And Why I Try to Spread Joy With Every Sip
Hi, I’m Leah. The crying child I am holding is my sister, Candra. The first C. Candra came into our family when I was six. She was cute, but she had several complications that I did not understand.
Up until her amazing arrival, life was pretty simple. I had doting parents, godparents, and grandparents always there for me—the bubbly, creative, only-child playing blissfully in my bubble. Little did I know that our new addition would not only bring my parents joy and pain, but she would change the course of my life.
At birth, Candra needed shunts to drain the fluid surrounding her brain. Those shunts looked like bumpy, brown mountains on a map that started underneath her scalp, traveled down the side of her neck, and into her abdomen. Candra was fragile for years, with a short life expectancy and difficulty keeping her head up. Once she learned how to balance, she did well until she inevitably got upset. That’s when she would hit herself in the head or worse; she’d bang her head on the floor. “Careful, Candra.” Early on, I would wrap my cape around my neck and defend her from herself and the neighborhood bullies who called her disparaging names. I quickly became a big sister, and that title has never gone away. After my parents divorced, I became an even more significant part of her life. Only college and work could physically keep me away.
Years later, family stressors and mistakes in life caused me to become bitter and broken. But eventually, I fell in love with the redeeming C—Christ—and ReallyLeah became an online depository of the things I learned during my battles with health, in love, through divorce, insecurities, and many mess-ups. It’s my making amends space where I don’t judge myself or others, but I share the wisdom I have acquired. It is about lessons learned and the lifelong learning that remains. It is also about a vision to spread joy through words and images. Because when I was ill, I surrounded myself with affirming words and pictures that healed my body and soul. These items shape my coaster business– the other C. The words and ideas come from above, and Candra labels and organizes the coasters.
So, when you buy my handmade custom creations, you not only beautify your backsplashes, countertops, or tables, and save your furniture from nasty rings with my beveled-edged King Coated ™ for superior durability and exceptional color results, sandstone coasters. But you assist my family’s efforts to provide a healthy and loving home for Candra and to support others like her through the love of Christ. Gratefully yours. Really,