the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Bracelet

Thank you to everyone who sent cards and good wishes to Sophia concerning her surgery tomorrow, both in the mail and through email. What an amazing group of people! She has been very touched.

I’ll be thanking everyone personally. I can’t believe how many people responded. I had to stand on line at the post office for a half hour because I received a note that all the mail couldn’t fit in my P.O. Box. Along with a ton of cards from bloggers around the world, Danny sent Sophia food from Zingerman’s Deli (sorry, I ate the brownies). Ms. Mamma sent some of her beautiful photos. Heather Anne sent her a copy of one of her favorite books, “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo. Pearl sent a lovely notepad. Question Girl is putting Sophia’s name on her shirt when she walks for a cure. Jane Poe sent a tiny Chinese gong so Sophia can “ring me” from the bedroom during her recovery (that one I’m sure will get the most use!).

One little gift was very special because it came with a beautiful story. The gift is a bracelet sent from Tamarika in Philadelphia. With her permission, I’m just going to give you her words:

Dear Sophia,

Last July I had a breast cancer scare. Tom was away all of the summer and I hardly know anyone in Philadelphia. Needless to say — it was hell! One day I met a woman (too long a story for here) and we got to talking. I told her about my fears. She makes jewelry. At the end of our conversation, she gave me this bracelet she had made. She murmured something about crystals, energy, spiritual power. I put it on my left wrist and have not taken it off since then — even to shower, sleep, swim — whatever… until this morning. It’s time to pass the goodness of this bracelet — the kindness of my new friend — onto you. I cannot image how you are feeling. But I hope this dear little crystal bracelet might give you a few moments of comfort and support through this difficult time — just as it did for me. I almost feel as if it is my dearest possession. You are in my thoughts.

Love, Tamar

Dear Neil,

You are constantly in my thoughts too. Smiles.

Thanks, all! You lifted our spirits. I’m hoping that the news will be good, and soon Sophia can pass this bracelet to someone else who may need it!

P.S. — Some of you wanted to send Sophia flowers but didn’t want to send it to a P.O.Box. If anyone wants the home address, just email me.


  1. Finn

    Tamarika, you are a class act!I have faith in the bracelet. There’s love in there.

    And my card will be coming via e-mail. I just haven’t been able to get it together to make it and get it in the mail. But you know my thoughts are with both of you.

  2. Bre

    Such sweet gestures!

  3. Pearl

    So glad my package reached you before the surgery.
    G-d willing all should go well and we should only hear good things about Sophia.
    I’ll be thinking of you guys tomorrow and throughout the recovery.
    Warm hugs from Toronto.

  4. plain jane

    Gulp. My eyes are welling with tears.

  5. LeiselB


  6. Mike F

    Neil you and Sophia are in our (Karen and mine) thoughts and our prayers.

  7. Churlita

    Tamarika rocks! What a wonderful gift. Please let us know the results as soon as you get them, so we can be here for you anyway we can.

  8. tamarika

    Neil and Sophia,
    Needless to say, I am thinking of you both.
    Neil, am honored that you printed my story of the bracelet on your blog. Thank you.

  9. V-Grrrl

    Never underestimate the power of a bracelet. I’m not being facetious. In the midst of a tough spot, a girlfriend of mine gave me a bracelet with stone beads and a little charm that said “hope.” I wore it every day for a long time. I also have a silver bracelet with a single charm on it that has E’s initials on it, and while he’s given me many gifts of jewelry over the years, it’s this simple bracelet that brings me such joy. At one time or another, I’ve given all of my closest girlfriends bracelets. They’re magic.

    Blessings and peace to you both tomorrow.

  10. Ariel

    Thinking of you both and sending love and good vibes for tomorrow…

  11. Darci

    I am walking this weekend in the Revlon 5K – I will add her to my shirt. God Bless…but you can still be angry with him…he has big shoulders.

  12. deezee

    I love the passing of the bracelet! To you and Sophia, may tomorrow go well!

  13. LisaBinDaCity

    Thinking of you both and wishing you well.

  14. Javacurls

    Reading the note from Tamarika made me well up. There are so many good hearted people in this world. We should never underestimate the power of hope! We’re all pulling for you Sophia!

  15. psychomom

    Praying 4U2

  16. Marilyn

    I’ll say a special prayer for you both tonight.

  17. patry

    Love to you both. I’ll be thinking of Sophia tomorrow.

  18. Long Story Longer

    Sending good thoughts for tomorrow . . .

  19. Alexandra

    I’m thinking of you both and saying prayers. My mom has been a breast cancer survivor since 1990. I am sending you two enormous hugs, prayers, love, and faith that everything will be more than alright.

  20. littlepurplecow

    Will keep you in my prayers.

  21. Neil

    Thanks, all. We spent this afternoon reading through all the cards and emails again. Sophia is wearing the bracelet, although we had to do a little fixin’ to make it fit. Tamarika must have the skinniest arms in Pennsylvania. Maybe it’s all that yoga she does.

    Your thoughts and prayers really mean a lot to both of us.

  22. better safe than sorry

    what a wonderful story!
    fingers crossed today that all goes well, my thought will be with you.

  23. tamarika

    Small wrists, Neilochka, not skinny arms : ) I *wish* my arms were skinny!

    {{{}}}} Cyber hugs to you both as I hold you in my thoughts.

  24. Marilyn

    Sophia, you’re in my thoughts. Sending healing vibes your way…and hoping for the best outcome for you.

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