The Gift that Gives Back

Considering what to give this holiday season? This year, why not give the gift that truly gives back? Our elegant sea glass jewelry are handcrafted and one-of-a-kind…but the most meaningful part is that 100% of the proceeds go to help sick children obtain life-saving heart surgeries. 

Learn More About Pendants for a Cause

 

Browse Our Shop
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Pendants for a Cause
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**Unfortunately, Pendants for a Cause only ships within the U.S. at this time. 

 

A Physician, a Burden…an Idea

The Birth of Pendants for a Cause

Pendants for a Cause started a little over a week ago from nothing more than a small piece of sea glass and a hope to help another. When news had hit of the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian on the communities in the Bahamas–of the lack of healthcare facilities and the need for resources and medical aid–my first thought was not to create necklaces. But despite my formal training as a physician, I felt that there was little that I could do to help all those I wanted to help.

So what else did I have that could possibly make a difference?

Continue reading “A Physician, a Burden…an Idea”

The Hug.

Bitterness.
Each word, a slap.
Each consonant, piercing.
Bursting in like a winter’s storm,
you permeated into our lives.

We wanted to help you,
but we only came to fear you.
Many shook their heads in pity.
Some avoided you.
Others talked about you.

Contempt.
Each gesture, scornful.
Each insult, stinging.
My attempts to talk to you
only seemed to anger you more.

You terrified me. Yet I yearned.
To see. To know. To understand.

I knew you were frustrated.
Your disease, unforgiving.
Slowly devouring. 
I knew you were discouraged.
Your body, powerless.
Slowly succumbing.

But why wouldn’t you let us care for you?

Desperation.
Each day, the same.
Each encounter, fruitless.
You turned us away again and again. 
Until one day I confronted you. 
I asked you why.
And you told me.

I know you don’t really care. This is only your job. 

My job.

It all made sense.
The bitterness. The coldness. The distancing.
I understood.

Stepping forward,
leaving behind the pride, the decorum, 

my arms enclosed around you.
The fear escaping my racing heart
only after you made a move to wipe your eyes.

You then collapsed into me.
My shoulder, an insulation
to the sound of choked sobs.

You never said a word.
But in your cry I heard your anguish.
I heard desolation.
I heard relief.

Things were never the same after that.

Your bitterness was gone.
Your words, softer.
Your eyes, warmer.
You allowed us to care for you, 
remaining strong even
as your disease progressed.

Until one day, like winter’s snow, 
the seasons beckoned for you to leave.
But even then, as you faded away,
you reminded me of the day everything changed–

The day I gave you the hug. 

To Let the Heart Speak.

Dear Diary,

What do I write about when I have nothing to write about?

When my lips have nothing to say?

Do I paint for you portraits
of hollow chimes adrift
in dew whose songs
mesmerize with
each sway of
the wind’s
caress?

Do I liken you to a single rose
who has but endured a
winter’s wrath to
weave a quilt
of fragrant
hues?

Or do I reflect upon my life as it is,
to tell you how much I treasure
the privilege of being able to
help you, to care for
you, whenever
you are
ill?

Do I try to express how tremendous my
heart feels when I tell you that it is
going to be alright, or when we

know that it may not, that
we will 
conquer it

together?

Do I admit to you that whenever you
smile, my day is brightened,
my heart is warmed,
and that when you
weep, my soul
tears with
you?

And do I tell you how much I appreciate you-
your presence, your courage- as you
battle through your illnesses,
uncertainties, and fears-
while reminding you
that you are an
inspiration
to me?

So what do I do when my lips can find no words?

I suppose I let the heart speak.

The Flawed Physician.

She stands facing a closed door.

Your door.

As her gaze converges onto
enameled surface, she notes its
texture- the evenness a comfort to
a moment of hesitation within.

Smooth and finished–flowing
imprints mapping the course of
fine fibers swept over timber.

Flawless.

She makes a move to knock,
but her hand pauses,
and for a moment she wonders
whether you will find her pleasant.

Whether she will be worthy of your trust.
Whether you will believe in her.

Because she is flawed.

