It was Christmas Eve ten years ago as I sat with my husband and young son in the balcony of St Paul's Episcopal Church in Edenton, NC. The candlelit service is lovely and marked by families with young children, ripe with the anticipation of Santa. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a boy, down below, enter through the two hundred year old heavy wooden doors. He moved slowly, hopeful to avoid the inevitable creaking, but not a chance and thus, my glimpse. He was alone, rather late to the service, and as he stood quietly, I imagined he was seeking solace as I remembered that first Christmas without my own brother.
Twins. Not just any twins but identical twin boys and yet, now there was only one remaining and there he stood. The story is not lovely but terrible and tragic, a single car accident late one evening, and within the time it takes to wash your hands, a precious life was lost. George was gone and his brother Dan was left to pick up the pieces. He stood that evening, shifting his weight uncomfortably, and within moments had turned, pushed his way back through those formidable doors and was gone into the Christmas Eve night. I swallowed my tears for the boy who I guessed was being defeated by grief.
Since that night, nearly ten years have come and gone and last week, the boy reached out to me. That broken hearted college student was a man now and a father to a daughter, married to a girl that his twin brother had called a dear friend. Together they had began a business venture, entitled brimsuits. The concept, brilliant and simple, is a young child's sunhat attached to a swim shirt. Their toddler daughter, like my own children in those early years, was quick to pull off a hat designed to protect her fair skin and so this simple invention provided needed protection as it prohibited the skilled little fingers that are quick to remove unwanted hats.
They have a kickstarter campaign for BRIMSUITS and are trying to reach their fundraising goal of $10,000 and have just five days to go. That evening so long ago, I found it quite disconcerting to watch the grieving boy enter a church, seeking refuge and then leave as quickly as he had come, still seeking. I longed to do something for him and now an opportunity was presenting itself. And so, I share with you the plea of a grieving boy turned man, husband and father with an awesome business idea. It's the least I could do for someone choosing joy.