Our good friend and Journal Study Group artist Melanie Testa was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. Pat, Teri, Benedicte, and I were devastated and questioned Melly re: all of the things we might do to help her through the chemotherapy-surgery-radiation. She received the love and support of the "art quilt community" and they made a group quilt for her to wrap up in during the bad days. When we asked Melly what we might do, in addition to planning fun activities for her "upswing week," (the week before the next course of chemotherapy), these were some of her suggestions:
"If you would like to 'do' something for me, a nice handmade post/card, an occasional email, a live plant, a cheap iTunes card sent three or four months from now."
We immediately launched a postcard project and were joined by Pamela from San Diego and Gwen Diehn (honorary members of our Journal Study Group), We each selected a day of the week, and on our individual day every week, we mail Melly a postcard that we make. My day is Saturday. At the end of this project, we will work with Melly to see what we can make to keep all of the postcards together.
It was only after she received our second cycle of postcards that she realized that there was a postcard campaign. She has received 4 cycles of chemotherapy so far and next week will be her upswing week, so she should have more than 70 postcards of love by now.
This was a snippet from one of her recent emails (Melly - I hope you don't mind me sharing this):
"I have been loving the postcards you guys are sending. Pamela always sends a quilted card, exquisitely finished with a quote or poem printed on the back. Perhaps when she comes next she might describe and demo the process. Gwen keeps me up to date on her most current creative endeavor-I have gotten small pieces of the puzzle and this week, I may be seeing the whole picture, it is amazing. Pat, I imagine you stamping out each word, I want to see you do it. Shirley's colors are getting brighter and more confident and she seems to settle into her style with each month, day, and certainly each card. Benedicte is firmly entrenched in envelope use. Teri pipes up and and pulls things from her hat. My collection of cards is growing and I feel truly honored that you guys have been doing this for me. I have pulled the stack out my desk, I will need a new and longer ribbon to contain them all."
Here are my last 2 postcards for Melly: my tulips from last week and my daffodil from this week - which will soon be delivered to my corner letter box for mailing.