Friday, November 09, 2012
As a follow-up to Wednesday's post, I thought I would share what we sent to Lindsey's family this week as a thinking of you gift.
A few weeks ago, Amanda from Wit and Whistle shared a little round up of some of her favorite Etsy finds, and I spotted these golden butterflies in the list. Immediately, I thought of Lindsey and her family because Lindsey loved butterflies, and since her death they have been a kind of "remembering Lindsey" symbol.
They seemed like the perfect little gift--small enough not to be too much of a burden (as in, "Oh, thanks . . . now where do I put it?), simple enough to fit easily into any decor, and, well, just beautiful. Plus, I realized, there could be one for Lindsey's family and one for us to keep! (I don't always buy double on a gift so I can keep one--I just thought it might be meaningful to the Boehms to know we had a little reminder hanging up in our home as well.) :)
I have learned to go ahead and purchase things like this when I see them, rather than waiting and deliberating for too long (whenever the price is right) because some of the best gifts are just those things that made you think of someone. And if you saw it and thought of them, there is probably a good reason.
I chose a butterfly to send to the Boehms, kept one aside for our wall (it's sitting on the mantle right now), and made a little card using gold paper and a butterfly punch. Then I packaged it all up in tissue paper and twine and threw in some extra gold paper butterflies for Cadence and Selah, just for fun.
I love thinking of you gifts--no matter the occasion. And I am so happy with my half of the deal--a really lovely matching gold butterfly on my mantel reminding me of a special girl and her dear family.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
In the second session, Nancy shared some excellent advice and insight about relating to a friend who is suffering. I basically cried through the session. So much of what she said took me back to this time six years ago as I watched my friends grieve the loss of their 5-year-old daughter.
I wrote about Lindsey earlier this year on her birthday in April. Today marks 6 years since her death.
While Lindsey's birthday is a bittersweet day, it is at least a time for celebrating her birth and life. I feel for my friends who miss the daughter they can't celebrate in person on that day, but I rejoice with them over the fact that Lindsey was born and that she lived for five years.
But November 7 is more of just the bitter side of things, as it is a day filled with agonizing memories. On this day, I just try to say "I miss Lindsey, and I haven't forgotten."
One of the most beautiful things Nancy Guthrie said in regards to a friend's grieving process was this--she said not to be afraid of or uncomfortable with the tears and sadness or see these things as a problem to be overcome or "gotten over" in a timely manner. Because, she said--
"There are some things worth crying about, some people worth a great sorrow."
Nancy did reference the joy that Christians can have in knowing that their loved one is in God's presence--she said, "The presence of God is not tragic." So true! But she encouraged us as Christian friends not to be too quick to put that balm of healing on an open, gaping wound. Instead, she said, make room for the tears and sadness.
The day after Lindsey died, I went to my friend Laura's house to bring a small gift to Lindsey's little sister Cadence (age 3 at the time). The movie Cars had just come out on DVD, and I had been thinking about giving that to Lindsey and Cadence anyway because we had seen that movie together as families just a few months prior. That day Caroline and I stopped by to drop it off and check on Cadence. When we got to the house, Jason and Laura weren't there (they were out making burial and funeral arrangements with the help of a family member), but Cadence was upstairs playing with her cousins. The house was full of friends and family members, many from out-of-town. One friend had me write my name down on a sheet of paper where she was starting to keep track of visitors, and as I looked at that sheet and looked around at the rooms full of sisters and friends taking care of things for Laura, I lost it emotionally.
I was standing there with people who were even more closely touched by Lindsey's death than I was, and I felt terrible for coming over to cry in front of them. I felt like I should get it together before Cadence came downstairs, but I couldn't. I said, "I'm so sorry, I just can't help it!" And Laura's friend--who had welcomed me into the kitchen cheerfully and graciously, but who had no doubt cried her own share of tears that morning--said warmly, "Goodness--if we can't cry about this, then what can we cry about?"
