According to the Beads of Courage website…
In cultures across the world, BEADS have had many different functions…
Beads signify strength and courage
Just like medals, ribbons and certificates, many ancient and modern-day cultures use beads to show bravery and accomplishment. They have long been used to protect warriors from natural and supernatural enemies, along with lending special magical protection for heroes during long journeys. In many societies, beads are believed to carry protective and healing powers
Did you know that the Egyptian word sha means “luck” and sha-sha means “bead”?
Sha-sha. I like the sound of that. It reminds me of a noise you would make as you side kick cancer in the buttcrack? It doesn’t take eating bugs and slugs for Fear Factor contestant Elizabeth Blair to prove how courageous she is. She has faced every fear and beyond over the last five months. Elizabeth decided a long time ago that fear was not a factor for her. She doesn’t have 50,000 dollars to prove it. She has something better. A sparklicious necklace to prove it! It is her modern-day medal that protects her from her evil cancer enemy. She calls her medal… Beads of Courage. Back in August when Elizabeth was first diagnosed, we were handed a small, cream bag with angel-fairies all over it. On the front it said, Beads of Courage. I put it aside not thinking anything of it or it’s importance. We could barely breathe let alone worry about what was in this little bag that clicked like Cinderella’s glass slippers every time I moved it out of the way. A few weeks went by and a mom by the name of Sandra came by with her daughter Mia, who is also battling cancer. Fear is definitely not a factor for Mia, either. They kindly introduced themselves to Elizabeth and I. Elizabeth immediately took to Mia, and began constantly asking when she would get to see her again. Elizabeth for the first time, did not feel like she was going through all of this alone. She realized she was not the only sweet kiddo being dealt a really crappy hand. She had a friend who understood exactly what she was going through. Mia understood her exactly. A couple more weeks went by and we were both admitted on the 7th floor. Elizabeth and I went by Sandra and Mia’s room to say hello and there hanging on the pole that contained her chemotherapy, were her beads of courage. I commented to Sandra how beautiful the beads were and she told me they were Mia’s beads of courage. There was a bead with each letter of her name and what appeared to be additional random beads along a string. When Elizabeth and I eventually went home, I immediately started going through the million, billion, gazillion items we had received since August. I was frantically searching for this bag I vagely remembered getting at the hospital. Sha and behold I found it and immediately opened it. There they were… It was the most sparklicious, rainbowlicious surprise I could have got at that moment. Elizabeths beads from her first week diagnosed with cancer. An anchor bead for our family, friends and caregivers and how they (you) have been the anchor and a symbol of hope. An acorn bead to symbolize growth during all the changes and challenges Elizabeth encounters. A fish bead to symbolize the upstream battles Elizabeth faces each day. At our next visit to the hospital I asked the child life specialist to help get us caught up with all the beads we missed. She received a bead for every surgery, every blood transfusion, every hospital stay, every intensive care stay, every physical therapy, every occupational therapy, every chemotherapy, each and every single battle she has faced this far. And of course E and I strung the beads in none other than rainbow fashion. We ran out of space because she had received so many beads andis total awesomeness! And we are now working on filling her second necklace. We now hang the beads on her pole each time she is admitted. Not only is it powerful to see all that Elizabeth has endured over the last 5 months but it also lends special, magical powers to protect our courageous HERO, Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair from the evil enemy, childhood cancer. And yet all the while she is still singing and still dancing and still painting rainbows everyday in true fear factor fashion. Not even Cinderella’s super duper slippers could do that. Keep shining my bright and beautiful love bug.
Fearlessly sha sha’ing cancer in the buttcrack,