Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thankful - Artisan Design Team Blog Hop

Thank-you for joining me today for the Stampin' Up!'s weekly Intentional Artisan Design Team Blog Hop!

Thankful. Grateful. Sacrifice. Honor. I deeply reflected on these words as I designed this project. I felt the need to make this project perfect. I spent a great deal of time on the details and poured a lot of love into it. All because I am truly thankful.

Last week Canada fell victim to two terrorist attacks, on two separate occasions, that cost the lives of two soldiers. Many countries around our globe have fallen victim to this same travesty before us. It is an action that I can not wrap my brain around.

It got me thinking about service men and women. Remembrance Day is on November 11th. A day that we steady our hearts and minds to pay gratitude to all of the brave souls that have served to protect us. My mother raised me to always take that moment of silence. To respect the day and that moment. To stand and honor. To sing our anthem and recite "In Flanders Fields".

And I do. I am raising my children with the same lessons. I share with them the heartache that other countries face. I explain the blessings we have as Canadians.

In these quiet moments and in my lessons to my children we talk about the fallen hero's. Often I forget the lesson about the living hero's. Our neighbors, friends and family members that actively serve us, our country and the greater good of our world.

The events of last week hit home personally for me. We have someone close to our family that is with the Canadian Military. Don't we all? I am sure you know someone that serves. He was my inspiration for this weeks project. Often I forget exactly what he does each day as he steps out of the door to go to work. The danger of his career became very real. To express my gratitude I wanted to do what I do best. Create something and tell the world here on this platform.

For his personal security, and the security of his family, I can not share his name, his photograph or personal details about him. In fact, I learned that after the terrorist attacks last week, Military Personnel were asked not to wear their uniforms when off duty and commuting to and from work. Understandably, it was for their own safety. Think about it though for a moment. That is like asking a nurse to not wear scrubs to and from work each day because it could put them in danger. Or asking a City worker not to wear their overalls and safety vest to grab a coffee at Tim Horton's. Terrifying, right?

I can tell you a few things about this local hero. He is a husband and a father, a brother and a son, and an uncle and a friend. He loves being a paratrooper. (Can you imagine loving that?! Frightens the heck out of me!). He loves his famliy. My son idolizes him. He is a man of very few words, but his actions do not need any.

He works each day to serve and protect our country. Over the 7 years I have know him he continuously leaves on training exercises and has actively served over seas three times. (He has Served a total 5 times in his 16 years with the Military). This summer he was deployed last minute to Poland. I have watched what this does to his family. His wife steps into a single mother role. Hockey, soccer, work, fevers, yard work ... you name it. Weeks on end she holds it all together. Their children experience heartbreak with each good-bye. Each day away brings challenges for them. They, of course, miss him. There are greater expectations on them to help out. They hear more "no's". After all, that single Mother can only be in one place at one time, one birthday party, one hockey game, one soccer practice. Friends and neighbors step in to help shuttle kids and support the family but I am sure it is never the same as if he were there to help.

He has missed many Birthdays, hockey games, soccer games, family days, movie nights and even their recent 1st wedding Anniversary. All while doing something that is unimaginable to most of us.

When I asked his wife for photographs to do this project our conversation gave me goose bumps. She had one photograph in a frame in the basement with him in his fatigues. She told me that she wasn't sure if I wanted that one because that was the photograph that they use for funerals. That struck me. When I take photographs it is to capture joy, happiness, love and a single moment in time. I could not image starting a career and getting my photograph taken knowing that one day this could be the image at my funeral and the announcement of my death. It breaks my heart.

As I scrapbooked the image it really resonated with me. I needed to move past the somber thoughts and focus on my gratitude for all men and women that serve. I want this Remembrance day to be about the fallen hero's and the living hero's. My family will take the day to pay tribute to them all. They do so much for us all ... every single day.

The poppies were created using Cherry Cobbler Classic Stamp Pad & Cheery Cobbler Cardstock with the Everything Elanor Stamp Set. I fussy cut the flowers out. The centers are Basic Black Cardstock punched with the Boho Blossom Punch. The tread background is Mossy Meadow Ribbon frayed.

The background page is Very Vanilla Cardstock.
I inked the Brayer with Smoky Slate Classic Ink and gently rolled the soft background.

I hope that I have inspired you to share your love and gratitude. To take a moment to remember those who have served and as well as those who are serving and continually sacrificing for our freedom.

Next on the blog hop is Lisa Harlow
Visit her page and see what she has created this week!

God Bless Canada. Strong and free.

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


* indicates required