Those words have gone over and over in my mind ever since. I think she was saying something very similar to what Nancy said. Of course we will cry. The reality is that even though we do not grieve as though we have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14), losing someone is sorrowful. And they are worth the tears.
Today, as I think about Lindsey and her sweet family, I will let the tears come as they may and see them as a testament to the fact that Lindsey was a very, very special girl with a meaningful life and that her loss was profound. And I don't think that needs to be apologized for or given a disclaimer. I feel like I understand this better today than ever before.
We love and miss you, Lindsey Grace Boehm.
More about the picture at the top of this post can be found here--what Caroline and I did on this day in 2007.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Hi, friends! I am sorry for the long absence . . . I was out of town for a conference last week and failed to mention it. I am back now, trying to get caught up on laundry and housework and . . . a little bit of blogging.
I thought I would post my mail for week 3 of 52 Weeks of Mail--a thinking of you card for my cousin Tyler. I just wrote him a simple note and added a few fun touches to the envelope using washi tape and these awesome pens (they carry them at Paper Source, but I would suggest using a 40% off Michaels coupon and buying them there since they are pretty pricey--they are totally opaque and create a slightly raised surface, which I love).
It's currently week 5 (I totally missed week 4 while I was gone), and I have already sent out some of week 5's mail--a special gift for our friends the Boehms (Lindsey's family). I will write more about that at the end of the week and will hopefully pop in tomorrow to share a little more about the conference I attended and more about Lindsey as well, as tomorrow marks 6 years since she went on to be with Jesus.
Has anyone else been sending mail? I know some of you have, since my mailbox has had a few fun surprises recently. Thank you! :)
Friday, October 26, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I asked for suggestions for a care package I was putting together for my 12-year-old cousin Ryan, who was undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn ACL.
I got some great suggestions in the comments of that post, some on facebook, and some by email, and I am going to compile them into their own post. For now, I thought I would tell you what I sent.
I ended up keeping it pretty simple for time's sake--I wanted to get it in the mail so that Ryan would get it soon after her surgery, while she was still recovering and needing something to keep herself busy. Fortunately, two cousins that live closer to her were able to deliver a book and a DVD to her in person. So I went the crafty route.
My aunt confirmed that Ryan was still into crafting (I was hoping so!), and that she had never heard of Smash books, so I sent her this one, along with 2 fun Gelly Roll pens, some mini alphabet stamps and an ink pad, stickers to decorate with, a roll of black-and-white polka dot tape, and a band that goes around the Smash book and also serves as a pen holder. (Fortunately, Michaels was having a sale on stamps, ink, and stickers at the time and I had a 40% off coupon for one item as well!)
The Smash books are basically just updated versions of the original concept of scrapbooking--nothing perfect or symmetrical or laid out--just stuff "smashed" into a book of memories. I love the idea and think this product can actually span a pretty wide age group. Watch this video and tell me if it makes you giddy with excitement like it did me. :) Because I always feel the need to make something my own, I might do this with a sketch book or Moleskine rather than a pre-made book (though their books are really well done). But still--I love this video.
So anyway, I don't have a lot of great pictures of the package--just the one I snapped right before I boxed it up. But now you know what was in it!
Ryan also got a handmade "Feel Better Soon" card with a smiley happy heart on it and some random circles of large neon confetti that you can see in the picture of the box above. :)
This was my little effort at sending some recovery cheer in the mail. I loved all the ideas I was given (thank you, friends!) and will share those soon!
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I sent three pieces of mail for week 2 of 52 Weeks of Mail. Week 2 was last week, but I delay posting about the mail so that it has time to get where it's going. In this case, however, I am guessing that it is just now reaching its destination because these three sat on the kitchen counter a few extra days, even though they were addressed and stamped! I hate when that happens! Why does that happen, anyway?
I mailed a postcard made from the box of a Betty Crocker cake mix to a friend, a letter to my sister, and a note to Jeff's dad (from both Jeff and me).
You can't tell from the outside, but the envelope for my sister is lined in neon green--yay! I love kraft and neon.
Are you sending any mail this week? My mailbox is always open. :)