I hope you've had a solid start to your week so far. This week, we're starting off something new. Once a month, I'm going to be sending out an email containing some of the best stories submitted to us by Zoxers all around the world. We know that to many of you, ZOX are so much more than just wristbands. This blog isn't to sell more Straps, it's to spread positivity, love, and encouragement from those who submitted their stories to us. :)
Please keep in mind that aside from 'You Are Enough', all other designs featured are now sold out and will not be restocked.
When I saw Slow Down on zox.la, almost 2 months since I had lost my uncle and on the day that would have been his birthday, February 20th, I knew I had to have it and here's why.
My uncle Marty was more than just a man... My uncle was my magician. And he shared his magic and his artwork many, many times with me over the years. Since I am his only niece, I have many of his paintings, but when I got married he gave me my most favorite painting of his... aptly named Slow Down. It depicts a beautiful hillside on Kauai with a sign saying “Slow Down”. I have always loved this painting because it was my constant reminder to be present in the moment and to slow down and breathe in the beauty of my life. My uncle taught me so many things about life and beauty, and even from a little girl, I could see the magic he held. His voice, his hands, his mind. Creating art, creating magic and bringing a little girl's dreams to life. His hands painted art that I could feel, art that made me feel the spray of the ocean waves, the softness of a lion's fur, the warmth of the sand. A voice that spun stories into reality. Stories that were real and that I could see, not just imagine.
Through years many memories made and many experiences shared. From the ocean, to the waves, to the art studio... All places that seem simple or plain but to a little girl growing up were the same as a dreams greatest creation. As I grew up, I began to appreciate the things my uncle had to share with me with the mind of an adult but the magic never went away. The magic grew.
Our relationship changed and we got closer. Phone calls happened weekly. Went from a few minutes to a few hours. Conversations became deeper and more thought-provoking and through all of this my uncle remained my magician. One day these phone calls became shorter, less frequent. Sickness had made its way into our story. I understood that my time with my magician was running out. Every time I heard a story, even if I had heard it a million times before, it still held all the magic and wonder as the first time. Every touch was filled with magic and love from the hands of my magician, even if they were a little weaker. Every memory became my own as I now had to remind my magician of our grand adventures as his mind was taking them from him.
And then the phone call... The phone call that shattered my world... My magician... My uncle... He was leaving this world. Nothing in the world would keep me from being there for my magician. So here I am. The end of my story, but I know is just the beginning of my uncle's. I have been able to say goodbye. And even though there have been years of gifts given through stories and memories and love and art... My magician gave me the greatest gift I have ever received.
Without a word, just a simple squeeze of my hand, small nod of his head, little lift of his eyebrows... He told me everything I needed to know. He loves me. He always will love me. He will watch over me every day forever. He will be a part of everything I do... He gave me his magic.
I could feel it. I felt it wrap me up and all the love he has for his niece wrapped up in that small short moment. And I will cherish this gift forever. As it is the greatest gift I've ever gotten. When I found Zox, I was drowning in the grief and sorrow and loss of my uncle, but being able to wear my Slow Down strap and outwardly carry my uncle and his legacy with me on my wrist is the most precious thing. And for that, I will always be grateful for Zox and my constant reminder to Slow Down and enjoy the magic of my life.
Stronger With Every Struggle is the strap that caught my eye when I was surfing Facebook one day. I was very sad and in a lot of pain from ongoing medical issues from getting hit by a drunk driver 20 years ago. I’ve always tried to stay positive and consider my life a gift but that day was an especially bad one and I was feeling hopeless, then I see this simple strap with a powerful message that seemed to be made just for me and meant for me to find at that time. It reminded me that my struggles have made me stronger, that I’ve been through worse and made it this far so I would get through this trying time too. Stronger With Every Struggle was sold out but I had discovered this amazing community that offered so much love and support and in less than a week I connected with someone who had an extra strap to sell and made a wonderful new friend as well. Zox is this amazing, powerful force that goes so far beyond the awesome strap that got me into it. My soul has new strength to carry me through the tough times ahead all because of Stronger With Every Struggle.
The You Are Enough strap has been a wonderful reminder as I have been torn down in so many different ways either by peers, family, and those I've had a closer relationship with, which was very difficult, led me to self-loathing, and driven me to isolation for a long period of time, but throughout it all, I've somehow managed to move forward, seek help, make friends, reconnect with others, start loving myself, believe I'm enough, and deserve so much more. I've been wearing it ever since I received it in the mail, and it's been helping me push through my current hardships by reminding me that the only person I need to be enough for is myself. The fact that I still somehow move forward and try making myself a better person than who I was the day before is great. Looking back at my life a 1-2 years ago, I have definitely improved, which is something my parents never noticed, but I did. It's been quite a difficult journey, but I'm so proud that I continue on through it all. I'm far from perfect, but I am enough.
Dreamer will always hold a place in my heart among all Zox straps. Not only because it was mt first strap, but also because of how I acquired it. I was going through chemotherapy for Multiple Myeloma in the beginning of 2017 when a stranger who was going through chemotherapy as well noticed I was struggling emotionally, mentally and physically. She didn't even know my name, yet she came up to me and said, "You look like you could use a smile. I know it seems odd... but someone gave me this bracelet thing when I needed a smile and I would like to give it to you." She then took Dreamer off her wrist and gave it to me. Her kindness and sweet heart truly did make me smile and the little creatures on Dreamer made me smile too because they were so cute. She then told me that if one day I see someone else needing a smile, that I gift it on to them. The girl and I never crossed paths again at the hospital, but within a week I had already gifted the strap to someone else to try and help them feel better. All I asked was that they try to see some positive in their life and then give Dreamer to someone else down the road. The same day I gifted it on to someone else, I went onto the Zox site and ordered my own Dreamer. Since that day I have bought, gifted and been gifted many straps, but none have meant so much to me as that first one, Dreamer. I don't know where that strap is today, but I know it has changed so much in my life over the past year and a half. Without that strap, I wouldn't have the amazing friends and family I do now.
That's it for this month's stories. If you'd like to submit your own, please click the link below. If your story is featured, we'll give you a $50 voucher for ZOX.la as our way of saying thanks.