I am a child and family therapist. My personal and professional endeavors cultivate the power of words and creativity to promote healing and resilience.
Only three weeks after my return to work, following a lengthy medical leave for breast cancer treatment, the COVID pandemic shutdown sent me home again to ride out another crisis, waiting and hoping for the best. I was just bouncing back after a difficult year in survival mode. My husband died six years prior and my sons were serving in the military far from home, so I relied on the compassionate and loving presence of my friends, extended family, and colleagues, as I fought to endure chemo and recover from surgery. Their incredible support got me through the cancer ordeal. COVID ushered in a new round of uncertainty and fears with a health crisis on a global scale. As it continued with no end in sight, my eldest son convinced me to ride out the ongoing pandemic with him. Moving to his home took me far from mine and, with unexpected deployments, I ended up alone more than I anticipated. I decided to channel my creative energies in my time alone to make symbolic and uplifting holiday gifts for those I missed back home. With limited supplies at my son’s house, I had to be resourceful. The accumulated cardboard boxes from pandemic deliveries provided raw material with potential. All I needed was my sharp Frisker Scissors, some paint pens, and markers. I cut out various five- and six-point stars and spent my evenings creating intricate patterned designs on each star, while I thought with hope for those I loved and cared about…and the world in the face of the pandemic. I found peace in the meditative and mindful task, and like all creative endeavors, it generated my own sense of hope, the very thing I wished to offer with my gifts. On the back, I wrote the word, “HOPE” in silver to stand out against the cardboard brown. It brought me comfort and joy to create the Hope stars, and I was excited to tuck them in the envelopes with my holiday cards, knowing they would bring a smile and sense of connection when opened.