Tuesday, March 25, 2003    


How has scrapbooking changed my life

By:Darla S.

This essay is one of the easiest and most difficult things to write. But why do I write it, because I want to share my store with you.

To begin I want to answer the question "How has scrapbooking changed your life?".

I began scrapbooking almost six years ago. It was May of 1997. How can I remember exactly when I started? That is quite easy to answer. I loved taking pictures and the main focus of my pictures was my much younger sister Brittany. You see there were 19 years diffence between us, so having a new little sister in my life was a complete joy. For five years I had taken stacks and stacks of photos. Then in May of 1997, my younger sister Brittany was diagnosed with leukemia. I was truly devastated by this news. I then found myself going through my pictures and recounting all the wonderful memories and I began questioning what the future holds. A friend of mine and I were talking about all my photos and she told me about scrapbooking. I immediately became interested and that following weekend ran to a local discount store and bought my first kit. I spent many days after that working on my scrapbooks. I noticed the change in me while working on them and after I had done some layouts. I began relaxed and more at ease to deal with the things that were going on in my family's life.

After realizing how there were many benefits to scrapbooking, I decided to share my new found passion with Brittany. She had always loved doing crafts and drawing and I knew this would definately be something she liked. I took all of my new scrapbooking supplies and headed to the children's hospital where Brittany was staying. She loved it. We worked for hours working on her scrapbook pages. After that and for the next five years Brittany worked on her scrapbooks. She was in and out of the hospital quite a bit and it helped her get through the long days and nights. She was always proud to show her work off to the staff and it helped bring a smile to her face. Brittany continued to work on her albums right up until she lost her battle with leukemia at the tender age of 10 on April 6th, 2002.

You see, not only had scrapbooking changed my life, it changed Brittany's. I gave us both the diversion from the stresses of a serious illness. It lifted our spirits when we were feeling blue and feeling discouraged. It also gave us the chance to make choices, when many choices were being taken away from us.

Scrapbooking made such an impact on my life that in 2001 I started a local therapeutic scrapbooking group. Since our first crop we have had an increase in membership and have helped share the wonderful benefits of scrapbooking to those who could really use it. We have been able to provide the members with great materials and tools and education and an opportunity to come together with others that are in similar situations.

Because of scrapbooking, I am working on carrying on the legacy of my little sister. There will one day be a foundation in her name and we will be able to share scrapbooking to patients, family members, friends and even caregivers. To people of all ages.

So you see, to put it quite simply. Scrapbooking has helped me get through the good days and the bad days. It helps me everyday deal with my great loss and helps me with remembering the wonderful memories. It has also provided me with wonderful memory albums that my little sister put her whole heart into and left me not only a piece of her legacy, but a look into her soul and spirit. It has also helped me with finding a way to continue to help Brittany's light shine on and help make a difference in other people's lives. So that is how scrapbooking has changed my life.

Darla Stewart

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: We're not Russian scrappers, by DWalsh,Trenton,Ontario,Canada (currently Kyiv, Ukraine)

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