At 3:45 I climb down the stairwell to the Alzheimer unit. I unlock the heavy door, to enter a world of altered consciousness. A world where time stretches and ebbs forward, where lost boys live, where women are mourning injustices.

As I walk down the hall I greet the usual explorers, pacing their way through this strange world. How did I get here?

 I wonder where they are.

He meets my eye. His screaming out for help. Our gaze locks and I prepare to do what I am here to do.

He fires off in Mandarin, showing me a piece of paper listing his morning meal. At the bottom there is his name. He points to it and repeats it. And again.

I maintain our gaze, softening my eyes, inviting him to find peace there. I ask him to tell me what is wrong, but in order to understand he will have to speak in English. He takes a deep breath, stammering, “I Have Forgotten Everything” he manages.

My heart trips over itself and I have to grasp for that calming gaze. Tears threaten to push through and I fear they will tell him: You should be scared.

We share a moment of silence. “I know you are afraid. I am here to help you.” I believe it. This phrase means little if you don’t believe it. In a world of lost boys and girls I believe there is hope for enjoyment.

It is heartbreaking to sit with anyone affected by dementia. Especially in those moments that they realize that something is terribly wrong.

A name. A fleeting recognition of a past life.

A revelation that you have been forgotten.

It is terrifying. As a caregiver, part of my work is to remember this person. To memorialize a spirit is the height of ritual. This collective ritual enables us all to live on in each others memory.

For The Story

“My favorite part about jewelry is the story behind it.” When Bri Turkel shared this with me over wine and a breathtaking San Francisco view, I knew the two of us would be collaborating on a darlingd.ear piece sooner than later. “There are so many pieces of jewelry I wear that belonged to my grandmother. I think about passing it on.” Bri’s reflections on her family heirlooms had me musing.

When I first started designing jewelry, I had two very significant muses: The Southwest and the ocean. But, I soon realized that my pieces dont wear themselves. The warm bodies that take a piece from beauty to story are what darlingd.ear is all about.

It is for this reason that I adore custom work.

Knowing why a woman wears jewelry and what it means to her is paramount.

Here is Bri’s darlingd.ear wrap, start to finish:





As we said our goodbyes, Bri said something special, “The experience of having you choose materials with me, noticing all the small details that go into the wrap I now wear, it’s like fate.”

That’s right. That wrap was meant for you Bri.

….and she does one helluva job rocking it.