Cards to Keep Us Smiling

Gotta keep laughing!” my mother used to say. So, for any of your own friends and family who may be going through a “What crazy shoe is going to drop next?!?” time in their life, here are a few light-hearted encouragement cards that I’m currently sending to a lovely Miami Beach friend and neighbor of mine.

Three years ago, Pamela Salem-O’Hagan was tripped up by a broken sidewalk, and a titanium plate promptly replaced her right elbow. Two years ago the cheery English actress good-naturedly let her surgeon know, “I have a screw loose!” and back into surgery she went. Darned if that screw didn’t come loose Again, so here she is pictured soon after a third surgery this past April. Oh, and then there was that little double-mastectomy thing a year ago. And she’s still smiling!?!

Two weeks ago, Pam’s larger-than-life husband, actor Michael O’Hagan, went in for a physical and, next thing he knows, was scheduled for triple bypass surgery. A very scary hold-your-breath time for them, but the operation went so well that Mike is already back home and feeling strong – yay! And, through it all, Pam remained as positive as ever. Amazing given that, well, from here on I’ll quote Pamela verbatim the morning after Michael came home (and feel free to read her words in a proper English accent. 🙂

“In addition to our garage door refusing to open for the past week, the house air conditioning went on the fritz right before Michael was released yesterday afternoon. Can you imagine your first night back in your own bed after a fortnight in the hospital and it’s with no air in this Miami heat!?! Round midnight, we heard some tremendous rumbling and vibrations in the walls. We’re wandering about putting our ears to this wall and that – just what you want to be doing when recovering from triple bypass surgery! Michael kept shaking his sweet, sweat-beaded bald head muttering, ‘Should have stayed in the hospital!’ Finally concluding the noise must be coming from the broken air conditioner, we went back to bed.

“This morning when the air repairmen arrived to fix it, we promptly had them listening to the walls instead. They insisted it must be the water heater (the water heater now?!?) so we booked a plumber to come look after that while they got the air working again. As I looked out the patio door at the pouring rain, I saw a hawk perched on the picnic table. Well! He was dining on a decapitated dove!!!

“The good news is that, had I not gone out to relocate the dove to the bushes until we could circle back round to him, I would likely not have noticed that the patio was flooding! I ran the block to Town Hall and came rushing right back with two great municipal workers who saved the day by spotting the outdoor pipe leak that was causing the flooding and, in the process, solving the mystery of the wailing walls … it had been the water pipes all along!

“All calm then, I thought, ‘I’ll just run some quick errands in Town’ and, while walking along minding my own business, a pesky blackbird swooped down and snatched some of my hair!  I’m sure any onlooker must have thought, ‘Who’s that madwoman waving her arms in the air shouting, ‘I am not here to take your babies! I have no interest in your babies!’

“Meanwhile, Michael is now lounging around in an orange dressing gown, looking like a full-on Buddhist monk! I said all he has to do is start levitating and we’ll know he’s fully cured!”

Whew. How has Pamela so joyfully kept her great wit and stiff upper lip through years of aaaalllways something? “I stop and think of all the lovely people who have stepped forward and let us know they care. Thank God for all our friends and their support and good wishes that have helped us carry on.”

If you care to “step forward” and bring good cheer to those who could likely do with some light-hearted support about now, we’d like to support you in that!  From now until the 31st, we’ll ship one FREE “Oy!” design with every order on which you enter promo code: “OY” Inspired by Pam & Mike, let’s all stay happy, stay healthy and keep laughing!

~ jodee stevens
cardthartic founder

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