I have had a hard time talking about things that make me cry, but I gotta go deep for you to understand the situation to the fullest. As I sit here, the tears are already welling in my eyes and my heart is throbbing. Palms sweaty. Shaky. All of it.
I know a 100% that the people you meet are given to you for a reason. So when I met Shelley and her family I immediately knew they would be forever in my life, because this was love at first sight in the truest form.
After 2 months of having Shelley in my life, she came to me with the most gut wrenching news. Her husband had been diagnosed with ALS. Words could barely come out of both mine and Shelley's mouths and in this situation, tears were the only form of communication. We sat there and crippled to our knees, tightly holding each other and just sobbed.
At the time I really didn't know too much about ALS, aside from the Ice Bucket Challenge that had recently went viral. When I finally educated myself on the rare disease, I just could not fathom the out come for this family.
Now it should be said that this family is not what I would call 'typical'. Shelley for one is my close personal Oprah Winfrey. Her heart & soul are like something I have never experienced. She is so full of humour and beyond fun to be around and she is one of those people that would give the shirt off their back. Their son Adam who at the time of his fathers diagnosis was just 16, is the most mature, kind natured, ambitious person that I have actually ever met. I am totally serious, this kid has taught me so many life lessons that if you ever just get the chance to be in his presence you will be wow'd no doubt! And then there is the hero of them all. Gerard. This man took the cards that were dealt to him and met it face on. The bravery that he displayed ever single day, no matter how hard his days were, was something out of this world. His humour and sense of positivity through this difficult time was like nothing else I had ever seen.
Being an outsider to the situation I knew that something had to be done for this family. I am also a firm believer in that even the smallest of things count. So my plan was to do a fundraiser for this family that was unique to them. Shelley is a candle addict just like myself so I thought...hmmm I wonder if I could make a candle that would smell delicious and raise some funds for this family.
You can obviously guess the rest of the story! Months into experimenting, playing with waxes, melt temperatures, pour temperatures, an enormous amount of scent mixing and everything else in between the Gratitude Candle was born. It was so well received by the community, and sold out so quickly that multiple batches had to be made.
When all was said and done, I decided I actually wasn't done by any means. That whole process was way to fun and I had already began day dreaming about all of the other candle scents I wanted to concoct. And that my friends is how Ebony & Ivory Candle Co was born.
It is truly unfortunate to say and leave you with this hard piece of news at the very end but approximately 2 years from his diagnosis Gerard lost his battle with ALS. Today, we honour him through the ALS fundraising walks and every year I will bring back the Gratitude Candle to continue to raise funds!
For more information on ALS and to donate please go to
xoxo Brianne Edwardson