On Wednesday night as I was preparing my Pink Cat Studio post, I received an email from Elen's husband that reduced me to tears. Elen's father had just passed a few hours before in Greece, which meant that it was already in the future my time. Elen had less than a week with her father by the time they arrived in Greece and her father slipped away quickly. It was almost 11:00 p.m., I was tired and I hadn't yet finished my post but I couldn't stop crying. I felt so sad for Elen. I couldn't believe how little time she had with her Dad since the doctors had told them he had two to three months. Life really is fragile and precious.
I didn't get to talk to Elen until today but I did talk to her husband that night to make sure he and their son were doing okay. He said that he had the easy task. Elen must have the weight of the world on her shoulders being so far away from her husband and son. I can't imagine having to make that choice and then actually going through it. Elen told me today that she spent the last four days of her father's life by his bedside and they laughed like friends and roommates. He must've been so comforted and proud. I have no doubt that he died happy.
In the 12 years that I've known Elen, I was fortunate enough to meet her parents on several occasions and get to know them. Her parents were always generous, funny and kind. They were always grateful that I was such a good friend to Elen and they made sure that I knew it. Elen and I have been through a lot together including divorce, job loss, travel, remarriage and babies. It's almost like living two lifetimes with someone which is why my heart aches so much for Elen, especially since she's so far right now and there's only so much I can do to comfort her. I know she's looking forward to receiving my package which includes the Brave Girl card I made for her and also the card and gift set I made for her parents. I just never imagined her father wouldn't be around to see it.
To make this card for Elen, I needed a lot of help because I can't make sympathy cards. They are so hard to make, a million times harder than masculine cards. I didn't know where to begin but the colourQ challenge #80 gave me a good start.
I really love this bird image from Melody Ross' She Did It Anyway and wanted to use it as the focal point of my card. As it happens, birds are the theme over at the current Unity Challenge. The sentiment was created using the alphabets from A Little Happy. (Thanks, Cindy, for letting me know what set they're from!)
I sponged all the edges which is something I rarely do but I like the softened look it gives to the card. I tied the Honeydew twine using the cross-and-twist method I described in wrapping this gift set so it's all one piece, bow included, and secured at the back of the panel with Scor-Tape so it doesn't slip off the edge.
Sources: Gina K Designs pure luxury kraft & 120lb pure luxury white cardstock; SU Tangerine Tango cardstock; Unity+Melody Ross She Did It Anyway; Unity May 2010 Kit of the Month - A Little Happy; SU Kiwi Kiss & Cherry Cobbler inks; Tim Holtz Antique Linen & Walnut Stain Distress Inks; Papertrey Ink Edgers #1 die; QuicKutz Epic Six; The Twinery Honeydew baker's twine; Scor-Tape; Stampin' Dimensionals