The Power of a Handmade Card and Handwritten Note

When was the last time you sent a card? Who do you know right now, today, that could use a smile, a little encouragement, a congratulations, an expression of your thoughts for them? 

I come from a very large family on my mom's side.  Mom was the 8th of 10 children and raised on a dairy farm in Ottawa, Ohio. All of my aunts and uncles married and together they gave my grandparents 55 grandchildren.  The next/fourth generation continues to grow by leaps and bounds as most of the 55 cousins are married and raising families of their own.  It's easy to lose track at this point, but thanks to my Aunt Ezzie and cousin Connie, the growing family list of births, marriages, and deaths is kept up to date. Collectively, we all call ourselves "Apples on the Schulte Family Tree". Quite honestly, we are large enough to be called an apple orchard at this point, like Grandma and Grandpa Schulte had on their farm.  

What wonderful memories I have of spending time on "the farm" (which was really anywhere in Putnam County and Allen County where many of the family still make their homes. My siblings and I were raised in a suburb on the west side of Cleveland. I always knew that we had the best of both worlds, the wonderful resources and goings on of a a big city but also the very different farm adventures we had with our extended family.  We cousins sure had lots of fun growing up. It's still so fun to get together to reminisce and catch up on each other's families today.

Coming from a large family means we get to share and experience great love and joy and celebrate special occasions and life happenings together. It also means that it is not uncommon for us to experience great loss. My grandparents died in 1979 and 1984, I believe.  Since then our family has shared wedding, graduations, births, and so much more. We have also shared accidents, illnesses, and deaths of loved ones. We are never alone in our happiness and celebrations of life, and we are never alone in our struggles and grief because we are "Schulte Strong" as one of my cousins put it. 

I love keeping in touch with my extended family.  Unfortunately, it's not as much as I'd like, but we do our best.  Sending hand made cards and writing notes is my go to method of keeping in touch and letting people know I am thinking of them.  

This weekend, our family said goodbye to yet another family member (there have been so many over the years and several in the last 2 years including my own mom last September). The family came together Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to say goodbye and celebrate the life of my Aunt Jan Schulte. She was incredibly kind, loving, hardworking, and family oriented. The thing about Aunt Jan that I'll carry with me most, however, is her smile and positive spirit. Even in the face of adversity (including her 1 1/2 year battle with cancer, Aunt Jan carried on with courage, grace, dignity and great faith.  It is her example of that that has helped me in recent years to not only carry on with life but thrive despite struggles and loses I have experienced and to see the abundance of good around me and be grateful.  Aunt Jan will be greatly missed but never forgotten just as other family members we have lost.

I started writing this post this morning as I was reflecting on the last couple days and realized the gift and power I have in my handmade cards. While I expressed condolences and shared memories with my Uncle Tom and cousins, so many of them thanked me for the many cards and notes I sent Aunt Jan. I sent those cards and notes because I love and care. To me it was such a simple thing to do. To Aunt Jany and their family, it meant so much.

Please do not ever underestimate the power of your cards and notes. They may seem like little things to us but to others, they mean a lot. I really believe it is the small acts of love and kindness that we do that really are the BIG things, the things that matter in life. So please, today, or this week, and continually in the future send those cards, write those notes, express your thoughts, feelings, and wishes for someone on paper and mail it to them.  

makesomethingthatmeanssomething #makeacardsendacard  #youllbegladyoudid 

Here are some of the cards I've made and will be putting in the mail tomorrow hoping they bring comfort and happiness to those receiving them.

Swirly Bird Stamp Set, Flourishing Phrases Stamp Set

Heartfelt Sympathy Stamp Set

Flourishing Phrases Stamp Set

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