Monday, October 27, 2008

The weekend that was - another viewpoint

Linda here…

Relax, it’s not the dreaded post saying Beth has flown away. I wanted to share the emotional weekend from my perspective as it affected me differently from Beth. Beth asked me to post it here as she thinks it is important for you all to hear it and not every one goes to A Girl’s Gotta Fly.

I need to back up and start with Wednesday’s entry
“A Signal for help: In distress.” This blog made me teary-eyed and my heart ached for Beth. Well, it also caused panic when Beth asked everyone to put out the word to let the sick, the lonely, the needy know that she’s out there and wants to let them know someone cares by sending a postcard. OMG, how am I going to pay for this especially with the exchange rate so low? That’s a lot of postcards, stickers and postage (although Cheryl pays for most postage). And more selfish thoughts… never mind the finances, all we’ll ever do on weekends is postcards. I’ll never be able to catch up on all the other stuff I need to do. Less selfishly I wondered how is Beth going to have the time and energy to do all this – searching for more cards and stickers to buy and then putting them all together.

But back to the blog, Beth asked for help, not just for names but actual help in getting her through the rough time she was having. And I’m not sure how many got that it was more than just names. She’s a strong person but some days the burden is too much for her to carry. And I am guilty too, of thinking that Beth will bounce back, she always does. But it is getting harder and harder for her to do that. Not just emotionally but physically too. Her body is weak and she’s wasting away – her legs are sticks, her butt is non-existent, her pelvis is sticking out in the front and back and her upper body is all bones and hollows. I want to get her some new goth tank tops from her
favourite store – but they won’t be XL’s this time – probably mediums.

Friday night she gave up eating and talking – it was too much effort. She also stopped taking her meds to see what life was like without them. It’s a scary place – within 12 hours Beth was just an empty shell. She was fading in and out of consciousness continually, she couldn’t move, her heart beat erratically, not subdued by the beta blocker. Her whole body was in extreme pain.

That night she slept a really long time. But it wasn’t a recuperative sleep. When she woke she was unable to lift her head or arms. I usually just have to lift up her legs and swing them to the side of the bed and she does the rest. That morning I needed to sit her up, wrap her arms around me and lift her onto the indoor chair. I also needed to push her to the bathroom and put the toothbrush in her hand and help with all tasks of getting up. Normally she does this on her own. It takes a while, but she’s independent.

I wondered if this was how the rest of her life was going to be. And how much longer did we have together? I saw Beth slipping away from me and it was completely out of my control. It made me scared, it made me sad and it made me angry. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to Friday…

One of the most difficult things for Beth during the previous 48 hours was watching the emails roll in from people saying variants on ‘XX told me about you, you can send me a postcard, here’s my address’ like they were doing Beth a favour. Or the one reader, who although probably having good intentions, posted in a forum asking readers to ‘give this woman a purpose.’ Like Beth had nothing to do and was listlessly wasting her days. WTF??? This really pissed me off. Don’t they think Beth has a purpose? Do they think she has time to kill? Do they think her project is a ‘nice little hobby?’ Beth doesn’t want to fill in some time (she doesn’t have nearly enough of it). She doesn’t want pity. She wants to make a difference in the lives of people who need someone to care. It’s a precious gift of caring, time and energy wrapped up in a postcard that she wants to share.

After telling me about the ‘pity call’ Beth stopped talking. A couple hours later she wrote
“Don’t blog angry.” Now I have a love/hate relationship with the postcard project. I enjoy stickering and stamping postcards. I love that it’s a way for Beth to make a difference in people’s lives. But I am also jealous of the project (a new revelation to me today in my counselling session). Most of the time when I am not at work or sleeping, Beth is working on her blog or her postcards. And on weekends it seems like postcards are all we do – and I can’t fit in all the other must-do’s of daily living like buying groceries and even preparing meals. Take this weekend for example. Beth and I worked out the math – a total of 59 hours were spent this weekend working on 55 postcards – and that doesn’t include the many hours involved in sourcing the postcards and stickers online. Sure, it’s not one person, and if it were, it would take Beth a heck of a lot longer with her less nimble fingers. The reduced ferry sailings mean we have about 30 hours with Cheryl – not a lot of time. In fact, this weekend Beth matched postcards with people while Cheryl and I did all the stamping and stickers and then Beth raced the clock to write the messages before Cheryl had to catch the boat. Beth didn’t get to do the fun stuff like deciding which stamps to use, what story could be told, or perusing through the box of stickers to find just the right ones. It’s like an old-fashioned quilting bee where we talk about the recipients – what do we know about them, what are the best stickers/stamps to put on their card. Beth was so busy matching that she couldn’t be part of the discussion. But I digress.

