When the phone rings in the middle of the night, it's never a good thing, right?
And yesterday morning at 4:30am my phone lit up and sad news was waiting. My sweet friend, Yvonne, passed away. It was a call that I knew was coming.
It's bittersweet, as she was ready to go, I was not.
I normally don't share a whole bunch of personal stuff on here, you all come for card ideas not for sad and icky stuff.
Today I am in my craft room – and I can't do anything. Not a flipping thing. I have a to do list a mile long, and couldn't care less.
One of my last conversations with Yvonne was about life in general. I asked her what she was thinking about and she answered, “Everything.”
Sounds about right. What are the final thoughts as you know your time is near?
So I sit here today remembering funny conversations with her. She had this huge belly laugh like no one else I have ever known. She found the good in the terrible. She saw the best in people, always gave them the benefit of the doubt. She had real struggles, yet she found a way to find humor.
She was on hospice, she knew the end was near, but her mind was 100% there. As we talked for over an hour, we talked about any and everything, as we usually did. We laughed about stupid things and joked about different memories.
At the beginning of our conversation, she told me she was ready to go, and asked me to pray that the Lord come and take her. And for some reason, I replied with ok, but when you get there will you save me a seat? Her immediate response was that she would save me the biggest seat ever. I laughed and said I hope I didn't need THAT big a seat. But I did ask her to save it at a bar, and she replied with – and keep the margaritas coming!
We went on to talk about what she truly enjoyed in this life. Her child, her grandkids, her great grandkids. And then she shared how thankful she was to be able to be creative. She, like me, always wanted to be creative, but it just didn't happen for either of us until we found stamping. She loved making all kinds of paper crafts – always to give away to brighten someone else's day. A decorated post it pad, candy, a card, didn't matter – she always had someone on her mind that she needed to make something for – and that was something she had longed for her whole life, and found it at my kitchen table over a dozen years ago.
Yvonne was the FIRST member of my FIRST stamp club. She never missed a class, a camp, a club until the past two years. She LOVED paper crafting. This past weekend was my club, that she has remained in for over a decade – and for the first time, I will close out club without her. Do I care about her order and all that? Not one bit. You see, it was our standing phone call every single month. For over a decade. She wouldn't ever place her order when she was here, because then we might miss our phone call. It was usually 5 minutes of stamping talk and then over an hour of chit chat and girl talk. No matter how busy we both were, we both looked forward to that call every single month. We often talked a lot in between, but we both knew that our regular call was there just in case.
The call should have been yesterday, yet she was already gone.
If you don't know me, you don't know that I am not a crier. As I type this, the tears won't stop.
All of this typing to tell you her message…
“You never know the impact a handmade something has on someone.” And it's true. How is it on our worst days, you go to check the mail and boom – there is a unexpected card that stops you for a moment, the troubles of the day are gone, and you feel joy, love, appreciated, that someone was thinking of you enough to not only make you a card, but to send it too!
She also said, “You will never regret sending a card, but you will regret missing an opportunity!”
She encouraged me to share with the other stampers she knew to create more. To use your talents to brighten your day and others as well. This was her sadness in her last few months. She wanted to make stuff so badly and physically couldn't. We always think there is time – and she told me it all went by too fast. She thought she had a lot more time.
You are creative, you love making things – you are here on this blog for that reason.
Make a list – today. Make a list of who you should send a card to. Who could use a ray of sunshine, a touch of love, a reminder that they matter to you.
I didn't realize as I sat with Yvonne talking to her for really our last time, I went back over several more times, but she was really weak and couldn't talk much, I didn't realize that that conversation was one of the most precious conversations of my entire life.
As I was leaving that day after talking for more than an hour non-stop, I asked her if I came back the next day if she would be there. She replied with…
I don't know, but if I am not, I will save you a seat.