Monday, October 2, 2017

Heidi Swapp -- Crop and Create 2017

I've just returned from the Crop and Create Cornwall 2017.  What a great time we had, each and every event I meet more people and it is really starting to feel like home.  This years special guest was Heidi Swapp, what an honour it was to meet her.
Heidi spoke at the event, she lost her son a couple of years ago, she spoke of why what we scrapbookers do is so important.  I always knew I loved scrapbooking, but listening to Heidi made me reflect on why it was important to me.  So I decided to tell you a bit of my story.
I lost my mother to cancer when I was nine years old.  It was a long journey for her she was in the hospital for two consecutive years before she passed away.  I don't have much left of her, an old sewing case (cookie tin) she kept her threads in, her old singer, and a couple of photo's.
My youngest brother was diagnosed with cancer when he was 16 years old, he was given just 9 months to live, but I'm happy to say 30 years later he's still doing great.
When I was in my late teens my first sister in law committed suicide, she was 7.5 months pregnant at the time.  What a loss, and seeing my brother in such pain was heartbreaking.

I was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 at the age of 35, I was told I probably had 5 years, I spent nights looking at my sleeping children, crying, you know you are strong during the day, but just crumble at night. I had letters written for my son's who were 6 and 8 years old, letters for graduation, letters for Christmas, letters for the day they got married.  Thanks to a clinical trial I was on I'm  happy to report its now been twenty years.  I've grown accustom to not having any breast, ovaries,or any female parts and I love who I am.
Last year I lost my oldest brother to cancer.   I completed 6 scrapbooks for each of my remaining siblings and my parents and sister in law. he was a good man and lost his life too early.

This year my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and we are coping with that, one day at a time.  I spent much of the weekend scrapping the loss of our precious dog Cooper for my husband (Cooper died in June).  I needed to bring him some joy.  When I showed him the pages he smiled and wiped tears from his eyes.

This year I wanted to spend some of my marketing dollars (Allstate pays half of what I spend), at the Crop and Create.  It was important to me that my $$ went towards something I was passionate about.
Heidi asked me why I donated 2 $200 gift cards, I said, scrapbooking is what represents me.  As I reflect on Heidi's message I know its because this is what matters in life, it is what helps us in hard times, it helps us move forward.  It's why I wanted to take part in such a small way to give two people some joy.

Heidi's message is simple:  When our treasures become our memories, our memories become our treasures.  Document them, share them.

Hugs and thanks to Catherine for the lovely way she presented the gift cards.  Thanks to the whole gang for such a great weekend.