Giving Thanks

When it comes to feeling and expressing gratitude, I think it must be in card lovers’ DNA. Maybe we cardies are born with an enhanced ability to see and appreciate the good that’s all around us? I remember my late Dad teasing a 30-something me, “Jo, you live a charmed life!” and my saying to him so assuredly, “No, Dad, I just choose to see the charm in life.” 🙂

With her permission, we’re sharing a chapter in the life of one of our favorite cardies, Mary Morini. If you follow Cardthartic, you may already know we first became acquainted two years ago when Mary emailed to say she enjoyed our cards and stories. She closed that e with the great message we immediately asked to publish: “Blessings come in many forms,” she wrote, “Thank you for being one of them.”  Once she saw her words printed in a Cardthartic card, the retired HR exec was happily hooked, and we’ve now published a dozen of her messages, including the one in the Gratitude Journal card featured above. Because Mary has by now become a dear friend, that card has recently taken on far more meaning.

Back in March, her dentist spotted something suspicious on the roof of her mouth. Since then, she’s undergone three surgeries to remove a rare palatal cancer. FYI, three operations were necessary because there is no test for cancer in the mouth – surgeons have to go back in and cut more tissue to be tested, wait for the pathology report and repeat as many times as it takes for the margins to come back negative. Which the margins finally did in late June, yay!!!  Mary’s in the clear.

Beyond the miracles of modern medicine, what’s amazing to us is how Mary has maintained her attitude of gratitude. When first diagnosed, she shared, “You’ll not hear any whining from me. Seeing a four-year-old in the cancer specialist’s office sure puts things in perspective.”  Imagine hearing a “malignant” pathology report and being told, “Until we can remove all the cancerous tissue and repair your palate with a skin graft from your thigh, you’ll be left with a hole where your palate is now, making it difficult to speak or swallow.”  Mary’s response: “There’s always, always, always something to be grateful for. Right now, I’m most grateful that I have a slow-growing cancer and that chemo and radiation aren’t involved.”

Following the final successful surgery, having not spoken or eaten solid food for the required two months, she reported, “Have been diligent about being quiet (a miracle), taking the antibiotics and resting. It’s all good!” I sent her celebratory cookies, and soon received her email that read, “I feel healthier already!  And need I tell you how much I loved the card? Many thanks and much love.” Here, in the pic she attached, you can see how not being able to talk didn’t keep her from expressing gratitude … on her indispensable whiteboard.

She emailed her entire fan club, “During this time of quietude, I’ve had many positive experiences. High on that list was having time to contemplate the meaning of friendship. I’m touched that so many people, far and wide, have reached out. Each of you in so many ways provided enduring gifts of support. There were prayers, pretty flowers, a joke book and the friend who flew in to visit pre-op while I was still able to talk (non-stop!).  I enjoyed a delicious fresh fruit basket before surgery and devoured soft homemade cookies while recovering. Just as I was looking for more reading material, a wonderful novel arrived at my doorstep. There were movie recommendations and a book of Daily Devotionals.  A beautiful prayer shawl was put to good use, as was the Dammit Doll!  Luckily, my Pocket Angel is still watching over me.  Even though you knew you wouldn’t get a response from me, the cards, texts and emails kept coming. Your messages that were intended to encourage, did just that. Friends reaching out meant the world to me. I really don’t think I’d have done so well without you.”

As Mary now grows ever more grateful and confident that this will soon be behind her, in her honor let’s take this opportunity to acknowledge the people who make it into our own versions of the gratitude journal. We’ll enclose this card FREE in every order you place before August 15. May we all choose to see and feel the charm in life that Mary Morini does, even if we don’t always feel quite as charming as she is. 🙂

~ jodee stevens
cardthartic founder

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