Back to Beth saying she wanted to quit the postcard project. Part of me was sad that Beth wanted to wash her hands of the project which did good work. I think the ‘pity call’ turned the project sour. But also, with a few exceptions, she didn’t know whether she made a difference. The rate of return on her investment was negligible – and even though she doesn’t ask for reciprocation, those packages and/or postcards she receives gives her validation. She doesn’t ask, but I believe it’s what she needs. Her time is marked by weekends – consistent visits from Cheryl who comes bearing mail – orders she’s placed for supplies and mail from her readers and adopted family. She is excited to receive postcards and packages. It gives her something to look forward to, and she’s one sad girl when there’s nothing there except from Wendryn who faithfully sends her a postcard every day. (In case I haven’t mentioned it before, you’re one special lady, Wendryn.)

But then there was another part of me who was happy that Beth was going to pack it in. She’d buy less supplies which means less time she spends surfing the net. We’d also have a lot more time to do other stuff and there wouldn’t be a constant weekend pressure to get xx cards done before the boat leaves. I started thinking about things we could do instead as I knew stopping the postcard project would create a vacuum.

In amongst all these thoughts a question popped into my head – what if Beth really only has 30 days left? How am I going to make those days count? Should writing postcards and all that goes with it take up so much of Beth’s time and our time together? It’s a noble project but what about the relationship I have with Beth? What have I done about nurturing that? Are we so busy that we don’t have time to just BE? Watching movies on the couch holding hands, feeding the squirrels, sharing dreams and feelings seems more important to me. So, this is something that Beth and I need to figure out – how do we want to spend those 30 days or the next 30 days or the 30 days after that?

I think we’ll still do postcards, and I’m cool with that, but maybe not so many of them. And fingers crossed, we may even take this weekend off. Have a romantic weekend or hang out in our PJs all weekend watching TV or maybe have some of those deep discussions about how we want to spend the rest of our time together.

I’ve written this entry over the course of two days. Yesterday I made a list of things that you can do and some of you have already offered to do these before I even posted it. But in case you’re still wondering…

1. If you haven’t already done so, let Beth know whether the cards she sends you makes a difference in your life. She would love to continue sending cards if they do. If we don’t hear from you either online or by snail mail you may find you’ve been put to the bottom of the list.
2. Return the favour and send caring messages on postcards to Beth. Physical messages are the best but please don’t spend money on her if you can’t afford it – no giving up grocery money or anything like that.
3. Continue to send Beth names of people who need postcards but first weigh how much you think the person needs a card against the energy it’s going to take Beth, Cheryl and I to make them.
4. Contribute supplies if you are willing and able. We use US and Canadian postage stamps for domestic and international shipping. Who knows, if you live in Britain or Australia and want to be our courier services send us your domestic stamps and we’ll put all the postcards for your country in an envelope and send it to you so that you can pop them in the mail box. Hmm, might need to have you sign a confidentiality agreement or something as you’d have people’s addresses. Might have to rethink that one. Postcards and stickers are always welcome – particularly ones suitable for kids like baby animals. The kids are near and dear to Beth’s heart (and are so much fun for us to do). This week we sent 6 post cards to a therapeutic riding school for kids with disabilities. They see about 200 kids a week and since we couldn’t do cards for them all we instead sent a card to each horse, or rather the riders of each horse. So each batch of riders has a postcard they can read and enjoy and leave for the rider after them. Now that’s making a difference!


cheryl g said...

Thank you for posting this Linda and sharing your feelings. It is good for us to get this part of Beth's story too.

Rachael said...

So now I get to realise that there a TWO people, on the other side of the world, that can make me cry and want to right all wrongs. I was just wanting to make sure Linda's name was spelt like my sister's (it is), and there she is, in person - or as in person as I'm going to experience. So, the postcard I've FINALLY got around to sending to Elizabeth, has love included for Linda, and Cheryl too, and I can't think of three people I'd rather send my love to. But lord, I do hope you have better weekends.
Rachael from NZ

yanub said...

Thanks for posting, Linda. Itg's always good to hear from you.

