and sent them to the gals. Maybe they are awake now? My message was something like, Good morning! No pressure but the beach is great if you want to join! Feel free to come meet me out here.


I kept running. It was picturesque out there. Sometimes you wake up to rain or horrible wind or clouds when you are at the beach. But not that day. HOW COULD THEY BE MISSING THIS. I thought, I bet if they knew it was this great out here, they’d want to be here too. I’m sure of it. Actually, I should run home right now and get them. I should probably sprint. 

Off I went!

I turned around and as I got closer to home I sent another beach picture with a text that went something like this: I‘m coming to get you! Be there in 3!

I ran and ran and ran. I got home a sweaty, sandy mess. Luckily, they were up and at ’em.

“We’ve got to get outside! It’s beautiful! And so sunny! But not too sunny! And the sky is blue and we just couldn’t ask for a better beach day. C’mon! Out the door! The WHOLE  beach is waiting for us.”


They just looked at me and smiled. (Thankfully, they have lived with me for a while now so this was not totally unexpected but it was juuust 7:30 AM so even a saint would have looked at me like I was off my rocker…)

I immediately started to laugh.

I wiped my sweaty forehead and looked at the ground. Chuckling, I said “Oh, I’m so sorry.”

I had just Mary-Browned them. I didn’t initially realize it but that’s exactly what I did. I felt the urgent need to apologize. I’d been in their very shoes, in that very house, hundreds of times.

Without fail at the beach, my mom would wake up early and go running before we woke up. She’d return from her run, maybe even put her hot, sweaty hands on our faces to wake us up to tell us THE DAY IS GETTING AWAY! THE BEACH IS WAITING FOR YOU! She’d whisper to me that she even saw a dolphin or two, knowing that’s all she’d have to say to get me jumping out of bed.

I apologized, explaining that my mom had woken me up from some of my most peaceful sleep in the name of a PERFECT beach day. Thankfully, the beach delivered as promised. I think we are all glad we made it out there.

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What I would give for those my mom’s unwelcome wake-up calls, sweaty hands and all to shake me awake. It’s easier to say now as I’m missing my mom but man, I’m so glad she burst into the house all the days she did. She taught me that life was to be lived fully! There are things to see! People to meet! Friendships to create! Dreams to tackle!

My sadness sometimes tells me to say in bed.

Beach days remind me that’s definitely not where I’m meant to be.

Friends, even when the storm clouds roll in or windy days keep us inside, I’m so sure that we’ve got beach days ahead of us.

Mom and Em Smooch at Seabrook

The Balance of Being Work-Hardened

It’s funny to me that of all the creative outlets we have in this world, jewelry — namely, making whistle necklaces that don’t actually function as whistles — has become my thing. I totally love it though. In a way, it fits me. I imagine elegant paintings by a poised artist, or the careful eye of patient potter artfully mastering their craft. That is so not me and I’m no expert craftsman.

In a way, knocking around tools in my basement, along with aggressively filing and drilling bullet casings seems much more my speed. Before you contend this just know any momentary poise or elegance you may catch a glimpse of in me, comes with effort and attention. On my own, I’m scattered, hardly Type-A, and always think of the just-right thing to say hours after the opportunity to say it.

Through making jewelry with bullet casings I’ve seen many analogies to life though this work: The polishing and refining that is possible only after dirt and trauma are spat on a bullet casing. The renewal in the life of a piece that was once discarded or considered spent. The dents and scratching only adding to the depth of beauty and uniqueness of each piece.

One lesson that’s really stuck out to me though is the process of work hardening, particularly with wire. Through books, YouTube and jewelry classes, I’ve heard this term “work-hardening” defined as a process where the jeweler purposefully bends and molds a piece of wire to make it stronger. As a piece of wire is bent over and over, the molecules making up the wire become compressed making that piece of the wire stiffer and stronger.

I think the tough things in life work-harden us. The bending and maneuvering, while tiring, make us just a little bit stronger each time.

