At the heart of dbandrea, our passion lies in preserving bridal bouquets for bride's most special days, however, there is another moment close to our hearts - memorial pieces. We are truly honored that we get to contribute in preserving flowers to remember and honor your loved ones.
In today's blog post, we want to share the touching story of Bonnie, a dbandrea bride who initially entrusted us with her bridal bouquet and then reached out to us years later to preserve the memorial flowers of her precious son, Jack. As we reflect on this touching story, we are filled with gratitude for the trust given to us by customers like Bonnie, who allow us to play a role in their journey.
In sharing this story, we hope to shed light on the beauty and significance of memorial pieces—a testament to the enduring love and cherished memories that live on through time.
Hi Bonnie, to start, we would love to get to know you. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Bonnie Donaldson and I'm a lot of things: a substance abuse counselor, a family life educator, an aspiring social worker, a mom to animals and children, a wife, sister, and friend. I heard about DBA when I was thinking of ways to decorate our bedroom and didn't want to stick with traditional wedding photos. I did a larger pressed piece that hangs in the entryway of my partner and I's room.
Let's now shift our focus to your recent flower preservation experience with dbandrea. We understand the sadness surrounding the loss of your son, Jack. Could you please share more about him and his story?
Recently our 2 year old son Jack passed away from a rare genetic disease (CLN1) informally known as Battens. To explain it briefly, and broadly, our son's DNA was missing the genetic code that told his body's cells to clean out the plaque build up they get from regular functioning. Therefore starting at about 15 months, our son Jack's body began to decline, he was no longer able to walk or talk, and eventually his body was not strong enough to complete regular pulmonary functions. He passed away in our home under hospice care just before his third birthday. To say this was the saddest journey of our lives is an understatement. The grief is still unimaginable at times.
Preserving Jack's memorial flowers was an absolute honor for Andrea and the team. Could you share why preserving these flowers held such profound significance and importance to you?
His memorial and service was beautiful and full of flowers, my husband was actually the one that asked me, "Are you going to press Jack's flowers as well?" Of course my answer was yes. We chose a panel, bookend floral blocks, ornaments, handprints, and I'm still waiting for some newer pieces that they are working on with the remaining flowers. Jack will always be in the flowers for me, I love to garden and on his sickest days when he couldn't be settled he would swing in his swing and listen to me go on about my flowers and water my garden and he would relax. SO the flowers are so important to me because they will always remind me of those moments together in the garden.
Could you kindly share your journey of finding healing for yourself and your family?
Jack is survived by his two sisters that are only carriers of the disease like myself and my husband. We have survived this grief journey with our family therapist that we see together and separately, there is never any expectation, just safe spaces for us to let our guard down and be real about where we are in our thoughts. We also have a wonderful community that we stay involved with. Together we are trying to raise awareness for the importance of FULL genetic testing for hopeful families, as there is currently no cure and the clinical trials in place at best are able to stop the disease's progression.
How can we contribute to spreading awareness?
Jack was beautiful with auburn hair, cherry chapstick lips, and the sweetest giggle, he fought so hard and we called him our shark, always moving, fighting, and EATING in his converse shoes. We are in the process of starting his non-profit 501c-3 foundation so we can continue to help other families and communities that are affected by childhood illness.
We are so grateful to Bonnie for sharing her story with us and entrusting us with the privilege of honoring Jack's memory. We are excited to keep you informed about the non-profit organization that Bonnie is creating in Jack's name. As soon as we have further details, we will update this post.
If you have a special flower or bouquet you wish to preserve in memory of a loved one, we are here to offer our care and expertise. Together, let us honor their legacy and keep their spirit alive through the artistry of preserved blooms.