Friday, January 24, 2014

That ugly little word...

I have a little morning routine.  It's not fancy, it's not much.  But I do it.  Like clockwork.  (I guess that's why they call it a routine.)

After I get my kids off to school (today it was only my oldest), I settle in on the couch for a quick round of, "let's see what happened on Facebook overnight while my youngest was practicing his pugilism skills on me" before I start my day.

It's not like I can't get my laundry done, my house cleaned or my errands accomplished without getting online.  I can.  (Although, my husband would disagree.)  I'm just nosey.  And some mornings I'm grumpy.  So I want to see if someone posted something a little bit snarky to put a smile on my face.

But this morning as I was trolling through all the posts, I came across the one that brought a tear to my eye.  A friend of mine lost her sister to cancer this morning.  I hate that disease.  I really despise it.  It's that nasty thing that doesn't discriminate, it just takes.  And leaves emptiness and destruction in its wake.

I watched my grandfather die from it.  And now my grandmother is battling that awful thing, too.

I used to belong to a "card" club.  Me and a group of other paper-crafting junkies would get together about once a month.  We'd go out to dinner, gab it up, and pass around cards that we'd made.  We made one for each person in the group.  And every month was different.  Some months we picked a theme, or a paperpack, or a technique.  Some months we made a "use your stash" card.  There were six of us in the "club", so we each left with six new cards.  All different designs and each was hand crafted.  These women stuck with me from the beginning when I didn't know what I was doing, supported me through botched techniques and helped bolster my confidence with their praise and laughter.  She was a part of this group.

It was at one of these dinners, that we coined the phrase "card worthy".  In order for someone to be card worthy, we had to be willing to design and create one of our own masterpieces.  (Which we always laughed was a month long process.  Every single one of us would just about come in and say, "don't judge me, I finished these on my lunch today".  None of us ever judged.  We were all in the same boat.)  Not everyone in my life has been card worthy.  Even though I have a stockpile of hand crafted cards ready for a stamp and a salutation, I still drop by Walgreens for one of those 99 cent Shoebox cards occasionally.

We started spacing our dinners further and further apart.  And eventually, we stopped getting together.  Our lives just pulled us all in different directions.

But when I saw her post, I knew a Shoebox card wasn't going to cut it.  I pulled out my handy-dandy Originals card making book, flipped through the patterns and pulled out my tools.  It took me all day.  The baby was at home and he was only happy to keep himself entertained for short periods of time.   And I took full advantage of the time he gave me to create this sweet little card.

I wanted it to be simple and elegant, like my friend.  I liked the sparkle that the teal shimmer trim added and used the Lagoon card stock behind the image to create a little extra pop of color. I had a hard time with the stamped image.  I wanted to go with a different stamped image, but it clashed with the pattern paper and I wanted to keep that.  Luckily, I'm a stamp junky.

I have a hard time with sympathy cards.  Not because I'm not sympathetic.  Because I am.  Especially in this case.  I know what it's like to watch this nasty, horrible disease take someone you love for no apparent reason.  I have a hard time because I want the card recipient to know how truly and deeply sorry I am for their pain.  I want it to be pretty and  peaceful.

I hope this card eases some of my friend's pain.  If only for a moment.

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