'I see the Feathers'... Our journey with 'Crafty Plants'

Today, the 3rd of May is a significant day for Crafty Plants.

For 20 years, all I knew was nursing. Oncology Nursing. Extremely rewarding but at the same time, emotionally draining. I felt honoured to have nursed thousands of people who shared many personal stories with me. I truly loved being able to listen to families and patients and advocate for their voices to be heard, when they were in such a vulnerable position. The strength and vulnerability in what they were going through, and witnessing many, many people leave this world, helped shape me.

I love Nursing. But, I have toyed with a few business ideas; patient advocate (to help people navigate the health system), midwifery, management (with the view to foster change within the health system so it could be more personalised).

However, despite loving helping people, it came to a point when I needed a break from healthcare.

Then... I lost the most amazing mum a girl and my 4 siblings could ask for.

To cancer.

A cancer, in the twenty years I have nursed and witnessed the destruction it caused.. this time, it was my mum.

But like my sister says ‘our mum was the sickest, healthiest person we knew'. This is what mum wanted it, she did not want sorrow, she wanted life to be lived, completely!

My heart completely shattered, I found that mentally, physically, and emotionally, I could not work in the health system any longer. Whilst I watched my beloved mum battle cancer with dignity and such amazing grace, I ended up being admitted to hospital in the UK visiting her. I almost had a nervous breakdown. Watching the pain and suffering my amazing mum had to endure, being helpless and knowing what was unfolding...pretending I didn’t, knowing my two children would eventually lose a devoted Grandma... was too much!

With my husband and two adorable children on the other side of the world, I lay in a UK hospital bed with the curtains pulled around me, as I could not bear any company.

Then the long distance calls with my 'very' patient husband started - the vision and idea of ‘Crafty Plants - plants delivered as gifts instead of flowers’ was born.

After a week in hospital, being tested for MS, as I lost the whole feeling in my left leg, (the mind is so very powerful - as to manifest into physical symptoms). I found the strength to recuperate and fly home to Australia.

Leaving the UK was one of the hardest days of my life, (actually THE hardest). I knew my mum had great care and support from my siblings, and I could not be of any help anymore... I was broken. Being an oncology nurse also meant I was aware what was to follow in mums cancer treatment, this knowledge and helplessness had taken its toll on me.

The journey of grief is a hard road, and ever since mums diagnosis, my heart has never been the same. Because of my amazing mum, I knew I had to start ‘Crafty Plants’, in a way, to show mum the strength she had given me.

Delivering plants to people’s doorsteps, writing the cards with peoples words of kindness, and knowing the plants chosen, will be a reminder to customers of people who love them, I truly do a little skip down the drive as I deliver and hear the birds chirp, because mum, I know you’re watching and you helped me do this.

A break from healthcare and suffering is what my soul needed, and what better way than delivering living plants as gifts.

I love you mum - a year to this very day - May 3rd 2017, my whole world changed. My heart lost a piece and I am slowly beginning to navigate life without you. You still inspire me to be the best I can be everyday.

By the way mum... ‘I see the feathers'.

Claire x


3 comments

  • Marie and Marie- louise Thankyou for your beautiful comments. I believe so much our mum is helping me fulfill this dream and watching people smile instead of grieve when they receive a beautiful gift, makes me smile, when I smile I remember how beautiful mums is x I didn’t realise how much until I reflected on pictures x thank you for taking time out to comment x

    Claire
  • Claire, not only are you brave, genuine and honest enough to write this but you are a true inspiration to share your innermost thoughts and feelings behind the reasons for starting Crafty Plants. Im glad all the patients had you for their Nurse, I know they will of had the best therapeutic intervention possible. But, Im even more pleased for YOU, that you have created this in dedication to your mum. I wish you every success living your dream and much gratitude for writing this from your heart. I know anybody doing business with you will be glad they did so.

    Marie-Louise Penny
  • A powerful and visual read Claire. I was obviously in the midst of all you talk about and my word I can only say WOW not the one you say when you get a thoughtful gift or a very special surprise the other type the one we never knew existied !!! We have journeyed, i think a very harsh reality for you has been that awareness of what that dreadful disease does and the overwhelming helplessness BUT that said mum lived a great life with cancer and it did not dictate her outlook and sparkle , it tried, she had an awakening to the great bits in life the simple gratifying bits which grew from connection, gratitude and love. She was over the moon to see your website official launch, which is the picture of her holding her phone while on her last trip to see her beloved sister Anne. Mum will be shouting from the sidelines for you to flourish with this business including Gary as she believed in YOU !!! xxx

    MARIE BAISTOW

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