Do you believe in Hareytales?

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
Elsa Atterberry

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

All grown up,
Sissy, Little Ming and Sam

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.


SuzyMcQ said...

I am so so sorry for your incredible loss. Your blog, your bunnies and you, as well are so charming and hopeful and sweet and I can not imagine how you have been able to bring so much joy and happiness from such a tragedy, but you are a wonderful inspiration to me today when I was feeling a bit down.

Thank you for sharing so much of your life and your heart to all your readers. I am so happy to be a follower and friend of your blog.

sjmcdowell said...

Dear Krys,

Your story has touched my heart where there are no words to be able to express how I feel. There is strength and endurance in Love. Families will suffer hardships and the living go on the best that they can. We will all leave this mortal planet someday and my consolation is that I know we will see our loved ones again. There is a purpose to everything and we just have to open our hearts and eye's and be thankful everyday for the gifts we have been given.

Thank you for visiting me earlier..and for your lovely comment on my blog.

Did I tell you I was in NYC and FAO Shwartz and saw your lovely things there. We were there last November.

Will you be coming back to Georgia for the Country Living Fair this year? It would be great to see you again!!

Blessings and Hugs,


Jody Battaglia said...

Hello Krys...I love red thread...can I be a sister too? I am thankful that you have come into my life. Now it is sunnier..Have heartstrings fun, Jody

Shell said...

Wow Krys! I didn't know this story of your life either. It explains a lot though about your character and creations.
I cannot even imagine such a huge loss all at once!
As difficult as the loss and grief is though, I DO think that through such horrific things we learn what is important and what is not. It is true that Adversities build character.
I love the expression, " I know God won't give me more than I can handle, I just wish he didn't have so much faith in me."
I think my own creative energies kicked in after my Mother Died. It's certainly great therapy!

Today, I kicking off a frenzy of creations to not only help me get ready for Island Chicks, but also to help me deal with the concerns for my Sis-in-law, Mary, now battling Cancer.

(You've met Mary, aka "Bunnie" whose been one of your best customers from the beginning.)

May your day be full of joy and inspiration.


Recycled Rita said...

Wow! This is my first visit to your lovely blog and I am so touched. I am coming back to read more about the bunnies...
I know exactly what you are saying when you talk about being sisters although you are not of blood...my sister walked into my life when I was 18 months old and I swear we know when we need one another! She lives in Texas and me in Calif. and we don't get to talk as much as we would like but when we do...it is always like we were never away from each other.
Hold on to that special love! karen....

Marilyn said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It does touch my heart. I recently purchased the bear with the red thread attached to his heart for my new grandbaby coming in September. Yes, we are attached at the heart of dear ones close and far away. Sending hugs!