Like veneer upon wooden door, she
is but a polished version of herself.

As she again surveys its exterior,
she is let in upon a different truth–
that from underneath the surface
the grain peeks through, coarse
and jagged, its valleys exposed,
blemish revealed, age betrayed.
It is but fresh lacquer upon a
damaged interior, eroded and
frayed by the stress of time.

Like a white coat to the skin,
it cloaks the imperfection
and vulnerability of that
which lies beneath.

A coat enshrouding
scars of personal defeats–
An awareness
of critical introspection while
striving to exhibit confidence and certainty.
A struggle
to remain objective while
craving to empathize with you.
A hunger
to continue feeling through perpetual
immersion into death and suffering,
while self-preservation casts increasingly

impenetrable layers of emotional shield.
And a fear
of not doing enough, while similarly
recognizing the peril of doing too much.

But as her knuckles meet the door,
she is reminded of an oath–taken
at the dawn of this journey–
an oath of compassion, of
integrity, of humility–

an oath to do no harm.

So as she enters
your room,

she smiles–
for she never forgot its
concluding admonition:

That one would never lose the joy of helping others.

Therefore as an imperfect human being,
she will do her best to ease your suffering,
treat your illness, be your advocate–
Not because it is her obligation,
but because this is her love–

To help her fellow man.

To care for you.

•      •      •

“…may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

-Oath of Hippocrates

•      •      •

caduceus

I.C.U.

Lines, tubes, wires, chains.
Dignity stripped, cavities drained.
The metronome of your pulse above
the beeping orchestra, dissonant buzz.
Each gesture tracked, beat recorded,
breathing measured, life distorted.
Do you still feel free?

The body, its function a masterpiece to muse,
altered by poison, fluid infused.
Vesicles, vessels, organs affixed,
shrouded in blood, lymph intermixed.
Adhered in oneness by tendon and skin,
scarcely quickened by a pump grown dim.
Do you still feel strong?

Risen before the dawning sun,
a swarm of stoic white has come
to declare the status of your issues–
Liver, kidney, heart, lung, tissue.
To examine and prod, inspect then move
a person, a soul, or a number to improve?
I hope you still feel human.

The Big Heart.

Fluid.
Limbs flooded,
lungs immersed,
skin engorged-
you chase it off.
Pill
after pill.

Nights.
Twilight wheezes 

upon three pillows.
Four.
Five.

Bare
are your breaths
as you gasp,
fight-
hunger unquenched.

Stairs
unconquerable,
indomitable,
fatigue intractable.
Slowly you ascend.

Still
you conquer,
embrace
love,

life,
strength.

Your heart full.

Your dilated cardiomyopathy.

 

The Story of PuppyDoc.

Once upon a time in a land far away (ie., Taiwan), there existed a smallish girl named Phoebe…

 phoebe chi

…who, in the 1980’s, was born into a family…complete with a mom, a dad, and a pet gibbon.

gibbon.jpg

From an early age, Phoebe adored animals, therefore, when she grew up and went to university, she decided to become a purple kangaroo for the patients at the children’s hospital.

 kangaroo

Phoebe soon realized something: she loved to help people. Eventually, this realization led her to start traveling the world, for long periods of time, to do volunteer work.

Of all the places, Phoebe worked in Africa the longest…namely, in the lands of West Africa and Madagascar.

On the island of Madagascar, Phoebe was known for befriending a lonely stray lemur named Buddy…

 lemur

…with whom she would share her cactus fruit every morning.

There, she lived in a small village with a sweet family of 20 vibrant sisters…all of whom liked to dance.

Phoebe Chi Madagascar

On the other side of the continent, in the land of Ghana, she also lived with a lovely family, but in lieu of a lemur, she had a goat friend (who, tragically, eventually got eaten…).

goat

After all that, Phoebe returned to the U.S. and became a doctor, because more than anything…she still wanted to help people.

thankyou.jpg

Now, during her journey through medical school, her peers started to call her ‘Puppy,’ primarily, they claimed, because of her “loyal, affectionate, and loving nature.”

