Monday, November 5, 2012

Defining Moments and my "Why"
We all have reasons for doing what we do, for pursuing the things that bring enjoyment to our life.  Recently I shared my "why" with my team for working toward a business and leadership in Close To My Heart.  I hope you will take a couple minutes to read these thoughts to understand my heart.
Fifteen years ago I was in the midst of what would become four events that rank high on the life stress list.  These events left be emotionally bankrupt though I was trying to handle it.

First we had weddings for our two older children in Illinois.  Karen (our daughter) was married on July 26th.  We flew out a couple days early so I could finish her dress and we could put together the final arrangements for the reception food.  I was excited to think that my mother would get to be there.  Having been blind for three years and on kidney dialysis for two years she had been living for the time of grandchildren weddings.  I had made some special slippers for her to wear since she lost a toe, couldn’t feel her feet any longer and shoes just wouldn’t fit.  Dad showed up at the wedding--without Mom.  Mom was just too sick to come.

The second wedding for our older son was exactly three weeks later.  August 16th.  We flew out once more to be there a little ahead of time.  The day before the wedding I went to see Mom.  She was still very ill and told me she wouldn’t be at the wedding.  Dad took me out in the hall of the nursing home and with tears in his eyes pleaded for me to talk to Mom about quitting the dialysis.  She had mentioned in the past that she wanted to and Dad didn’t want to bring it up thinking she might take it as him wanting to get rid of her.  So I reluctantly entered her room and had a discussion that was so poignant.  The morning of the wedding Mom called and said she just couldn’t “do this anymore.”  I went to the wedding knowing it wouldn’t be long before she wasn’t in this life anymore.

I stayed in Illinois to be with Mom and Dad waiting for the inevitable.  Dad retired on September 1st (he was 76!) and Mom died on September 4th between the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. 

Finally home again, we were delighted when Dad drove out to spend some time with us and help Ron with a car repair project.  He arrived on October 31st.  On November 16th I gave him a hug and said “I love you Dad” before he went to bed here in our home.  Little did I know that those would be the last earthly words he would hear because that night he died in his sleep.

What does that have to do with CTMH?  The next Spring someone invited me to a DOTS party.  I immediately loved the art I could create!  I tried to learn everything I could about this stamping stuff.  I wanted to know it all!  Stamping became therapy to me as I made beautiful things and gave them away to brighten someone else’s day.

A little more than a year later, I took the plunge to be a consultant.  I enjoyed meeting with people to stamp and work with pretty paper and showing them something new I had learned.  After 13 1/2 years that still brings me joy.  It is what drives me to create something for you every single month without stress because it is what I have a passion for.

I am at the ready to consult with you on a project, not merely to make a sale.  I believe each person has creativity and at times I may be able to encourage it so you can say with pride, "I made that".  I count it a high honor to be asked because I know you will receive rewards many times over with a handcrafted gift from the heart.  

With you in mind,