Think for a moment about the best gift you have ever received.... Seriously. Ask yourself that question, "What is the best gift I have ever received?" ... Got it? Now ask yourself what it was about that gift that made it the best. Was it the thing you'd always wanted? Was it super expensive? Was it from someone special? The answer is different for everybody, but there is a common theme no matter what you thought of... the gift had meaning.
The other day I received a text from my friend's dad, Mike, who said he wanted to talk with me about making something special for their family. The next day we talked on the phone. As we chatted my jaw began to drop. He wanted me to make necklaces out of his son's old hockey blades; but, these weren't any ol' hockey blades, these were priceless pieces.
Mike then explained the story of his son, Patrick, who was tragically taken from the world at the age of 14. Patrick was a hockey player known for his passion for the game and his leadership to his teammates. During a tournament in Northern Minnesota, Patrick suddenly collapsed on the ice and was rushed to the hospital. After the doctor's best efforts, he was unable to be revived. Patrick suffered from two heart defects. These defects require special tests that are seldom done on teenagers. Even though Patrick's life on earth came to a halt, his legacy lives on. To further cement Patrick's legacy, Mike gave me the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind necklaces for their family using the blades from Patrick's hockey skates. It was an honor to be a part of this story and make pieces that this family will wear to always remember Patrick... it's a necklace with true meaning!
*Below are photos of the final product and some photos from the process. Shortly after Patrick's passing, his family launched the Patrick Schoonover Foundation which helps save teens lives through heart screenings.
The Final Product
The Hardened steel blades were cut using a waterjet.
After the crosses were cut they were glued and soldered together, and then clamped for 12 hours.
The crosses were then finished with 14k gold wire and a stainless steel chain.
Patrick's jersey number, 96, was recently retired by the Eastview Lightning hockey program. Every time the players see number 96 they know to play with heart, and to Play for Patrick. We are honored that we had the opportunity to make these pieces and our hope is that every time the family wears their necklaces they remember the amazing son, brother and teammate Patrick was.
Feel free to share this amazing story with others! Merry Christmas :)
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