There is danger in work-hardening though. At some point the too-hard wire breaks. With a quick SNAP! the wire is riddled to pieces and no longer usable.

I try to be careful to notice when I’m too hardened. It’s when I start sighing more often. It’s when I walk a little heavier, step a little louder. I feel a little sassier, a little more attitude and a little entitled.  I take note when I start hearing other folks troubles and discount them, thinking my troubles are bigger or  “worse.” I recognize — sometimes not soon enough — and redirect, reframe, and reengage. In the jewelry making world this process is called annealing, the process of softening metal and undoing the work-hardening manipulations.

I start to take note of stars in the sky (often hard to come by in my neck of the woods). I allow myself to have days where variety on my dinner plate looks like white, dark and milk chocolate. All at once, I wear my Whistle Necklace, a few of my moms bracelets and one of her necklaces, all as my over-accessorized armor. I call on music to bring me back: Sometimes it’s Celine Dion. Sometimes it’s the Dixie Chicks. Most days it’s Needtobreathe, guitars and an easy beat. I find people. I plant myself at cozy, coffee shops with an over-sized mug and journal as my company. I get outside. I light candles. I pray.

A lot of heat and concentration make the annealing process work.

And thankfully, while we don’t require flame to bring us back to reality, I think there is a lot of symbolism in the softening power of heat. Rather than heat from a torch, I think of heat in an image of folks circled up on a chilly, early morning while they rub their hands together to create heat. One hand requires the friction of another, otherwise we are alone and cold for good. Community is the hot chocolate we drink to warm our souls. We balance our work-hardened demeanor with our softness just as we balance each day’s requirements, actively as a participant. We check our own thermostat. We monitor the temperature and either heat or cool accordingly. We encourage others. Others encourage us.

I’m learning so much of life is a delicate balance. It’s good to be work-hardened. It’s good to have and build strength through the bends and turns of life. It’s nice to have a winning record against adversity. It’s also good to be soft, warm and appreciative. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to feel tired and malleable. Some days we may feel super work-hardened with our tight molecules, backs up straight and enough strength and courage to run a stampeding bull in the opposite direction. Other days, we let others lead the charge, take life a little slower and breathe in deep. Either way, we’re fine.

The beauty of letting others in is no matter what, someone feels strong and someone feels soft. I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine. On days that are especially tough for us all, we circle up, put hands together and remember it takes a village to sustain heat.



Conversations with Mary

I think about my mom a lot. It’s been 10 months and four days since I last talked with her. I remember parts of our last conversation so well. Late one Sunday afternoon, I was making black bean burgers while my mom, dad and I were chatting over speaker phone. Whenever I imagine my final conversation with someone, it’s gently at their bedside, holding their hand, talking of the utmost important things like love and Heaven and more love. I imagine sage advice and unbridled opinions like date this boy and not that one. Always remember to keep a spare $20 in your car just in case. Look after your brother (I told him to look after you too). Do the things you love, forget the things you don’t. Always wear sunscreen, young lady. Remember to use shortening in my chocolate chip cookie recipe — that’s why mine are so good. Above all, know that I’ve loved being yours.

Mom and Em Smooch at Seabrook

Never had I imagined some of the last words my mom would hear me say would be about the texture of black beans in a blender versus mashing them with a fork while preparing damned black bean burgers. But that’s real life.

Every few minutes, I’d stop the conversation so I could pulse the ingredients together in the blender. We’d go back to chatting, talking about the concert I’d be leaving for just minutes later, and catching up on their weekend. It was just a regular ol’ conversation. I don’t remember the last thing she or I said to the other but I know all of our conversations always ended up with some variation of the compound word KLoveYouBye.

My life is not the same now as it was then. Since I last spoke with my mom my life has felt like an allergy medicine commercial that hasn’t lifted the film at the end yet. There’s so much she doesn’t know and there’s so much to fill her in on. I so often wonder what she would think about our lives. I know she believed that we would be okay, that we would survive at first and then spread our wings to fly again. I know she believed in us.

