Give thanks for pen-pals.

28 Jan

The small act of sending a card is a "big thing!"

I’ve had a pen-pal for almost two years.  Her name is Cathy DeVere.  She and I breifly  worked together at a plant nursery in Boulder.  Because she “did the books” she mostly stayed in the back office.  Routinely, I’d to go back and share some enjoyable chit-chat.  We considered each other friends but didn’t hang around outside of work.

Two years ago Cathy was diagnosed with a form of throat cancer.  I don’t even know the name of the disease because it wasn’t a common one.  Cathy fought hard.  She continued to work even though she needed to be fed through a tube.  A specialist would come to work, hook up the feeding tube and feed her.  Working was her way of staying alive.  Also, one of her Sons was going to be married on a beach in a foreign land and she was hellbent on being there with him.   She had to work to afford the trip.  With great difficulty and with as much energy as Cathy could create she went to the wedding and she said it was worth every bit of struggle. When she talked about the wedding and family time together, her smile revealed her joy.

Pen-pal relationships: unique, beautiful and nourishing

After Cathy was first diagnosed I sent her a card expressing my outrage over the unfairness of it all.  It was a full card of wishes, encouragement, hugs, and healing vibes.  She returned a card thanking me and that was the beginning of our pen-pal relationship.  At the time, I didn’t know that I too had cancer.  You can imagine that after my diagnosis our letters became something extra-special that we needed and cherrished.  Because we were both undergoing treatment, it was challenging to get cards.  (This is one of the ways that I knew cancer fighters needed beautiful free cards available to them in the chemo infusion room.)

Bodhi helps deliver YOUR Project Give Thanks cards to RMCC.

This last 8 months, Cathy has received your cards, from me, as I encouraged her to stay present, eat whatever made her happy (frosties & Jamba juice) and to spend time sitting near a sunny window with her cat in her lap.  She was loosing her battle.  Cathy sent me a card saying that she “needed a miracle.”  I ached to give it to her.  By then she wouldn’t let me see her because she weighed 95 pounds and “was a concentration camp prisoner.”  I sent a pair of warm, soft, extra-small pajamas, home baked cookies full of nutrition and continued to send cards.  This Christmas her husband sent a card to me on her behalf.  It was the last from my pen-pal.  Cathy passed away on Monday, January 23rd 2012, pie day, now a bitter sweet day for me and those who loved her.  Cathy didn’t know about pie day but she would have liked it.  Wherever she’s gone I hope she’ll find another pen-pal and someone to celebrate her release from the painful grip of cancer; from her “prison.”

Thank you, everyone, for helping me encourage and comfort Cathy with your beautiful handmade cards.  She sincerely enjoyed them and always commented on their beauty.  I felt giddy over sending them to her because I knew they would make her smile every time she looked at them.  Also, I sent her 6 of your PGT cards to use and she sent one to me!  It made me so happy.

Your art is filled with the essence of who you are and that brings paper, images and words to life.  I encourage you to send your art to everyone you know and maybe save one or two for someone you don’t know.

Today, all of my hugs are going to Cathy.

Good-bye Cathy, enjoy your peace. I'll miss you pen-pal.

Love, Sonja

2 Responses to “Give thanks for pen-pals.”

  1. Michelle Zindorf January 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Huge Hugs to you Sis!

    • Project Give Thanks January 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      Thank you Michelle. If you want to post it on your site I’d appreciate it. Would like everyone who participates in PGT to know how important their contributions are. Especially YOU! Who got this project off the ground Thanks! Love Sonja.

      Using my phone, please excuse brevity & errors. Thanks, Sonja

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