Monday, August 6, 2012

Soft Sympathy and a Call for Cards

I liked all the white-on-taupe/brown stuff I saw in 1,000 Bags, Tags, and Labels, so I made this soft and simple sympathy card.



The leaves are embossed using white craft ink from SU and white embossing powder on SU sahara sand card stock. Popped up on a white card, the panel rests on a sentiment from a PTI set (can't remember which). It looked plain and a bit unbalanced, so I added the half pearls.

Soft, sincere, and simple. That's a perfect plan for a sympathy card.

A Call for Cards

I commented recently that with the draw-down in troops overseas, I expected to make fewer cards. Well, I was premature, as reader Diane informed me.

Operation Write Home is struggling to meet the need for cards requested from the troops. So I'll send the box of 137 cards I have sitting on my desk to them in the next few days. If you're looking for a source to send your creations, check out OWH's website. I just registered, ordered the free OWH stamp for the backs of cards, and am ready to keep stamping to help them meet the requests of our soldiers, sailors, marines, and air force personnel.

Some of you already know that I was married to the United States Air Force for twenty years. The sacrifices that our armed services personnel make are considerable even in times of peace. War, however, is hell. It's hard for me to write about some of the times we went through, but I'll share one experience that might help some of you understand why it's important to support for our troops.

When George deployed in January 2003, he was flying in the back seat of the B-1 bomber. Our elder son was three and the younger was just five months old. In a lot of ways, I was on auto-pilot at the time, getting Nick to his preschool activities, grocery shopping, changing diapers, etc. I tried to keep things as normal as possible for the boys, with the background music of news channels running all day and night on television. When the air war started in March, I knew George was flying missions and only knew he was safe when he emailed me afterwards.

It was awful, waiting for those emails, wondering.

One afternoon, I was driving the boys home from Nick's gymnastics lesson or the grocery store or some other normal place. From the back seat, I heard Nick's voice pipe up, full of joy and faith and love: "We're going to see daddy when we get home!"

No, honey. No, we're not.

I knew at that moment George was probably flying a mission on the other side of the world, dodging anti-aircraft missiles and flak, and praying to get his bombs on target. (He did. Every time.)

I had to pull off the side of the road and, as quietly as possible, have a complete breakdown with Nick in the back asking, "What's wrong, Mommy?"

We were lucky. Our service member came home safe and whole and without PTSD (even if he was a bit weird for a while, LOL!). Not every family is so blessed.

ANYTHING that helps our military and their families deal with this oh-so-abnormal life is good. Cards are good. The military personnel enjoy having cards to send to their loved ones, and their loved ones LOVE seeing their handwriting, holding something their soldier, sailor, marine, or airman/woman held. The emails were so appreciated, but not all our personnel have access to computers or phones regularly.

If you can send cards, take time to read the card requirements and give our military personnel the benefit of your obsession for making cards.

They really, truly, deep-down, over-the-top appreciate it.

And so do their families.







34 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful card and your story. I haven't sent a box to OWH for a while, so I appreciate the reminder. :)

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  2. Your cardstock combo and white embossing are very striking in a quiet way. I like it a lot. Your sentiments about military personnel are very touching and obviously heartfelt. I couldn't agree with you more.

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  3. Susan, your card is beautiful, and will be a comfort to someone in need. Thanks for all you do for our servicemen and women. Our son in law is currently in a not-so-safe FOB, and he and his unit are so appreciative of every little gift or card they receive. I know that they would appreciate a package like this. You are so generous and thoughtful. God bless you, my friend!

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  4. What a beautiful card, Susan. Love the kraft and white together. I also love that you will be sending your cards to OWH. I have sent many cards to them and have another box to go on my desk. Its great that they will also provide you with a free stamp to add to the back of your cards...I have that, too! Thanks for letting everyone know about such a worthy cause...and thanks for sharing your DH with our country on our behalf. It is appreciated more than you know!

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  5. I love this card- the white on the Kraft and then layered on the white again!
    I often have more cards than I need; being in Canada, I have not yet figured out where I can send them...I have thought of donating them to a Ronald MacDonald house- it has been of great assistance to 2 dear friends who have had to travel to Children's Hospital with their children with chronic illnesses...

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  6. Love this card! Hope it's in the gallery on SCS so I can save to my favorites; or I'll have to pin it on Pinterest ( with proper link to this blog of course )..or maybe I"ll do both! :-)

    Thanks for sharing that very personal piece of your family life. It's an amazing reminder of how very much is sacrificed by our military and their families. I will send some cards off to OWH before the end of the year!!

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  7. Fabulous post. I agree 100%. I hope it inspires me to get a box ready to send. I have so many cards I've made and they just sit in a container, waiting to be used. Your card is really PERFECT design work. Love it.

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  8. Your card is beautiful, Susan. I have cards waiting to go to Operation Write Home. They've been accumulating for more than a year, so now seems like a good time to send them.