Mom Em Vickie

There is such joy in remembering her. With a little imagination, I try to fill in the gaps of what she might be saying to us. First, I think she’d be proud of us. I think she’d wear a Whistle Necklace every day. I think she’d tell me to eat more vegetables and remind me that ice cream is not dinner.Then, I think she’d agree that ice cream is healing for the soul so actually, it’s okay. You only live once. Eat ice cream for dinner. I think she’d tell me to loosen my grip on anxiety and worry, and let them float away like a rogue balloon.

I’ll never have a human-to-human conversation with her like that last day. But I’ve found I talk to her a lot. (I curse her sometimes, too.) But more often, I consult her opinion, ask her to help jog my memory, and try to hear her laugh. Usually, a memory will come, I’ll close my eyes and remember her laughing out loud. If there’s one thing my mom wasn’t, it was quiet.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, she is surely talking to us.

I just pray for the ears to listen.

Whistling: This song.



Singing In The Rain

Last Monday morning my dad and I ran in the rain before I hit the road, back to DC after Memorial Day weekend. We suited up with hats and water repellent shirts. We wore our water resistant watches, left our phones on the kitchen counter and were out the door.

Oh, running. I always love it after the fact. Sometimes I enjoy it as I’m actively running, but that’s not all the time. I understand the appeal but I am certainly not one of those people that feels the need to run every day. But I think my interest in it lately is that it so clearly illustrates my grief to me.

As my dad and I started to run, we talked about how living with grief is like running in the rain. You are moving but every movement feels like it takes just a bit more effort, as if you are doing life with a wet, heavy shirt. Somethings hurt a little more than they normally would. When my dad, brother and I go out for dinner — “Brown, party of three” — often we are seated at a table with place settings for four. Several times the hostess has seated us and then removed the glaring fourth place setting. It’s an innocent act and done for our benefit but it hurts every single time. That’s my mom’s seat. Even going out to dinner has its own wet t-shirt.

We continue to run and the rain is steady but not heavy. I kind of love it, though. The rain matched my mood. I missed my mom and sunshine would have annoyed me.

A few weeks ago, I talked about Tornado Grief. It’s the grief ambush you don’t see coming and it’s no fun. Tornado Grief is like a flat road run that abruptly gives way to an unavoidable Heartbreak Hill. You’re jogging along and all of a sudden you’re scaling cliffs. It’s quick but a bit more intense. Fun. Our tools: Breathe. Hold on. Remember, downhill is coming.

This practice of recognizing analogies in running and applying them to life is invaluable. Later that evening, I was hit with Tornado Grief. It was all I could do to get to a safe space and grieve. But I remembered from my run: Breathe. Hold On. Downhill is coming.

Back to our run, my dad and I were about a half mile from home as we waited for the traffic light to escort us across the street. Just as I pushed the button at the crosswalk, the rain started falling heavier, faster and quicker. It was pouring. I look up and just start laughing. Of course it’s raining heavier!

I look to my dad and without missing a beat, he starts dancing around. “We’re singing in the rain! Just singing in the rain!”

At the highest intensity of rain we’d seen, we laughed, danced and even sang.

The truth is while everything still feels labored, it’s made us stronger and so appreciative of life’s lighter moments. Thinking back to my days as a personal trainer, when we lift weights, the tug and pull of our muscles on our bones tells our bones to make more bone so our bones can bear the weight. This makes our bones more dense and therefore, stronger because of resistance. This is totally applicable to the tenacity and strength of our soul. To a degree, too much weight and heartbreak can be impossible to bear. But in most cases, we can lift more than we’d ever imagine. It’s not easy but fighting through resistance only makes us stronger and able to bear more.

My grief has also lead me to be less preoccupied with things that don’t matter. So what if I get rained on? So what if all the drivers passing us on that street corner were baffled at two weirdos dancing in the rain? Life is to be celebrated. Life is such a gift. I’ll say that again, life is such a gift. I refuse to go through the rest of my precious life being weighed down by things that just don’t matter.


