Because I created a rose ring in my sister Melissa’s memory…
It’s insane to think about the fact that one year ago today, my little sister died.
To be honest, I still don’t feel like I’m in a place where I’m able to write something really meaningful about her death; my pain, and the sadness I feel every day (alluded to here) is palpable to anyone who knows me, or perhaps even to people who have suffered a similar loss…but the thing is this: I had to do something to feel like I’m bringing even a small bit of honor to her memory.
A few months back I reached out to Nashelle, a jewelry brand I’ve liked for years, because I knew they would do a good job in helping me figure out exactly how to honor my sister via a piece of jewelry I know she would’ve loved. Since Melissa’s middle name was Rose, I decided I wanted to design a laser cut rose ring and, after a few design iterations, we came up with this gorgeous ring…and I couldn’t be happier with it.
The MelissaRose x Nashelle Rose Ring is available in 14K gold fill (or sterling silver!) and, best of all, Nashelle will donate 75% of net proceeds from the sale of each Rose Ring to Advocates For Opioid Recovery, an organization that works to help the nearly 80% of opioid addicts (1.9 million people) who want help for their addiction through medication, but can’t receive it.
My hope for designing this ring was obviously to honor my sister’s memory, but even if you don’t buy the ring, I take solace in knowing that you are at least reading this. Reading and learning about the opioid epidemic that this country is having. As cheesy as it always sounds, I really do believe that knowledge is power.
Here are a few facts about opioid addiction that you may not know:
- Every 19 minutes, one person dies from the cycle of opioid addiction in the U.S.
- Opioid addiction is now the #1 cause of accidental death in the U.S. (more common than death by car crash or gun violence)
- Currently, less than 3 percent of America’s physicians can prescribe recovery medications, and most of them have long waiting lists
- In some states, doctors have filled out more painkiller prescriptions than there are people in their state
- Opioids now kill more Americans than HIV/AIDS did at its peak in 1995
You can read more scary stats here. Thank you to Vox for such an important story.
This tray shows my sister in three phases of her life…all different, but similar. When I was six and Melissa was two, my parents took us to Disney World for the first time. Melissa wouldn’t stop talking about how much she wanted to meet “Googy” (i.e. Goofy), but when she actually came face-to-face with him she started crying hysterically and wouldn’t look at him directly (hence my mom holding her in the first photo). That story, along with many, many other stories, still live in my heart today because we always laughed so hard at how excited she was to meet him and then she totally freaked out. After that we went to Disney World again when we were teenagers (the middle picture), and then, in 2013, she came out to LA to visit me and we went to Disneyland. That trip to LA, a trip I will always cherish, was the last good memory I have of my sister. Things got bad shortly after that with her addiction. Sometimes I think back on that week and I wish I could’ve predicted what was going to happen, how prescription pain medication would eventually take her life and hurt so many people who loved her…but she would’ve loved that I created this jewelry tray and the ring I now rest on it.
This was one of the last photos we took together. I used to live close to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood and Melissa insisted on buying one of those cheesy tourist photos for like $30. I teased her at the time but I’m so glad she bought this now. Life lesson: take more cheesy tourist photos!
A gigantic thank you to Rapparound PR and the wonderful team at Nashelle for creating this special ring with me, in honor of my sister. <3
And thanks to all of you for reading and taking all of this in.
If someone you know has a problem (and statistically speaking, you know MANY who do), please reach out to them today and let them know you are there to help them if/when they decide they want it.
And you can buy the ring here. Please share the link with your friends!
Side note: any affiliate money I earn via RewardStyle for this ring will be donated to Angel City Pit Bulls (in honor of my sister’s dog and her love for animals in general).