I spent the last week in Florida with my mother, hoping to keep her spirits up on the 1 year anniversary of my father’s death. We spent a good deal of time reminiscing about him – his unapologetically unique and authentic self, his attributes as well as his faults. She and I cried a little, laughed a lot, and we fought some, too. I guess it wouldn’t be my family if there wasn’t at least a little of that. But I think my mission was accomplished – I definitely kept her busy!
On two occasions, I also got to spend some quality time with my aunt and uncle. Growing up, I adored these two so much. My aunt was always creative, passionate, hip. And my uncle was such a loving partner to her. In getting to know my uncle, seeing how he cared for my aunt, what was once my fractured image of what a life partner ought to be was shaped into something much brighter, much more tender.
A few years ago, my uncle was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. And since then, mostly from afar, I’ve seen his condition slowly deteriorate. At first, during family gatherings I was able to attend, I’d notice that he’d forget what I had just told him in conversation. No big deal, I didn’t mind repeating. Now, he sometimes forgets who I am. He clearly remembers his distant past, his youth. My aunt is his touchstone. Years ago, I always loved being around these two when they joked with one another. Spending time together on this visit, I got to see him be playful in just the way he always used to. He’s still there. But his confusion about what’s happening to him is definitely growing. I can’t imagine an illness worse than one, which, bit by bit, takes away all your memories.
The way I understand it, routine becomes really important to individuals suffering from this disease. So I’ve decided to add cards from me to my Uncle Yet’s daily routine, firstly, to hopefully give him a reason to get up and out the door of his unit, and secondly, to help my aunt through the challenges ahead with reminders of simple things for which we can be grateful. I may share some of these simple projects with you. Perhaps all. We’ll see. I will tell you that I’m glad to have found renewed purpose through cardmaking, a way to hopefully help.
For my first card, I picked up some bright mixed media scraps – these had been painted way back when with Clearsnap iZinks and a brayer.
The bright happy colors reminded me of the simple pleasure of how sunshine feels after you’ve been cooped up.
I used a die from the new Happy Trims set that I used in my last Sizzix blog post. This one has an intricate leaf pattern. This die barely fit inside my scrap piece of paper – the Magnetic Platform was so useful in keeping my die exactly centered on top of the scrap!
All three dies in this set really exploit the potential for detail possible through die-cutting.
To simplify adhering this small die-cut to a card front, I used my Xyron X Tool. Love that thing!
I liked the random look of leaving whichever leaf interiors decided to hang on, so I left them. A few sequins, some staples, and a word – something simple about this life for which we can be grateful.
These warm and cool hues always make a funky, energetic pairing, don’t you think?
I’m still doing my 365Grateful journal and am thinking it has probably influenced this process I’m initiating with my cards. What a beautiful ritual that has truly improved the quality of my life!!!