In Memory of our son George
A Charmed Heart…” Honoring Life's Struggle, Celebrating Life's Joys”
The story of this charm begins with the last message our son George sent to Nicole Hertel, one of his best childhood friends. Nicole came back to San Diego from Switzerland for Georgie’s funeral. Afterwards, while at the gate waiting for her return flight to board, she sent me the most thoughtful and meaningful text. She shared with me the last thing he ever wrote to her, which was “I’ve lived a charmed life“ . At the time this gave me a modicum of peace in my heart, it also reminded me of how hopeful our son could be. Days later I was reading an article about a Japanese art form called Kintsugi. The artist mends broken pieces of pottery with gold, making each piece stronger and uniquely beautiful.
This got me thinking about people and their hearts and that no one escapes this life without a broken heart. If we are lucky, we survive the heartbreak both wiser and more compassionate. In pediatric cardiac patients like our son George, another heartache occurs. His heart was “broken” from birth, but a team of caring cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and nurses mended his heart. This thought process led me back to his last message to Nicole about his “charmed life”. This is humorous because George always marveled at where my mind would go and how I ended up wherever I did, he liked to tease me about it. And so, the idea of the charm was born and developed as a fundraiser for Rady Children's Heart Institute. A silver heart whose cracks are filled with gold making it stronger and more beautiful. The beautiful design by my dear childhood friend Diane Spungen Fredgant and the invaluable guidance of Gina Balourdas has allowed us to move forward with this project.