Tuesday, June 30, 2009

{celebrate} aging gracefully

If you've got any tips on that, I'd love to hear 'em! ;P

Okay, onto the card....

I'm not sure why I always mention who I made each card for, but with limited time for stamping, just about every card I make is made with someone specific in mind. And sometimes there's a whole lot more that goes into my making them 'just a card'...I think it's called a bursting heart (not to be confused with a bleeding heart or enlarged heart, neither of which are as easy to live with). I can't help it; I just get that way sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. I think I'll blame it on all the wonderful people in my life...it IS all their fault, ya know. But sometimes my heart spills out here in words...too many words...not sure why. So please feel free to just skip on down to the card pics if you're not wanting to hear it...not like you need permission. lol I know you're busy, and you won't hurt my feelings. Really. ;)

So, if you're gonna hang with me for the next few minutes (thanks), here we go....

I made this card for a very dear friend of mine whose daily life is such an inspiration to me. And I can tell you all about how special she is because she isn't even aware that I have a blog. ;)

Beverly was one of my neighbors in California, and I still miss her terribly. She is the epitomy of grace, humility, and gentleness; she lives her faith, always has a smile to share, and tries to be a blessing to others...despite the fact that, ever since suffering from an unfortunate (yes, that's a HUGE understatement if there ever was one) accident at work about 15 years ago, she lives in a constant state of pain from a HORRIBLE degenerative condition she acquired as a result of said accident called RSD (reflex sympathetic disorder).

She knew it was bad, but I don't think she was prepared for the shock she received when one of her doctors, while testifying under oath as an expert witness during her Worker's Comp. trial several years ago, stated that about 90% of those afflicted with RSD ultimately commit suicide because they can no longer live with the pain. While I don't think she'd ever do that to her family, she admitted to me once that the thought had crossed her mind before and how easy it would be to do, given the amount of meds she's prescribed.

You can see it on her face and in her slow and deliberate gait; you can sense it in her incomplete sentences and abbreviated words in her emails; and you can hear it in her soft, quiet voice that she hurts beyond belief, but each day she finds the strength to go on. When she is able to drive she still takes her specially trained dog to visit the lonely, older folks at a local convalescent home, she still tends to her beautiful garden as much as possible, and she still finds the strength to get up each morning and take her dogs for a walk because she says that if she does what she feels like (which would be nothing) and gives in to the pain, she's afraid she won't get up again. And she does all this without a complaint. And with more courage, grace, and humor than I can fathom.

MAJOR drugs help; the many surgeries help; implanted medical devices help; innovative and experimental treatments help; the unfailing love and support of her most incredible and understanding husband help; and her strong and increasing faith in the Lord help; but she's still getting worse all the time. And due to the facial nerves now being impacted, she recently lost the sight in one eye. Thinking of all she's been through, the challenges each day brings, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead for her makes me so sad. I know getting angry doesn't help, so I pray. And cry. She and I both know that God is in total control and that He will continue to give her what she needs to get through each day. But it still hurts to know she's suffering so much and how so much of her life (as she knew it) has been taken from her...and all due to someone else's gross negligence. Still, she refuses to become bitter and instead looks for opportunities to praise God, knowing that He loves her and has the power to heal her and will do so if it's within His will for her life. So even though her life isn't going the way she'd hoped, she tries to find joy in this journey. She's good with that, and she completely amazes me.

Being the incredible woman and source of inspiration that she is, I probably should've made her some sort of superhero-type card, but since she radiates such beauty and absolutely loves flowers, this is what I sent this very special woman for her recent birthday:

Lots of dimension (sorry it's blurry). Fun to create. In hindsight, I should've made a few more layers for the petals, but I'd already put all of my embossing stuff away and got lazy. ;)

The sketch was a past one from CPS (and, if you're wondering, it was current at the time I made the card -lol).

Okay, I need to get my day going. Hope you have a good one!

Thanks so much for the visit, thanks for going on this ride with me, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Curious Iridescent Cryogen White (Arjo-Wiggins), Outdoor Denim (CTMH)

Patterned Paper: Bailey collection (K&Company)

Stamps: Aging Gracefully (Inque Boutique), Mixed Messages (Papertrey Ink)

Ink: Antique Linen Distress Ink (Ranger), Indian Corn Blue, Garden Green, Outdoor Denim, White Daisy pigment ink (CTMH)

Other: 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" circle punches (SU!), 1 3/4" circle punch, corner rounder punch (EK Success), flower button (Wal-Mart), blue button (Autumn Leaves), embroidery floss (DMC), VersaMark (Tsukineko), white opaque embossing powder (Stampendous), heat tool, sponges, organdy ribbon (CTMH), leaf ribbon (Papertrey Ink), Tags Trio die (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), sewing machine, thread, foam mounting tape, glue dots


Christi said...

Wow...I cannot imagine what you friend has had to go through and to have the faith that she does through it all is very inspiring. This card is gorgeous and I'm sure she will love it.

Sarah said...

I remember patients coming into the pain clinic with RSD...So very bad...made worse because there are many who belive they are 'faking' and drug seeking. I feel so very sorry for your friend struggling through each day.
I think that your card will be a little bit of sunshine in her day as it is absolutely gorgeous.
your flower and stem..the papers the embossing everything is so very elegant and gorgeous.

Stacy said...

Lovely...I can't find the words...speechless
Blessing and Prayers for you and your dear friend.

Pat said...

What an incredibly beautiful card, down to every last detail! and I know that Beverly will love it and will shed as many tears in receiving it as you shed in making it for her! Love ya, Mom

Jeanette - said...

Wow, what faith and inspiration! Your card is beautiful and I will say a prayer for Beverly!

Jeanne said...

What an incredible story you have shared about your beautiful friend. Thank you.

Your dear sweet friend will absolutely love this card, not just because it's gorgeous, but because to took the time to make it and think of her. Wow!

You say she is amazing, I think you are too, because you recognize and appreciate all she goes through and offer support and encouragement where you can.

Patti Gingrich said...

Beautiful story, beautiful card and beautiful spirit (hers and yours)!

Barb said...

Wow, Christi...this story really makes one count their blessings! I am sorry for your friend's condition. She is very blessed to have you as a friend. The card you've made for her is just beautiful. TFS