You know, as much as I enjoy getting a postcard from Beth, I don't need to have another one to know she's thinking of me. Especially when there are so many other people on the list who could be addressed, who haven't gotten a card yet, or who really need to have that card. I'm happy reading posts and exchanging email. And sending supplies. I do like looking for postcards to send to Beth to send to someone else. Or to keep.

Anyway, should we close down the search for requests? Go with what is already out there? I have a feeling that requests will continue to come in without any further effort.

Neil said...

Oh, the cards DO make a difference to me, but you don't have to send them to me, 'cause I'm AB and don't really need the support. I admit that I love them, though.

I think I'd rather see the cards go to people who do need them.

I have to echo Cheryl: I"m happy(?) to read your side of the story, and your side of the relationship; I've wondered how you feel about some of the things Elizabeth does.

"Flown away" is the term we used for our recently departed cat. It's so poetic, and it seemed right for him.

I know that Cheryl comes every weekend to see you both, and spending the whole weekend on post cards can't be all that much fun for more than one or two marathon sessions. I also wonder, if Beth is up to posting on Friday or Saturday nights, if she shouldn't just put a couple of sentences to explain that you're all having a good time, things are as okay as they're gonna get, now everybody out, 'cause we're busy.

Beth, as much as I love to read your blog, sometimes you need to spend your energy on the people closest to you. I'd actually be happy if your entire were to read "Go away, we're having a pillow fight."
now I have to scoot of to bed so I can work in the morning.

Love nd hugs to you both, and thanks again Linda for writing!

thea said...

Thanks Linda. That first sentence was... useful. And well placed :P

I do hope that you get some non-postcard time together; doing postcards is indeed an excellent project, but so is your relationship and love. I had to wonder how you were all fitting in all this work - because I absolutely _can_ see the amount of work going into them, both just by how intricate the work is, and reading between the lines of things you've both said about hand control and so on.

But I understand you are all spreading yourselves very thin with the intensity of it.

I am in Australia, and offering my self to help with whatever logistics might make your collective work easier. Please email me about this if you'd like to talk about some possibilities - and what I might or might not be able to do. Feel free to ask anything; I am able to say no or maybe if necessary.

There is a package on the way for the cause, too. I won't say 'look out for it on a particular date' because I don't know how long it takes. But it's coming, and might be fun.

Laura said...

The cards that I have received are precious to me. I appreciate all the hard work that went into each and every one of them. They brighten up my day and I look upon them and get a smile everytime I look at them.

Beth, I do think that you need to take time to be with Linda. I know that if I had such a loving and caring partner I would want to make sure that she knew how much I appreciated and loved her.

If that means that I don't get another postcard from you for a while then so be it. I will have to tell you though, getting a postcard from you does help me feel not so alone in the world. That has been your gift to me all along Beth. For that gift I am grateful.

I am here for you or Linda and will continue to write daily. Who knows you may have to learn how to read my handwriting soon.

With Heartfelt Love,

Elizabeth McClung said...

Okay, this is weird, I am posting on a post on my own blog.

First: If you can admit even secret to yourself that you want to be part of my life or want me to care, I DO want to send you a postcard. True, we still send out cards to people we have not heard from since like March 08 when they said, "I'd like a postcard from Japan". So when Linda threatens to put names at the bottom, I don't think there are a lot of names that would go there. Simply becuase so many people pop up and say after four months how much the postcards meant to them. However, there are some people we have no idea if that is even the right posting address!

Second: That is Medium and XL JUNIOR size, not regular, I buy at a store for 15 year olds, yup, shop your maturity level!

Third: I did want people to feel cheated that I needed Linda and Cheryl to put on stamps and stickers. There are certain people which I always do, and then some which we talk about and then some which each person has a inclination towards. Obviously I couldn't do every aspect of every card but I didn't want people to feel cheated, nor did I want the work, effort, and investment of Cheryl and Linda to go ignored. I try to do much of the work during the week but a single grand mal can wipe out a night of planned sorting cards or stamping.

Fourth: I'm sort of uncomfortable telling about the riding school, the thread on the web site and Wendryn but that is okay I guess (unless Wendryn STOPS sending cards). I send cards to Wendryn every week becuase she sends me a card EVERY day and has for as long as I can remember. For someone who has very little stability in her life, that is very, very important to me. As for the children, we have a lot of children and they get cards every 2 to 3 weeks because children have a different set of time than we do. They don't see a month or two as a short period of time. And I don't know how to explain to a kid that I am too tired and so they aren't getting a card this week. You will remember my credo is Protect the innocent. Linda and I were turned down as big sisters here in town when I was AB becuase we were lesbians. That is still very painful to me. I don't disappoint children, I don't.

