Wednesday, April 16, 2003    


How Scrapbooking Has Changed My Life

By:Susan Mela

For the past year and a half my two grown daughters have been fueding over an insignificant incident. Each has drawn me to the middle demanding I take her part. My heart is breaking over what appears to be total hatred between the two young women I love more than life itself. I had been tormenting myself asking over and over, "What did I do wrong?" I felt like a total failure for not instilling the correct family values in them. I blamed myself for being a bad mother and not teaching them that sisters should never hold grudges that can destroy their relationship. I kept thinking that the most important job I ever did was raising my daughters and I failed miserably at it. I was upset and depressed to the point where I didn't even want to be with my friends because I couldn't bear hearing them talk about their families.

On a whim, while watching QVC, I ordered a scrapbooking kit in September, 2002. When it came, I immediately took pictures of my grandchildren to start my first layout with the intention of making an album for them. Once I got totally caught up in the scrapbooking momentum, I started sorting through and attempting to organize thirty five years of family pictures. Through tears of joy mixed with sadness, I re-lived memories that came flooding back to me when holding a picture of my daughters hugging each other, my older daughter teaching the younger one to swim, or family holidays filled with love and happiness. I have bitersweet moments when I look at beautiful pictures of what I call "a time when they were sisters". I credit my new hobby with making me realize that my daughters were raised with love and family values. It was because of their upbringing that they are independent thinking women. Had I not bought that first scrapbooking kit and loved the idea of preserving my memories, I would not have been sorting through my photographs. It was the sorting process that helped me to see that their estrangement has nothing to do with me being a bad mother or them not being properly raised.

My younger daughter still lives home. She looks over my shoulder when I am scrapbooking and tells me how much she likes my layouts. I have done two layouts of my daughters as young girls. Each has commented favorably on the memories the layouts brought back to them. Perhaps, with the help of my scrapbooking they will find peace with each other.

Scrapbooking has definitely changed my life for the better. I enjoy preserving my memories. I find relaxation after a long stressful work day when I scrap into the wee hours of the night. Most importantly, I have found peace within myself.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: What do I like most about, by Maria aka (Football Widow)

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