If you were to ask me what I thought my greatest gifts are, I would have to say my ability to bring people together and create community, my ability to heal with humor, and my ability to use music to set a tone.
In Januaury 2002 I went to my first Stampin' Up! party. I knew within minutes THIS was for me. I could color, I could use markers. I could use glitter! SIGN ME UP! Within months, Stamped the pINK Way was born.
My years with SU! provided me with my first real stomping ground into what would morph into TGHR. When I stopped stamping, THE single thing I missed the most was the community of women who would gather each month to create, laugh, share, cry and just be together.
We created in the Magic Basement. We created at Blythdale Children's Hospital. We created at Sherri's beautiful mountain top home in NJ. We created at parties. We created at each and every SU! sponsored event I ever went to.
SU! introduced me to some of my dearest and closest friends. With many different backgrounds, and many different faiths, we all shared a passion for the craft and art of rubber stamping.
I was addicted to the AOL Chat Boards back then. I searched the boards for SU! people and I met soul sisters of stamping. Although stamping was the focus of the board, our lives intertwined as we got to know each other through our back and forth conversations, often more than once a day. It was on this board I met my friend, Amy.
She also has a heart that misbehaves. Far too much. She has cardiomyopathy. It is as horrifying to the body as it is to spell. She has a pacemaker. She has some other gizmo that was helping her which was installed in the spring and changed the quality of her life for the better. It was installed two days after she buried her brother from the same disease. She is not yet 40.
Through it all, it is her faith that keeps her grounded. Bar none, I was her most cynical friend. (Anyone who knows me well could easily chime in here...questioning faith is something I have done my whole life.) I am kind. I am generous. I am loving. But I was always, ALWAYS questioning.
When Amy first went into the hospital over a year ago, I did something utterly out of the ordinary. I went onto Facebook and asked for a prayer chain. ME. I did that. Well, five days later when her doctor couldn't get over the miracle of her recovery she informed him that some pretty amazing people had been praying for her and as such, God took a good listen. (For the record, I was still pretty darned skeptical but I was paying a tad more attention...)
Amy is a walking, talking miracle. I love her dearly. I respect her. She loves me despite my endless questions. As a result, my cynicism began to fade away. I decided to cross the street to the faith side. I still search for answers. I will more than likely never belong to an organized religious group. But faith...yeah, I've got it.
And a funny thing happened when I let go and let the universe take over; miracles started happening. Faith and love. They will move mountains.
I ask you, humbly, if you are reading this, to pray for my friend Amy today. She is facing yet another battle of health vs. heart. Her family needs her. I need her. The world needs her...she is a wise teacher and one who has taught me invaluable lessons.
As of this morning she will be hospitalized for a few days. If her early morning FB post is any indication, her sense of humor remains intact.
I ask you to share this so that the prayers will go far and wide and be as loud as they can be.
It seems like an awesome thing to do on a Friday.
Music courtesy of Carrie. Lyrics HERE.
UPDATE from Amy herself at 3:36pm this afternoon:
Great news! The swab for that nasty flu came back negative. That is an answered prayer. So just getting more antibiotics to fight whatever infection it is. Should know more tomorrow.
UPDATE from Amy on 1-19-13:
I appreciate all of the prayers. I have a long 2-3 weeks ahead of resting and was told that I will just generally not feel well. Bronchitis and a touch of pneumonia. Just going to be a long recovery period but so thankful to be home!