Saturday, September 14, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM...Reverse Confetti September SFYTT #4

My mom is an incredible woman: a sociable, funny, out-going, crafty, generous, ‘heart-as-big-as-Everest,’ gem of a person!   Mom, wife, mother-in-law, sister to her several brothers and sister, aunt to numerous cousins, sweet friend to her special cadre of buddies, volunteer extraordinaire, Bacia to my niece and nephew (her favourite title of all) – whatever role she’s in, she performs it with pride, kindness and most of all, love!  

All my life, I've known my mom is just the best mom ever, but spending time with her this summer – three weeks of uninterrupted visiting – reminded me just how amazing she is.  For over 35 years, she’s been a volunteer at a neighbourhood Good Samaritan Care where, at least twice (often more) times a week, you can see her visiting residents, helping with church services, staffing the center’s little gift shop and generally uplifting the spirits of whoever she comes in contact with. Having a chance to share in some of these activities with her was a delight, and I can tell you my heart swells with pride to be the daughter of such a remarkable soul.  Indeed, yesterday when I called her, she’d just come home from helping make over 100 pies for an upcoming bake sale.  Her commitment there is nothing short of remarkable.  Her sparkling personality spills out beyond our house and the neighbourhood.  Pretty much everywhere we went – local grocery/hardware stores, church, the nearby pizza shop, the bank, the mall – people knew her!  From a brief, “Hi, Terry” to snippets of chit-chat with a store clerk or bank teller, to full conversations with a chance encounter with an old friend – whatever the interaction, my mom was invested.  She makes people feel special, and in doing so, she feels special, too. 

Of the many stories I could share about my mom, the one I *have* to tell happened a couple weeks back, when the Tour of Alberta bike race was in its initial stages in Edmonton. My husband, one of the officials, stayed with my folks during those first days, until such time as the route moved further south in the province.  On that departure morning, my mom drove him to the hotel where he’d meet up with other race personnel, for the next leg of the journey.  Andy presumed mom would just drop him off and head home, however, that was not the case.  When an opportunity to meet new people appears, my mom seizes it, so before Andy could blink an eye, she was engaged in conversation with his motorcycle driver, and a couple of other people who were part of the crew.  As they were nearing departure time, Andy suggested that before she left, she should head into the hotel, to see if she could meet, or at least catch a glimpse, of the professional riders who were staying there.  Encouragement enough…and off my mom went.  At that point, Andy said his goodbyes; mom went her way and he went his. Much to his surprise, he saw her but a few minutes later, when she pulled up next to the car he was in, stopped at a red light.  She gave him a big wave, a bright, dazzling smile, and then held up a most beautiful bouquet of flowers to show him.  He recognized the flowers as those given to the top three stage winners as part of the podium presentations. And my mom had them. What???  The light turned green, and away they went, their separate ways once again. So, when he told me ‘his’ story later that afternoon, I called to get hers…

As it turns out, inside the hotel, mom learned that the riders were running late and as a result, she’d likely miss a chance to see them.  Oh well, she thought, and since she was in the vicinity anyway, she headed into the parking lot, filled with team buses and cars laden with bikes on their roofs.  A “hi” to one crew loading buses, a hello to another…and in fairly short order, she was engaged in a conversation with a couple of men connected with the Belkin Pro-Cycling Team. After visiting a bit, she made her move to leave, when one of the fellows told her to ‘hang on a minute,’ dashed into the bus, and came out with a bouquet of flowers – those one by their team’s third place winner from  and presented them to her.  Flabbergasted, she told him that no, she couldn’t take them; after all, the rider might want to keep them. Her protests weren’t heeded even a bit; in fact, he told her those flowers were ‘especially’ for her.  Who can a gesture of that nature! So, thrilled, excited, delighted, my mom took her pretty bouquet, got in the car, headed home, coincidentally caught up with Andy at the light…and so the story goes. What a wonderful gift from that team’s crew; I don’t know if they have any clue how that simple gesture brought such bubbly joy to my mom. 

Here’s a photo of the bouquet – initially presented to Moreno Hoflan, Belkin Pro-Cycling Team – and then given to my mom.. 

Sweetness, plus!!   Riders receive flowers only when they do something remarkable: winning a stage in a race. My mom receiving such flowers is pretty remarkable, too: winning somebody’s admiration and appreciation, because she showed interest and enthusiasm for the team’s experience. Just seems fitting…

I’m sharing this story because it’s super cool, but more important, because Mom’s birthday is on Sept. 17.  Her bouquet of flowers were inspiration for the card I made for her: a single tulip ‘bouquet’ to let her know she is one of a kind.  LOVE YOU, MOM!!!

I've not played in Reverse Confetti’s sketch challenges before, because I don’t have any of their stamps…yet.  Then I realized that the monthly Sketch for You to Try doesn't require RC stamps (until January) and since the sketch caught my eye, I went ahead. 

Thank you, RC for this sketch and the opportunity to showcase my Mom, and my card, with you!  I'm also sharing this at Patrice's 52 Card Pick-Up, a wonderful place for inspiration and sharing!!


  1. What a wonderful story and tribute to your mom, Carol. She sounds like a true gift from God! Her community is blessed to have her, as is all of her family. And your card for her is perfect. Love those tulips. Please give your mom my best wishes, and also tell her that all the best people are born is September! Bev

  2. Wow, Carol, what a remarkable story and a truly remarkable Mom ... a joy for the world! Your card is just lovely ... beautiful shading, glorious colours and another of those wonderful stitched mats ... your Mom will love it! Anita :)

  3. Oh Carol, what a beautiful tribute to your Mom! I may or may not have tears streaming down my face right now!! But you know what, your Mom's kindness, sweetness, full heart, and especially her way of making people feel special does not surprise me one little bit - obviously the apple does not fall far from the tree!! And there is no doubt in my mind that her heart swells with pride to be your Mom just as yours does to be her daughter!! Please give your Mom a huge Happy Birthday hug from me. She is going to love the BEAUTIFUL card you made for you (expect a tear or two!!!). xoxoxooxoxo

  4. Your Mom sounds like a truly remarkable woman! That story was so sweet! I hope that she has a wonderful birthday! And how kind of you to make a special card especially for her. Your card is gorgeous and I'm sure that she'll agree. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. Both the story, and the card were inspirational today. ~Michelle

  5. Beautiful coloring, Carol - I hope you'll link up at 52 Card Pickup again this week!

  6. Oh Carol, what a wonderful story about a truly wonderful woman (and just quietly, I think the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, my friend!!). I hope your Mom has the most wonderful birthday.

    The card you have made is soooo gorgeous. I love that image but I love what you do with it more. The design, the colouring, oh, and the colours you have chosen are all just perfect! Too clever, Ms C!

  7. What a wonderful story and it certainly explains your cheerful and chatty nature!! The card is truly perfect - elegant but fun too!