Using Art To Enliven and Revive My American Spirit
Just four months after welcoming our first child, a son, my husband and I found out that we were expecting our second child. Being that my first pregnancy was high risk due to my own aggressive chronic health and cardiac conditions, I was extremely anxious about facing the adversity of being pregnant so soon. To make a stressful situation worse, my husband found out he would be deployed when I was six months pregnant and would not return until our daughter was at least four months old. This meant that I would be caring for my delicate health, an energetic one-year-old boy and a newborn without the love and support of my husband.
I was disheartened but felt deep in my bones that my destiny was to follow my husband’s service by walking the path of those that have proudly sacrificed life’s most precious moments in service to America. While delivering my daughter I found a strength within myself that I had never known existed, however, I struggled terribly after her birth with Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) due to the stress of the deployment.
As a way to heal my PPA, I began to revive my art as a form of therapy. I have been creating jewelry since I was in college and my formal education is in Visual Arts & American Studies/Preservation. At this time I also began to reach out and become involved with the Family Readiness Group (FRG) at my husband’s command. It was while serving my warrior community through the FRG that I began to see that other spouses were struggling with much of the same adversity that I was experiencing in my own life and that my own family had battled growing up as a result of my father’s Special Operations service as a Sheriff.
After choosing to look outside myself when facing adversity, I recognized the dire need of support for the community of American Patriots. I decided to go forward wholeheartedly in building a platform from my art that I could use to help keep the spirits of our people strong. The Patriot Belle was born right then and there in March of 2018. Seeing The Belle’s light transfer to those around me has brought me both passion, purpose, and hope when all seemed lost. The Patriot Belle is thus the personification of American Liberty and will continue to sing the song of our Nation’s most brave. Long may she ring!