July 18, 2007

Children's books...

Crazy title, I know. But I adore children's books. I collect them faster than I do craft supplies and that's saying something! I can't pass up a yard sale, tag sale, or book store without searching for at least ONE kid's book. I have shelves and shelves of them...seriously, just ask my husband. My friends and family (including my DH) give them to me for Christmas, birthday, etc. because they know a children's book is the perfect gift for me.
Now, with that said...I am finicky about what books I keep and what I get rid of. It has to be well written. It has to have incredible illustrations. I'm not a Disney character book fan, nor a little golden book fan. Give me Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, Else Holmelund Minarik, Arnold Lobel, Ezra Jack Keats, and Robert McCloskey any day!
I recently grabbed a book from one of our bookcases to read to our littlest munchkin. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Shiela McGraw. It's about a mom rocking her baby back and forth while softly singing: "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My baby you'll be." As the child grows, she continues to sing this while rocking him, from the toddler years through the teen years and on up until he's an adult. There comes a point though, that the mom is too old and sick to hold her son, and the roles are reversed. I cry every time I read this. I'm a sap for sure.

All this background info was meant to lead up to today's card. I made it for my Dad. He's 83. He's lived an incredible life, from fighting on Iwo Jima in WWII to raising 7 children, 6 of them alone (there are 30 years difference between me, the youngest, and Janet, my oldest sister) to hiking the Appalachian trail from start to finish more than once.
Recently, we've realized that my Dad needs to be in a full-time care home. He can no longer live on his own because his dementia/Alzheimer's has grown progressively worse. I won't go into details, because they are sad. He's in a VA hospital right now to be stabilized for 90 days while my siblings and I choose a "home" for him. I feel too young (30) to be "losing" my Dad. He was 53 when I was born though, so he's come a long way and been there for me EVERY step of the way. From elementary band concerts, to high-school plays, from college graduation to my wedding, my Dad has been there cheering me on.
This is for you, Dad.

INSIDE:

It says, "Owl love you forever..." on the front and "...my daddy you'll be" on the inside. Owl stamp by Sideshow stamps, letter stamps by Karen Foster, ribbon from Michael's, ink is StazOn and SU!, prismacolor pencils for coloring.

12 comments:

Flossie's Follies said...

What a wonderful card and story, it is never easy watching a loved one slip away. But you have so many wonderful memories and I am sure stories.

Denise said...

That is very touching. It sounds like you can reflect on all the positives...that's wonderful. I am a lover of children's books too...I even put a little list on my blog!!

Heidi said...

Ok my eyes are welled up with tears...what a beautiful story Dana!! We have that same book and I always cry whenever I read it. My Mom bought the book for Dusty when he was about 2 yrs old, so it has been read many times over. How blessed you are to have such a wonderful father and so many memories. I love your card!! I know your Dad will too--I'm sure he is so proud of you and the beautiful and talented person you are.
Hugs!

papermemories said...

There is a wonderful author, Sarah Thomson and painter, Rob Gonsalves who have partnered together for a couple of really AMAZING children't picture books; imagine a NIGHT and imagine a DAY.

They are worth checking out. I got them for my niece and nephew, but may have to order them for my collection as well.

danni said...

Oh girl, I am typing through tears. We, too, have the book and um, yeah, it's an amazing story that you are living out. Oh to cherish that card!!! Your dad is an incredibly blessed man to have a loving family's, such as you and your siblings, love, as I am sure you have been blessed millions of times over with his love. Oh your Dad, and you, will be in my thoughts and prayers during this time of transition and change for your very special and loving relationship. Your card is so touching, incredible creation. Maybe a beautiful frame for his new room?

Hugs and blessings,
danni

Shadowcatcher said...

Oh, Dana, what a perfect card! So beautiful in its simplicity. I've watched two of my grandparents succumb to Alzheimer's and my heart goes out to you. How special that you have such a close bond with your father.

Mary said...

I love the simplicity of it, and once again I love the fact that you can say so much with so little. Its beautiful, and Dad will love it, too. Hold onto those cherished memories, because those are what is going to get you through this tough time.

Mom Moo said...

Dana, my heart breaks along with yours - Grandma is showing signs also, but she is good at hiding it. we are at the point of asking questions over and over. Remember that he does love you! You are so talented and filled with love. Love you, Mom Moo

Jessica said...

My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult transition. My dad bought that same book at a yard sale for Zach when he was very young, and it makes me cry, too! (Zach rolls his eyes at me now when i get emotional over it...) This card is beautiful, and even more so for knowing the story behind it. Hugs to you!

Corie said...

What a fantastic card -- love it. So simple, yet so GORGEOUS

Jan Scholl said...

I love kids books too and still buy them when I see ones that have great stories and art. My youngest kid is 30 and my youngest grand kid is a teenager, so it is me reading them. I have many of my kid's favorites from when they were little and will pass them on when appropriate. I love holiday books best especially Halloween ones. And every young person I know or young at heart person gets a Harry Potter book from me (unless they are too little and they get Captain Underpants)

The love of reading is one of the best gifts you can give anyone-unfortunately my dad could hardly read at all with a 4th grade education. He missed out on so much because he was often too proud to ask for reading help and just settled on the sports scores. But he was a whiz at math!

Julie (Joypup on SCS) said...

The card, the story... I am a puddle, and it is all your fault! Great work, and know you are being thought of at a difficult time.