Unfortunately, grief is something I don’t get to choose. I live in that wet t-shirt.

But the things I choose to carry don’t have to add to the weight.

The “& Co.”

A few people have asked me why we are named Whistling and Company. 

Well, it started with a Google search and a little research with Merriam-Webster.

For one, I liked that as an aspiring jewelry brand, Whistling & Co. sounded vaguely familiar to another somewhat well-known jewelry company, cough-Tiffany & Co.-cough.

But even more so, I love how Merriam-Webster defines company

  1. The state or condition of being with another person;
  2. Someone or something you spend time with or enjoy being with;
  3. A body of soldiers; especiallya unit (as of infantry) consisting usually of a headquarters and two or more platoons.
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Last October, this group of longtime friends — our soldiers — all walked for Team Mary Brown in the Walk for Hope. Let me tell you, six miles was much easier with them.

Each of these definitions suits us well.

As we consider the first, I’m reminded of the idea of having strength in numbers. Being with others very basically means we are not alone. I also love that nothing more is required. You aren’t called to fix, entertain or distract. Just be with others, anything else is gravy.

As we consider the second definition, we realize that not only are we with people, we are with people we enjoy. It’s pleasant and comfortable with this kind of company. We’re safe.

The third definition. Ya’ll, this is my favorite. We’re frikin’ soldiers. As we consider the third definition, we are reminded that as members of a company — a unit — we may be called on to be bold and courageous (often more often than we’d like). Soldiers are equipped for conflict, battle and enduring discomfort and so are we. But we have our company covering us on all sides. We have our Whistles as our armor and boast in hope until our hearts believe it. (Because, let’s be honest, some days darkness feels much more real.) Together, we are a company.

As a company, we are unified as we acknowledge that life is no cake walk.

It may be a stretch, but to me, & Company only underscores our commitment to community.  We’re emphasizing the power of us, rather than I. The word Whistling was very intentionally chosen in it’s active tense because this demonstrates how the act of Whistling is happening, rather than happened. It never ends, is currently in progress and requires constant activity. And so, we are Whistling & Company. 

I’ve seen this idea of being in company play out in so many ways since my mom passed away. I’ve talked about our Pizza Night Tradition that has withstood a serious leadership change only to be still thriving and sure. At Thanksgiving, we circled up with friends as we mourned and simultaneously counted our blessings.

Around Easter this year, my dad was pulling into our driveway as he noticed the three-year-old from next door hiding Easter eggs, plain as day, in our front yard. “Mr. Rick! Mr. Rick! I hid Easter eggs for you!” My dad played along as the eager hunter retrieved all the eggs for my dad. The young boy’s mom explained that he specifically wanted to come over to “Mr. Rick’s” so my dad could have an Easter Egg Hunt too. Besides being adorable, I think this also demonstrates that the idea of company is innate in us. Years, trouble and walls may hide it but unity is in us all.
File_000About two weeks ago, one of my greatest hopes for Whistling & Co. became a reality. Our necklaces signal to others our predisposition to Whistling. In the same breath we may mention darkness and light. We might admit fear just as much as we talk of joy. As more and more of us are wearing these tokens of hope, folks recognize the necklaces as a symbol and more than an accessory.

Well, at Trader Joe’s last week, a friend of mine from college met a friend of mine from home only because one recognized the other’s Whistle necklace. (–>)

That’s what this is all about!


We are a unit. No matter where we all are, scattered around the country, know that there is a darn good chance someone else is wearing a necklace just like you at any given time. How astounding is that?? (Fellas, key chains are coming soon!)

When I get down and sad or when reality becomes clouded with fear and darkness or when hiding honestly sounds like the only viable option left, it’s in those moments that I remember I am in company with absolute soldiers. We’re here and we’re fighting together.

We are not alone.