Kathy's New Book:
Life is a Kaleidoscope
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Life is a Hallmark Card

When my best friend and I were teenagers we had two favorite past times. We loved to eat and we loved to hang out at the mall. Like most teens we never had much money, so we'd stop to eat first and then, with all the money spent, we'd window wish shop and clown around the way giggling fifteen year olds do.

Our favorite place to hang out was the Hallmark store. We'd walk up and down the aisles, choose the perfect card we'd buy for each other, if we had the money, and then share tears or smiles depending on what emotion the words instigated.. In those coming of age years we forged a friendship built on heartfelt feelings and we often times found solace in the soul stirring bond brought about by the words of a Hallmark card.

I think it is perhaps because of those years that I have become somewhat of a greeting card connoisseur. From 'thinking of you' notes to sympathy cards, choosing just the right card is a big event for me. No card is worth sending unless it relays exactly the sentiment I long to express.

The other day, while cleaning out the crawl space, I came across the queen sized zippered bedding bag I keep every greeting card I've ever received. At a quick glance I'd have to gander a guess and and say there's probably enough cards there to wallpaper our living room.

These are the cards that have helped shape my life, enhancing my well-being from adolescent to adulthood~all sharing space in one big, plastic keepsake card holder. They are the lasting messages that speak volumes to the milestones of my life. Cards, yellowed and tattered with time still have the power to pull heartstrings into recalling and renewing a memory as if it were yesterday. Friendship cards, anniversary cards, and even homemade cards , made with the help of wee ones imaginations bring back all the love that has made my heart sing with delight.

I pull out a goofy looking card that grabs my attention. It has a stick figure on the front that seems to be drawn in my likeness.With curly hair, dangling earrings and big,crayon blue, eyes I giggle as I realize this is exactly how my oldest daughter saw her mom. Opening it up I see a hand drawn heart with eyes and a big smile. On the other side is a rainbow and under the rainbow, in 3rd grade printing, are the words~~ "Yur the best mom in the hole wurld!!" Okay, so this may be one card that Hallmark cannot compete with for it is a treasure more precious than gold.

I can't go back to where I've been but, from time to time, I can take a welcomed trip down memory lane. These are the Hallmark moments of our lives. Words from once upon a time that inspire us and give us the opportunity to appreciate the people in our lives who mean so much.

And, when we sometimes have doubts, when the world deals us unfair blows, the encouraging words are there in black and white, sometimes drawn~as in a homemade stick figure with a heart shaped smiley face standing out from the rest of the stack. Through the years my life has read like a Hallmark card; sometimes with laughter, sometimes with tears but always with gratitude for all the love and meaning they represent.

When you send someone you love a greeting card you never know where it will end up long after it's opened and read - maybe in a shoe box, a dresser drawer, or in a big plastic bag stored under the bed or in a crawl space. These are paper relics of our yesterdays that all too soon become a collage of moments captured in time. Life is a Hallmark card when you care enough to send the very best.