Fifth: my pills don't cure me, or treat me, they at best mask the level of degeneration (if you can't FEEL a heart that isn't beating correctly that doesn't make you alive when it stops beating). I wanted to know what my health was without a single dose. Not good. Linda said she once said a sentence three times becuase I kept passing out - that's how frequent it was....on SATURDAY.....when I did the postcards.

And finally, sixth: I have not appreciated enough all that Linda has sacrificed for me, but even I am envious of the postcard project, I would love to be a recipient of it, instead of the creator. The same is true with the "surprise" packages. Our dollar dropping 15% in two weeks thanks to President Bush didn't help things (Canada has a 3 billion surplus federally!). I also can't catch up on email, and other things like being with Cheryl and Linda, like going places, like eating out, like watching films. But, I will simply have to set aside time every day for doing some cards and if you know someone who is alone, who is lonely, who is sad, who is disabled visably or invisably or needs someone to care - let me know please. If my body is the cost, we do not count the cost: I would rather know that a person got one card than live longer knowing I live because they do not know that anyone cares. It is who I am. Please honor that, and I will try to honor my friendship to Linda and Cheryl. I will find ways to do both, I will 'reprioritize.'

PS - yes, I am beat so bad, and I am scared that I am really broken. That isn't a smile, just a little twitch, there is no life in the squirrel picture. I will go on because as Linda knows the one phrase I will respond to is: "I need you..."

Kate J said...

Linda, I could have cried when I read about just how much time and energy (and $ too) Beth is spending on the postcard project. You and Cheryl too. I've had several cards - as well as two beautiful gifts - from Beth, and I'll treasure them. But I never expected more than one card, and I would be quite happy to NOT receive any more, if you know what I mean. Beth's time with you is so very precious that there is no need for her to devote it to sending me cards. The ones I have are in front of me as I type this, her picture too, and that is enough, I think. I'll keep sending cards to Beth, though, I promise.

Hey Beth... just spotted your comment - thanks for the latest card, and amazing sticker art on it too!
Love and peace

JaneB said...

Linda, good to hear from you, and to get your perspective.

I love getting the cards. They matter, and having the chance to know you two matters. I wish I lived closer. If there's anything I can do to help at the UK end, just email me.

But the cards have to be at the edge of things and your immediate relationships closer to the middle - do whatever you need to do, the pair of you, and thank you for sharing what you do.

Anna said...

Well, E, as I see it you, Linda and Cheryl should be first priority. The rest of us are "icing on the cake". You don't have to blog or postcard, but I am glad when you do.

Really glad.

Gaina said...

Beth: How about e-cards? There are a lot of nice ones out there and there's a website offering e-cards on almost any subject you care to mention! :).

Maybe scaling back a little on the physical cards and replacing those with e-cards would be a good compromise? People get the pleasure of a card, You know you've brightened someone's day and it takes far less time to send, so you two get some time together to do other things.

I got my lovely card this morning, and I appreciate it deeply, but I really would be very happy with an e-card and have you put the money that you would have spent on me towards that trip to Seattle.

Kita said...

You know, Beth and Linda, the card you sent me was humourous and such a nice thing to receive and I do appreciate it. I'm sorry that I haven't been in contact, but I have been unwell.. thank you for being a friend.

Veralidaine said...

Hi, Linda! And yes, thank you for that timely first sentence-- I'd just had an email from Beth in my inbox, so I wasn't TOO worried, but at the same time yes I did get the little knot in my stomach and sweaty palms for a second there. It's good to hear from you. And, not only is it good to hear from you, but I think perhaps I can help! I DO have some stickers and stamps that are great for kids... they're under this pile of stuff somewhere, I know they are. I also have hundreds of magazines about horses, and if you think the therapeutic riding kids could use reading material or pictures to look at, I can send you some of those.

I feel badly that so many other
commenters have said they don't need more cards and to send them to people who need them more. Because I am going to be selfish and say I DO need to hear from Beth and know she's thinking of me. It has been a huge thing for me. I've said here before that I never really knew how to be a friend until Beth gave me an example, and I still really don't know how, but I'm learning. It makes me so happy every time I look at my cards from Beth. I will not be upset if she stops being able to do as many cards and prioritizes the kids (as is best, since like you said, kids don't understand when routines change), and I know eventually she won't be able to send cards at all, but I treasure each one and I think if my house were on fire, I would save the things from Beth right after saving the pets.

