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Beadlicous Babes from top left - Kym Kouzes, Julie Haug, Lori Klein, Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Carla Tischler, and Bernadette Neri.

Last summer, a group of High School friends reconnected through Facebook and our 20th reunion. We had such a good time together, it was decided we needed another excuse to gather. I suggested a beading party. They excitedly agreed, and near the end of 2009 the first meeting of what became known as the Beadalicous Babes happend.

The table was set with bead boards, beads, and tools. Another friend from High School and phenomenal chef James Schadd made us a decadent dinner.  As we know, good food and beads always bring people together! We laughed, reminisced, and made lots of beautiful jewelry!

There was one topic we tried not to focus on that night. Carla was newly diagnosed with uterine cancer. She was one of those people that only wanted to bring joy into life and was able to make people laugh in any situation.  She wanted the night to be about happiness and proudly made her mother a beautiful blue necklace as a present.

The next time the Beadalicous Babes got together, Carla had to cancel at the last minute. “I’ll be there next time, for sure! Muah!” she said. We met anyways, with several new “babes” joining, but still wishing Carla was there.

We planned our next get together for March 6, 2010.  Little did we know we would gather sooner than expected.

On the morning of February 24, Carla was rushed to the hospital with stomach pains.  By 9:30 that evening, our friend Carla, 38, that had brought light and laughter to so many, slipped suddenly away.

The Beadalicous babes gathered the following week with hundreds of others to celebrate the sunshine in our lives that was Carla Tischler. We hugged each other and smiled at the memories.

The question remained, should we still meet so soon after Carla’s passing? The answer was yes, but with a purpose. The jewelry we made that night would donated to Gilda’s Club in Chicago. Carla was one of the funniest people we knew and felt it appropriate to give it to an organization that not only honored another funny woman, but helps thousands of cancer patients and their families.

Heather Hughes, Martin Rocha, Kym Kouzes, Suzan Weisbeck Funke, Julie Haug, Mica Manaois, Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Heather Pargiello, Lori Klein, Leslie Threadgill Smith, and a picture of our dear friend Carla

As you can see, in the photo above, lots of us came together. Even Martin Rocha, surrounded by women and beads, joined in and made a bracelet for the cause. Carla will continue to bring smiles to people, this time with the jewelry made in her honor.

Jewelry donated to Gilda's Club in Carla Tischler's honor.