For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bunnies By The Bay and our story, I thought I might share it with you.
I grew up and live in a small town in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. My two uncles and father were fishermen. They had their own boats and sailed to the Bering sea to fish for crab and Pollack In fact my son is a mate on one of my uncles two boats. On a flat calm Valentines day in 1983 my father and my uncle George left port within hours of each other. They were never seen again. The only evidence ever found was the upturned hull of the Americus, my uncles boat. None of the fourteen crewmen were ever found. My mother lost her husband, my aunt Jan lost her husband and first born son. The other men were all young, some with new families. Everyone knew someone who lost a friend, a nephew, a classmate...it affected our small town in a way that only a tight knit community can feel such sorrow. This book was written about the accident.
Three years later, my seventeen year old brother and his two friends disappeared. They had taken a little outboard to one of the small Islands across from my mothers house. It was again a beautiful flat calm sea. They were never found. And again no bodies, no evidence. This mystery has never been solved.
My little brother
These tragedy's affect the rest of my life. What had been a wonderful childhood, surrounded by a large loving family was now broken, my life would never be the same...I had to draw on the good to deal with the present....
Growing up my sister and I spent many happy hours with our beloved Gram. She taught us to sew and mend in the comfort of her cozy little home by the sea. The two of us would be drawn back to that simpler time when our grief seemed too much to bare. In our journey of healing we picked up needle and thread, it not only made bunnies but also seemed to heal the hole left in our hearts.. As we made those fat little bunnies a little bit of sorrow left with each stitch.
Our beloved gram
Fremont Fair 1986
Our dream and single vision for the last 25 years has been...to share our story. It is a story that is simple and universal. When tragedy strikes the universe will send a call for help...an S.O.S. That call will strengthen the red thread that connects us all and at your door help will appear. Usually when you least expect it and from the most unlikely source.
One of our saviors was our bunny sister Jeanne Ming Hays. She came to us to tell our story. She saw it immediately. We could not tell it, because we are it. The following I wrote about the three of us.
Sissy...Sam and Little Ming
Many others all connected by that thin, yet very strong red thread have walked through our door. We have been saved by new friends from around the world, from Taiwan to Australia. And right here at home our own family has extended untold help and love. They all believe in us, and our purpose is not only to make soft fat bunnies or security blankets for babies, it is much bigger than that. Our purpose is to share... you can recover from the worst thing you can imagine happening. We grieve over the loss of our loved ones and yet we find new love is waiting right outside our door, we just need to open it. We are all connected, not related by blood perhaps but something much thicker...love.