Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July Project Parade - Day 7

Hey there Verve fans! Jen Tapler here with Day 7 of this month's Verve Project Parade. As always, the rest of the Divas have been providing lots of fabulous inspiration so far!!

When I started thinking about this month's theme - My Hero - my thoughts initially went to my favorite girlhood hero, my amazing father. I was always the quintessential Daddy's Girl growing up and from the time I could form the words until now, if anyone asked me who my hero was, my answer has always been, without hesitation, "my Daddy, of course". Many of you know of my family's heartbreaking journey the last several years as my too-young father (58 years old) has slipped into the end stages of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. It is very unlikely that he will survive the next year. I will spare you all the gruesome details of his traumatic story and instead focus on the surprise ending of my family's saga - the character who has risen up to shine through as the real Hero throughout all of this - My Mom. The courage and strength she has shown through my Dad's illness is unreal. Don't get me wrong, she's definitely had her moments - but they don't last long. For the most part she has continued to have her characteristic optimistic, sassy attitude throughout the last few years of watching her best best friend, her partner, her lover, her husband of 37 years slip away from her - but not just slip away from her. That's the real kicker about Alzheimer's disease - you don't just lose your loved one, you have to watch them be replaced by someone else, someone altogether different - someone unappreciative, sometimes downright mean, sometimes even combative - but she's still there day after day - usually with a laugh - for a long time taking care of him herself (bathing him, changing diapers, feeding him, etc) and now making sure others are caring for him properly and just spending time with him so he's not lonely (even though he doesn't know who she is and won't know she was there). This is not how her "Golden Years" in paradise were supposed to be. This is not what they worked so hard to achieve in their early retirement. But she still does it. Because somewhere deep inside that man is the amazing father and husband she fell in love with and married, because that man is still deserving of love and respect and kindness, but in reality it's because the real Hero in our family is my Mom.

Whew. Sorry about that. I might have got a little carried away. So anyway....I wanted to make a little gift for my Mom to let her know that even though my Dad is the one who usually gets all the attention, we really love her and appreciate all she does and all she is going through and all she is about to go through as we have another difficult but necessary transition in my Dad's care coming up in August. So I put together this little "Relaxation Bucket" for her.

Ever since I can remember, my Mom has taken a nice long bubble bath at the end of the day - that's always been HER TIME, even when we were kids. She still does this today. So I included some little bath beads and bubble bath in some Martha Stewart test tube things along with a little votive candle and some of her favorite tea, all inside a little tin bucket I picked up on clearance after Easter at K-Mart.

I stamped the "Hang in there" sentiment from Always on My Mind on a small label for the candle and added a little button. I also created a tag that I attached to the tin using some Maya Road chipboard (it's actually a page from a Luggage Tag album, just cut down to make it a little shorter) and DP from the Thrift Shop line by October Afternoon. The sentiment, butterflies, notebook paper and flourish stamped on the tag are all from Blue Skies. Some stitching and scallops finished it up.


As with all of our project parades, there are prizes!!!!

1. Play along with us and link up your new My Hero creation (posted July 12th or later) to the linky widget on the DAY ONE parade post before midnight on July 30th. One lucky stamper will win a $30.00 gift certificate to the Verve Store. Verve Stamps are not required, but we LOVE to see ‘em!

2. For another chance to win, be sure to give the Divas a little shout-out in the comments section as we parade our My Hero creations. One lucky commenter during the course of the parade (July 12 ~ July 28) will win the Verve stamp set of his or her choosing!