Devi said...

Linda, you may not know me except maybe through comments on this blog, and I may not know you except through what Elizabeth told about you here, but my heart goes out to you as well.

I don't think anyone (certainly not me) is going to begrudge you if you're going to balance "postcard time" and "living life time" more in favour of "life time". The last thing I'd want is for the postcards to feel like a pressure or a chore to you - what I want first is for you and Elizabeth (and Cheryl too) to be happy, that's worth more to me than getting postcards, wonderful as the cards may be!

I've never taken the postcards for granted; I'm well aware it's not a matter of doing a favour to the poor dying woman by "letting" her write postcards for us, it's Elizabeth doing a tremendous favour to us by expending her limited time and strength to give us those postcards.

So yes, the "pity call" was ill-worded, but then the worst things are said and done out of good intentions.

"But also, with a few exceptions, she didn’t know whether she made a difference."

In the hope that she reads this too - she's made a difference for me.

Abi said...

Linda, thank you for writing that post; it is good to hear your perspective. Thanks for the early reassurance, too!

Elizabeth, please don’t forget to do living as well as postcards! You know what I think would be a really nice idea? For you to take the time that you would have spent writing postcards for several people, and use it to live. You could then tell them about it, either in your blog or in an e-mail written once and sent to each person individually. A line or so would be plenty. I would be delighted if you were to do that instead of sending the next postcard to me, and I am sure that a lot of your regular commenters would feel the same. No cheating, though! You are to take some good time to do this!

wendryn said...

Thank you for the post. It's good to hear more of what's going on from your perspective, Linda, and thank you for the first sentence. :)

I have to echo other commenters here - take time to live and take some time off from postcards. Postcards are quite wonderful, but your life and happiness are very important.

The cards make a huge difference to me. I'm sending a few small things this week in addition to postcards.

I know I don't know you, Linda, but you are a really great person. I have no stake in this, I know, but thank you for taking such good care of Elizabeth & for loving her.

FridaWrites said...

Thank you for your post, Linda. I'm glad I didn't post a note on my own blog yet. I do think pacing the project more and doing some other things too would help so you don't feel overburdened. The ones we've received are a joy to us, but it also brings me great joy to see photos of great times with Cheryl and Linda.

Lisa Moon said...

This is a late post, so I apologise sincerely... but THANK YOU, Linda, for posting here. It really helped me to understand better.

I'm so honoured and touched to have received a postcard from Beth. That she would care enough about me - a total stranger - to send me this lovely piece of art, covered with Beth-love... I was stunned. It sits here by my computer where I see it all the time, and show it off to my friends who visit.

When I'm feeling so dark and down, struggling with this horrid medical system here in Victoria, it gives me a smile through my tears. I always think of Beth and her determination and it gives me a bit more strength to carry on.

I've been trying to find a little something to send (although I'm ashamed to admit how past broke I am) that she might like. I'm enlisting my son who loves anime, too, to find something appropriate. I hope that I have the means to get out and about soon to find something that might let Beth know how much I appreciated her card and also her wonderful, funny and supportive comments she leaves on my own fledgeling blog.

I often feel so very alone and scared. Thank you Beth, Linda and Cheryl for helping me feel less of those feelings and more hope.

Lene Andersen said...

You scared the crap out of me for a second there!

Thanks for writing thsi - I don't think we always fully understand how things are. It means stepping over that line and facing something none of us want to face: how sick Beth is.

I've loved receiving every single postcard Beth has sent me, but would much rather the two of you get some quality time together. If you decide to shrink the list of recipients, I'm OK with being taken off the list.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Cheryl: Thanks, sharing feelings is not one of my strong points, but it needed to be said - for everyone including me.

Rachael: Cool - I share the same name as your sisters. I look forward to the postcard - it's nice to be included in the mail every once in a while.

Yanub: Judging by Beth's comment, I'm thinking keep sending the names in if you think they'd benefit. But I think NOT contacting the national networks would be a good idea.

Neil: I think anyone who loves the cards will continue getting them, just perhaps less frequently.

Yeah, flown away seemed a better phrase that flew the coop!

