My card today sort of evolved as I stamped and colored and tried to make sense of and get control of my feelings. It has been a difficult couple of weeks, with the devastating news of a dear friend's stage four endometrial cancer.
I have known our dear Jackie for three years. She was the cook/housekeeper at our church, where I am the secretary. Jackie worked every Wednesday, and spent some time between chores in my office. We joked that she was coming to confession when she sat in the chair in front of my desk. We laughed together, we cried, we talked about everything and nothing. She made me smile...she made everyone smile. Her sassy countenance was a refreshing divergence from the every day frustrations our jobs brought. I could feel myself perk up just knowing it was Wednesday and Jackie would be in.
As I worked, Jackie's personality wiggled its way into my composition. I chose yellow...vibrant, fun, soothing, promising in its playful hues. Yellow is the color I choose to ascribe to Jackie....her kind smile and playful laugh that drew you in; her pride and joy when she spoke of her grandchildren, her nurturing yet straightforward nature....yes, it must be yellow. Bright and full of life and joy and energy...and just a hint of irreverence.
When our pastor moved to another parish, it meant we no longer needed a housekeeper, so Jackie moved on to another parish. But she stopped in now and then, and we kept in touch. She met some of us for lunch regularly, and we always had the loudest table in the restaurant with all of us laughing at her outlandish stories.
All too quickly, Jackie's visits became less frequent. It was difficult to reach her by phone, and she missed a couple of our lunches. And then the news. Cruel. Fragmented. Cold. Devastating. And now the words no one wants to say, or hear, but must be talked about.....metasticized, chemo, surgery, hospice.
Hence the word that emerged on my artwork....Hope. Hope, because Jackie is a gift to each of us whose lives she has touched. Hope, because even in sickness Jackie talks about life, and how good hers has been. Hope, because hope keeps us going and gives us strength to be there for Jackie in whatever way she needs us to be.
I ask you for a favor today....please whisper a prayer for Jackie. And every time you see yellow this week, smile and send another prayer on its way....for her, and for those who love her and are walking with her through this valley.