    My son was in Iraq in 2009, so I understand what you mean by the autopilot you functioned on with your husband overseas. While my son was in a support position and not often on the front lines, I still felt I was living a half life...half of me was always on hold, waiting to hear from him and writing letters or emails to keep his spirits up. I, too, was lucky enough to get my son back safe and sound, physically and mentally. I have friends who's husbands were gone at the beginning of the war, 2003, and they still don't have the men back that they sent to Iraq. Some have sought counseling, and others are still living with strangers, wondering when or if their husbands will every "come home".
    I'll be sure to get that box of cards out tomorrow and start a new one right away. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks for the inspiration of your beautiful cards.

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  9. I like your card. Thanks for sharing your experience. It touched my heart. :)

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  10. LOVE this card. So beautiful and inspiring. Thank you too for your glimpse of military life.

    I also have to tell you, I read you every day; but I don't always have time to comment. I WANT to; but just not enough hours in my day. I appreciate the time you put into your blog and love the work that you do.

    Thanks for being you!

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  11. Susan, your card is so lovely and so perfect - it will go into my file for inspiration for sympathy cards.

    Your story about your breakdown in the car prompted by Nick's comment was so touching. I am very lucky to have been born post-WWII and to have lived most of my life in Canada so have never been at war. My mother's stories of growing up in England through WWII are heart-wrenching.

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  12. Wow, Susan. Thank you for sharing your story. Almost all my cards go to Operation Write Home. I really appreciate your writing about it.

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  13. I adore this card, but am touched by your personal family story of life in the military even more. I'm a big fan of OWH, so was also going to mention their ongoing need to you. They just got a NEW request to help serve 5000 sailors, so the need is definitely there. My local VFW requests handmade cards, so I donate to them, but whatever gets cards to our military personnel in order for them to have something special to send home is OK by me.

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  14. Susan, your red rubber stamp is going postal today from NC! Thank you for donating your cards to OWH! I visit your blog regularly, and when I opened your request, I thought, I know her!

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  15. I finally registered at OWH. I've been sending cards to various organizations for years, but now this one gets my stuff.

    Thanks for the extra push!

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  16. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. Pat K.

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  17. Should have said it long ago, but a big "thank you" to your husband and your whole family for your service to our country. Many times even if we do think of our servicemen and women and the sacrifices they make for us we don't always remember that the whole family serves and sacrifices not just the person in uniform. So, thank you again to you, your husband and your boys.

    Great card, by the way. One of my favorite color combos.

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  18. Thank you for your family's service, for sharing your beautiful card and the wonderful story. I send cards to OWH on a regular basis. It is stories like yours that remind me why I do. God Bless!

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  19. your card is beautiful
    thank you for sharing your personal story and sharing the need for cards at Operation Write Home - every card you make and send to OWH - brings a smile to so many faces and warms the hearts of our heroes and their family and friends.

    Barb Housner

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  20. Susan, I have been sending my homemade cards to Operation Write Home for eight months now. Thank you for writing about OWH on your blog so others can hear about it too. The OWH card makers have sent 1.7 million cards in the past five years , and I am honored and humbled to be a very small part of that. And thank you for sharing your story, it was touching.

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  21. Lovely card, heartfelt story, thanks for sharing and inspiring us.

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  22. Love, love, love this card!!! So CAS yet it packs such a punch with the embossing and pearls. Went directly into my favorites to CASE one of these days.

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  23. Thanks for reminding me of this amazing cause, and as I'm in the UK I've just looked around online to find out what the equivalent to OWH is, and its called Support our soldiers, so any UK crafters can send things to our troops through them. http://www.supportoursoldiers.co.uk/irshop.aspx?section=content&page=101

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  24. Beautiful card and a beautiful post!

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  25. Your card is beautiful, and thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. Really puts things into perspective, because when I start sweating the small stuff in my life and taking things for granted, stories like this bring me back down to earth in a big way :)

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  26. Beautiful Card! I have been a member of OWH for a couple years now, but if I wasn't, your post would inspire me to run over there, sign up, get my free stamp and craft away! Thank you for sharing.


    Hummer Hugs,
    Misty
    http://deliteful-gifts.blogspot.com/
    http://deliteful-alpha-sets.blogspot.com/
    hummingbird204 at comcast dot net

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  27. Wonderful cards and story. Thanks for sharing. I <3 OWH and make cards to send to them too. Go Navy! -Proud Seabee Mom.

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  28. This card is stunning and elegant and perfect for a sympathy card! Your story was very touching. Thank you so much for sharing that with your readers and thank you for all the sacrifices you went through while your husband was in the service. God Bless You and your family ♥

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  29. one word for you, the card, the post, and your husband...CLASSY.

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  30. Beautiful card, Susan, and thanks for sharing your sentiments. Can't tell you the number of times I went through your moments when my hubs was deployed. The kiddos were the troopers, not me!

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  31. Your card is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story. You are very much appreciated.

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  32. God bless you, your husband and your sweet kids for your sacrifice. Your experience brings tears to my eyes. You've touched my heart... thank you for that. Please pass my gratitude on to your husband as well.

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  33. It is amazing what our service people do for us, but I find like with people dealing with a disease, it's almost harder for the others who are supporting them. The warrior has a battle plan. The supporter has more time to wait and worry.

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  34. Thank you for the continued inspiration-loved this card so much-had to create something similar. http://basementstamper.blogspot.com/2014/03/berry-happy.html

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