I like your idea of just a short two-liner blog on Saturday nights. But have you ever known Beth to write a short blog? For her, short is 1000 words!

Thea: Thanks for your offer. I may be in touch. We're going to try and get some non-postcard time this weekend - just me and Beth.

Laura: Success is making a difference to another - and Beth appears to be very successful. So are you - we appreciate your almost daily emails - sorry I can't respond to them very often.

Beth: What's even weirder is me posting a response to your comments!

First, I concur - they can't get off the project if it makes a difference.

Second, nope - I'm not touching that comment. Except, you definitely look fifteen when you have your hair in a ponytail.

Third, we definitely have our own affinity to particular types of people. I lean towards the nature people as I can't tell with anime which are guys and which are girls and that way I avoid the question. Cheryl's a pro at kids cards and cards for moms that are so cool to make the kids jealous. Beth, she always picks the goths and all the people that she feels closest too. Usually means she gets the bigger pile.

Fourth, we were both excited about being big sisters after watching a documentary on inner city children. And I, too, was really disappointed that our love wasn't good enough for the organization.

Fifth, yes, please, please take your pills. No if only we could get the right pills to take away so much more of your pain.

And fianlly, I like you being on the receiving end. It's always so much fun watching your reactions when you open packages - confusion, awe, ecstasy, and gratefulness. And what's the next thing that comes out of your mouth... I have to send them a postcard right away...

Re-prioritizing sounds like a good plan. Let's see if we can do it.

P.S. Cheryl has evidence on her camera showing that you had at least one smile - and how precious it was.

Linda McClung said...

Linda here... Doh! It posted my comments under Beth's userid before I was able to change it. Grrr!

KateJ: I'm happy to hear you really like the cards and gifts. And I appreciate you putting my and Beth relationship first.

JaneB: Thanks for your offer. I may take you up on it. I still have some first class stamps from when we left Britain. Maybe we'll send a pack of cards for you to deposit in the nearest pillar box.

Anna: I like that analogy... icing on the cake.

Gaina: Now you've got me thinking about purikura - the photos we took in the kiosks in Japan. It was so much fun decorating the photos and it was quick too. I wonder if there's software programs for personal computers where we can do that and then print them out on card paper or take them to the camera shop for developing. Hmmmm...

kita: thanks so much for your response. That's all we wanted to know - whether you're still out there and whether you like the cards.

veralidaine: Don't feel bad... that's what we want to hear. Rest assured, there will be more heading your way over time. I'm glad Beth is demonstrating what friendship should be. She's definitely my best friend.

devi: It never ceases to amaze me how much Beth's readers care about her and by extension me. Thanks for sharing. And I'm glad the postcards make a difference.

Abi: That's another great idea. Writing the email once might be a bit tricky. Maybe she could use the same words, but then give each person a different photo that won't show up in the blog. It's not like we EVER have a shortage of photos when we do something.

Wendryn: I figured I needed that first sentence so everyone didn't immediately panic. I'm glad it alleviated some concern.

I'm also happy that you get something out of the cards just like Beth does. Actually, when it comes to your cards the challenge is to always find stickers that involve a flying machine of some sort. We're always on the look out for flying things - so if you get sick of them, let us know:)

fridawrites: That's something Beth and I need to remember - that postcards and/or packages are just one way to communicate - the blog is another effective way too.

lisamoon: Don't you dare buy something if you're broke. Beth wants to make your life better, not worse. And knowing her, she'd feel the guilts.

lene: Didn't mean to scare the crap out of you! Denial is a powerful force - even when her illness is staring me in the face I can sometimes convince myself everything is okay.

Amanda said...

To be honest, quite a few of her posts (and yours) have made me cry. I wish there was a way that I could meet you three, because I know we'd get along famously.

On another note, I dearly enjoy her time and effort on the cards I've gotten. Each one is better than the last. I don't have many friends, and even though I fall into the black area, because I came into the picture before the trip to Japan, I do feel like she paid attention to me for all the time it took to make that card special for me; However, if there is someone more deserving and needs the time more than I, please give them the time that would have been spent on my card. I'm not selfish, and if someone else can get as much enjoyment as I have, and felt special in that way, please give it to them.

Linda, you and Cheryl are amazing people, and I long for the relationship you three have for each other.

I will be putting together something special for you all, once I can get up the funds.

Thank you so much...for showing us lonelies that there are people who care about us..