What do you do when your friend has cancer? When there is no way you can “make it better” for them or “fix” it. When all of your well wishes and positive thoughts won’t “heal” her.
All of these and more, actually.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Maria for over 20 years. My Maria, like the Brooks and Dunn song that was popular in the 90s … my Maria … o/~ o/~o/~o/~ … (that’s my weak attempt at musical notes).
We met way back when a broken woman wandered into an online forum called the Lifetime Lounge (that’s me, I was the broken one back then). There, this woman found great comfort among strangers, and a kinship developed causing once mere strangers to form a bond stronger than some families ever dream of having.
I have been so fortunate and blessed to have developed such friendships with a handful of people, and we remain friends to this very day. Life has caused some disruptions (that’s an understatement, especially with the Covid pandemic that has been ongoing). Time has passed, and although some have grown apart as tends to happen through the years, I still feel that bonds are ever present. It’s there, just as the love that remains no matter the length of time that goes between a phone call, text, or Facebook message.
Little things have cropped up through the years that caused misunderstandings and people to fall out with each other. Oh, how I wish I could turn back the hands of time and fix the bad things that happened and get back the time that has been lost. Not just with my relationships but with others all over the land so that no one has to endure such a loss as this ever again. Alas, I don’t possess that power. Even in my own situations, it has happened. I was shocked at my own pettiness when I was reminded of the reasons behind the lack of communication. For us to have allowed something so small (which must have felt huge at the time) to place wedges between us … it all seems so ridiculous now. It’s in the past, and all we can do is go forward with the lessons we have learned along the way.
I know I’m rambling, by the way. I have some unprocessed feelings, and what better place to work through them than right here, as writing has always been a form of therapy for me. That is yet another thing my Maria and I have in common. She is a beautiful writer, among other things. The way she tells a story puts you right there in the midst of it, and you feel the feelings and go through the emotions right alongside her. I could not bring myself to read her posts initially without tears streaming down my face. Now, tears still sting my eyes as I face the reality that my friend has staring her in the face daily.
One of the other beautiful souls I met over 20 years ago, Greg, has helped so many times through the years. Naturally, he is the first person I thought of when Maria reached out with an idea she had. He helped orchestrate it. You see, once upon a time, Maria designed a website called Heartistic Wishes. It was an online e-card site with beautiful images, and we used that site a lot back in those days sending words of love to our friends, family, and each other. Fast forward over all of these years, and now Greg has resurrected the site so that we can all send e-cards to Maria now, the original Heartistic. All of the cards go directly to Maria’s email now. What a brilliant idea … after all, it is the fastest way to get your message to her in an online message!
Maria loves hearts, and she was concerned about others spending money buying cards to send her in the mail. She came up with a clever idea of people making their own hearts, instead. Colored construction paper doesn’t cost much at all, and it’s fun cutting out different designs. Some use templates to cut the hearts, others just freehand it. But the point is to cut out those paper hearts and write your messages of love, support, and encouragement to Maria. Whether you know her and love her, like we do, or you’re just coming to know her via this post … Maria would love to surround herself with colorful hearts of all shapes and sizes. She would take the cards with her to the hospital when she had to stay for an extended period of time, and they provided a bright spot in her day when she would see the visual display of love in her room.
If you would be so kind as to send your paper hearts to her at the below address, it would add a little sunshine into her days and warm her heart:
100 W. 100 S.
Lagrange, IN 46761
We have a Facebook page we created also to follow along on her journey. Would you please visit:
I have a small Instagram page for her as well.
Last, but not least … and honestly the most important thing you CAN do for her … please add Maria to your prayer chains at your church, with your friends and family, and if your office has prayer time also (I am lucky and blessed to work in an office environment with believers that pray daily for others). Pray over Maria, her husband, her children and stepchildren, her grandchildren, her friends … speak her name …
God hears us all …