Posts Tagged ‘graduation gifts’


IMG_2826To my sorrow, my free coffee at Starbucks ended on February 1. Thankfully, my wonderful group of family, friends, and supporters gave me such an arsenal of Starbucks gift cards that  I should not run out for a couple of years. Hurray!

As I look back at my graduation day I have a lot of warm memories. I have had a flurry of cards with more than the traditional “Happy Graduation” in them. People IMG_2813
have taken the time to write notes, find cards full of color and glitter that they think reflect me, and buy gift cards that will be used for things I am actually excited about. I am so touched to have received cards from those close and far away, people I know well and people I have only met once or twice, and even from a teacher from my online experience at Nyack.

The party filled me with so much I love I am still processing it. The timing of so many cards, hugs, and well-wishes could not have been better–as I have been under the weather for a couple of weeks now. I look forward to seeing my Lyme doctor in New York next week to get things sorted out. In the meantime I will hold on to the strength imparted in prayers and love from plenty of friends who came together and showed that they were my family. It is on weeks like this that I am reminded of the blessings of living the life that God has called me to.
IMG_2808My parents threw quite the party that was just my style. We went to the Kobe Steakhouse, whereIMG_2847 we took up an entire table even with the storm that had kept a few guests away. As my mentor says, “Leave it to Jessie Mae to have a party that centers on fire.” It astounded me, as I looked around the table, to see friends I had grown up with, friends who had spent part of their lives in Ethiopia, friends who I had barely known for more than a year, and friends of all ages. I am absolutely loving the gift of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! The references to hope and hard knocks are so fitting…

“Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”

Oh, Dr. Seuss, how true! Well, thanks again everybody for making me feel so loved. You are the best a girl could ask for!IMG_2838


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Quite honestly I’d rather write somebody a song on my guitar than a poem in a card, but either way, I’m normally a word-girl… after all, I am a writer. Words that people give me, stick. I have a collection of the cards that mean something hanging on my wall, scrapbooked or safely stored. But when it comes to giving words to others, I am not as skillful. Perhaps it is my understanding that there is always a better way to put something or my excessive need to edit, but cards are just not my thing. I try to give a gift so sentimental it takes just a few short, cute sentences to finish the warm and fuzzy thought train.

Graduations abound around me, causing deja vu and a lot of hopefulness for the day I finally graduate college and put it behind me. Last night I attended a graduation party for two of my close friends and I was at a loss for the sentimental gift to offer. Graduations require special thought. It is the closing of a book of your life and the beginning of a new one. A simple blender will not do for a close friend’s graduation gift.

So a few hours before the party I discovered my gift. It involved few words, much creativity, and almost every moment I had left. My love of scrapbooking has continued to expand as I grow older. When I left for college I created a book recalling memories since birth between my sister and I. For my graduating friends I decided I would create one page of memories, give some extra pages and stickers so that they could chronicle their own adventures they were about to have, and then have a single page where I could write notes and thoughts. So I still ended up writing, but less. I just couldn’t resist…

I’ve got to say that creating the page made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Looking back at the memories and compiling them all together made the relationships stronger. It focused on the good; not the gaps. In a written book, there is good and bad, painful and happy, filler and adventure. And that’s all part of life, but some teenage girl books get so wrapped up in the ugly that there’s no room for the joy. That is the way we tend to think and it is those books we need to rally against! I think I love scrapbooking so much because it highlights all the best parts of life. We need more reminders of the good stuff.

Like the new snazzy guitar I just bought… or swinging with my friend in the park last night until after it had closed… coming up with secret code words with her in case of emergency (at nineteen)… laughing about the stupid moments with old friends… or hanging with my nephews tonight.

Life really does have its awful times. Lately they’ve been tough hurdles. But it also has its amazing, profound, simple wonderous moments. Maybe if we focused a little more on that our lives could be more like scrapbooks than stupid-girly-negative-novels.

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