However, when I checked e-mail, I discovered an update about the coming retreat. An embedded message was a reminder that during one day, we will be able to collect Journals for Heroes, which will be added to a year long journal drive for heroes that are currently deployed or expected to deploy in coming months.
I remembered this idea was shared very early in the registration process and I had planned to take a contribution. So, to my clean studio I went.
First I gathered a Fabriano journal I had recently purchased, washi tape, Duck tape, quote stamps and many ink pads. I set about designing a cover and began to think about how I helped ready our son when he deployed. I thought about how important a journal had always been to him to capture thoughts and creative ideas. As I selected quotes and stamped them into the pages I felt as if I was making him smile. By the time I had stamped the last page and written a "Thanks for volunteering!" with my No. 2 pencil to insure that the message would not wash away, I felt as if I had spent an hour with him. It was wonderful. Here is a look at the front.
The back inside cover.....
The back and front spread flat.
I have good memories of the surprise boxes we sent to our son and his 173rd brothers several times. Eleven years seems a century ago, yet the circle has come back around. I do hope one of our volunteer service heroes takes momentary delight in filling their journal as they serve. It was with true joy I made it for them. It helped me realize that I have come full circle with grief.