Gradually, the name ‘Puppy’ evolved until, finally, one day…

Phoebe Chi

…a ‘PuppyDoc‘ was born.

The End.

 

 

The Sleep.

Rivulets of sorrow meandering
down tear-stained skin.

“Keep her comfortable
until it’s time.”   

Simple words-
echoes
of eternal reminder within.
You rise.

Guiding her
through the threshold
into the chill,

shudders
of realization emerge.

You survey
the molting trees,

their arid leaves
embellishing her hair
like fragments of
woven rhinestones.
As if they weep for her.
As if even the ambiances
of ages past are beseeching
her not to leave.

Soon arrives the Foehn,
holding you within
its warm embrace.
Its breaths,
whispering lines of truth,
sculpt a bittersweet tune
as they herald
the evening’s arrival.
You understand.

Cloaked
by lyrics of singing ivy,
her expression calms,
your fears dissolve.
Consoled by a draft possessive,
you cradle her
through the darkness
and follow her
toward the seraph’s call
into the fold of
midnight slumber.

A Love Unknown.

Flames softening a heart of stone
fading away each zealous stream.
A spirit dulled through nights of black
blossoms stars from a faerie dream.
A soul once dampened by frigid tears
warmed by a love now found.
Mangled wings bound by the sun
now airily flitter upon the clouds.

Drifting through the sands of time,
celestial burning suffuse the night.
The sweetness of the morning dew
caress my heart with wondrous light.
Your grace, beauty, and wisdom great
have seized my heart in awe unbound,
The earth, now below us, faint-
how sublime it is, this love we’ve found.

Self-Reflection with a Giggle.

Dear Diary,

Today was meant to be a day of quiet contemplation. Instead I ended up invariably chuckling… a lot… at myself. A few of the things I did…

MD handwriting

…ponder over my own handwriting and its tragic deterioration over the years…

Doggy Comic-Phoebe-Chi

…daydream about my childhood doggie, who frequently found munching on grass therapeutic…

Chicken surgeon

…ruminate over the life of poultry and its unfortunate deliciousness..

Medical-specialty

…and reflect upon my initial reasoning for choosing internal medicine, which the above algorithm readily affirmed, reassuring me that I did indeed choose the right specialty.

Have a wonderful week!

Love,
phoebe

To Say Goodbye.

Moisture burning her vision.
In the dark, it hides her eyes.
Teardrops.
Clinging onto her, one falls onto her lap
and stains her skirt.
She mourns.

Comfort her.
Tell her it will be okay.
That the shadow of a moment
may not stretch into tomorrow’s light.
That the ocean,
at its blackest
is still a reflection of the sky,
and she will not drown.

But the tide has come to take you home.
To her smile and her strength
she bids farewell.
Her heart, a piece borrowed and now returned,
departs with you.
She says goodbye.

phoebe-chi-grandpa

 

The Tragedy Behind a Poem.

We did it. We took it out.

Slowly, the oxygen saturation dropped.
Gradually, the alarms sounded.
Insisting. Imploring us to do something.
We turned them off.
Made him comfortable.
But we knew we couldn’t hide the truth.

We were letting him suffocate.

~     ~     ~

A lucid man.
A failing lung. A decision made.
A breathing tube placed—just temporarily—
until the lungs healed.
Until they got stronger. Until he got stronger.
But I saw the regret the moment it was inserted.
Nevertheless. We agreed to give it a chance.

But days passed. Then weeks.
No improvement.
Being alert, he communicated with us well.
Through his writing, I got to know him well.
His adventures. His best memory. His regrets in life.
He was a good man.

But a man who never desired to live like this.

While the family disputed on what course of action to take next,
he remained calm and unwavering.

“Please let me go.” was what he would say.

Then finally the moment came.

The time to say goodbye.

~     ~     ~

That day, I let myself weep during rounds.
In front of a crowd of stoic faces.
To weep over a friend.
To weep over a human being.
Over his courage.
An impossible decision.
The loss of a life.
Everything.

Because I didn’t want to do it. But I did.

I let go.

•      •      •

“To Let Go” – the poem

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