Friday, July 17, 2009

Comfort is in the Cards….

It’s probably no surprise that I grew up a greeting card addict. I had boxes and drawers filled with cards, piles stashed under my bed and even in my book bag. My friends and I designed and wrote cards after school for years – an old fashioned version of a play date I suppose. I actually thought at one point, I’d write cards for a living. But, I found a better niche for this card-passionate, aspiring PR professional, first working for the Greeting Card Association and later – for 20 years - as the show manager of the single most important event for greeting cards – the National Stationery Show.

So, when HOPE is in the Cards ( launched @ the 2009 show my propensity for activism kicked into gear. I vowed I would pick up the torch again to promote the power of the written word in this age of digital sentiments that have little staying power once the delete button is pushed. I’ve decided my focus will be local, taking the lead from Russ Haan, HOPE’s founder, and get into the elementary schools to orient tech savvy kids to the high touch concept of ink on paper. Our social culture is starving for this, in my humble opinion and it’s up to the next generation of humans to carry on the tradition.

Now, fast-forward to two weeks ago when so suddenly, my father passed away. The greeting cards have been pouring in since, and I cannot express with enough emphasis the comfort that I derive daily from every read, every passing by the area in my home or in my office where these sweet offerings embrace me. I have come to rely on them when I least expect the grief to take over, and more than ever this reinforces the quality that cards possess to comfort, support, help heal, help cope, feel the love of another human being, understand the power of the written word – this only next to the hug of my husband, mom or very best girlfriend.

The cards I received vary in style, size and shape, printing sophistication, paper quality, eco chic, philanthropic orientation. Some are versed, others are blank. Some are layered, others are flat. Still others are handmade. I counted the number of companies whose cards I received – 17 in all! And, while stylistically very different one from the next, the enduring fact remains that when the message really matters, there’s absolutely nothing more powerful, more personal than ink on paper. Yes, indeed, comfort is in the cards.


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