Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Empty Chair***Swirlydoos*** Featuring Zva Creative***

Today is a bittersweet day for our family. 1 year ago today, we lost my dear mother in law. My kids lost their Nanny, my husband lost his mom, my father in law lost his wife, and I lost a very dear friend... The Gregory family lost their matriarch. She meant so much to all of us. My own parents adored her so. My mother in law once wrote a letter to my mom, thanking my mom for sharing me with her. I want to think that I was the daughter she never had. She once told me I was. We think about her every day. We still mourn her loss, and as Gabrielle is nearing graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, it gets harder knowing Nanny wont be there to see it happen. (We remind Gabbie that she will be there in her heart). It was my MIL's lifelong dream to be a professional chef with her own restaurant. Instead, she chose to raise a family and put them first. She was one hell of a cook. She was Gabbie's inspiration for all she is doing now. And I believe it was divine intervention on my MIL's part that helped Gabbie get through school, and kept her safe through all of her travels from one side of the United States, to the other.
My MIL was a very religious person, and always prayed. After she passed, I found lots of prayers written by hand, tucked in books here and there all around her house. I feel very fortunate that my mother in law left anything of sentimental value to me. Including the Family Bible. I thought about a beautiful story I read long time ago. It was called the empty chair. And it reminded me of my mother in laws faith, and what got her through the toughest moments in her life. She spoke to God through Jesus on a daily basis. So in her memory, I created this LO. We miss you Nanny...Every day we miss you so much...

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

This layout was created using Swirlydoos March kit French Quarter. I love the Glitz French Kiss papers. I hope you joined the Swirlydoos March Blog Hop!! There are a few fantastic Prizes to be won!! You still have until midnight to night to hop and be entered into the prize vault!!
I was also inspired to scrap this LO for the new Once Upon A Sketch challenge. I started to follow the sketch, then the LO took on a life of it's own..Happens to me all the time. I did follow the journaling criteria. My journaling is on the back.

Instead of butterflies, I chose to place some doves around the LO. They are a Sizzix die. The leaves are also a Sizzix die. I used Zva Creative Sweet Roses [FLBK-03CB-135] and Mini Roses [FLBK-03CB-103] for the centers of my hand made flowers.

The gorgeous crystal Swirls are Zva Double Flourish Crystals [CR-03CA-113] I made some Spiral Roses from scraps of paper instead of coffee filters. I punched some strips of paper using my Martha Stewart Pansy punch and tucked them under the edges of the patterned paper all around.

I used the lovely Zva Creative Pink Rosy Crystal [CR-04CB-116]. I used 1 from each pack on this LO. There are 2 in each pack.

I decided to print up the story and post it to the back of the LO. It really is beautiful. And just how I pictured my MIL in the end. We were there when she passed, and when her head leaned toward the side in her last hour. I know she had her head on HIS shoulder...It made me smile despite the sadness in my heart.


The Empty Chair

A man's daughter had asked the local minister to
come and pray with her father.

When the minister arrived, he found the man lying
in bed with his head propped up on two pillows.

An empty chair sat beside his bed.
The minister assumed that the old fellow had been
informed of his visit.

"I guess you were expecting me, he said.

'No, who are you?" said the father.

The minister told him his name and then remarked,
"I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up,"

"Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man.
"Would you mind closing the door?"
Puzzled, the minister shut the door.

"I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,"
said the man.

"But all of my life I have never known how to pray.
At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer,
But it went right over my head."

I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued,
"until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me,
"Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus.
Here is what I suggest."

"Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you,
and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, 'I
will be with you always'.

"Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now."

"So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it
a couple of hours every day.

I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd
either have a nervous breakdown
or send me off to the funny farm."

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to
continue on the journey.

Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil,
and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had
died that afternoon.

Did he die in peace?" he asked.

Yes, when I left the house about two o'clock, he called me over to his
bedside, told me how much he loved me
and kissed me on the cheek.

When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead.

But there was something strange about his death.
Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the
chair beside the bed.

What do you make of that?"
The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said,
"I wish we could all go like that."

36 comments:

Brenda said...

ohhh Lisa I am speechless(that NEVER happens)what a beautiful beautiful tribute to your Mother in law...hard to type thru the tears...I can only imagine how you felt doing this layout... your layout is soooo beautifully done...thanks you for sharing
hugs
Brenda
I too have been doing things on the back of my layouts...I do believe it was you that inspired me to do that as well

LISA said...

Brenda, I did a lot of crying while creating the page. I cried when I typed the poem for print, I cried when I was post processing the picture, I cried when I thougth about my family reading this and missing her, I just cried. But I love how it turned out. My mother in law was also an artist. I know she would have loved this.

donna said...

Lisa,
What a LO. It touched my heart.
I lost a DS in 2006, and at flamily reunions we always play
County Roads by John Denver (her fav, us being from W. VA originaly)
She wanted to be buried there, but the family could not afford to take her back, they had a headstone
made with a painting of a cabin near the Mountains. Last year I scrapbooked the previous yrs. reunion photo,s to raffle off.
And I did a 2 pg lo of her for the album when she was about 2, standing in a field of tall grass and wildflowers, the other page was a letter telling her how her life turned out, how much she meant to us how much we loved her and how much she is missed. I vowed to do the same lo for me to keep, but in this busy world, I have not done so, your lo of your dear MIL has inspired me to go do it.
Thank you ever so much.

donna said...

Lisa,
What a LO. It touched my heart.
I lost a DS in 2006, and at flamily reunions we always play
County Roads by John Denver (her fav, us being from W. VA originaly)
She wanted to be buried there, but the family could not afford to take her back, they had a headstone
made with a painting of a cabin near the Mountains. Last year I scrapbooked the previous yrs. reunion photo,s to raffle off.
And I did a 2 pg lo of her for the album when she was about 2, standing in a field of tall grass and wildflowers, the other page was a letter telling her how her life turned out, how much she meant to us how much we loved her and how much she is missed. I vowed to do the same lo for me to keep, but in this busy world, I have not done so, your lo of your dear MIL has inspired me to go do it.
Thank you ever so much.

Cheryl Winget said...

Your post has brought tears to my eyes and made me think of my own beloved MIl who has been gone for meany years. Thank you for this tender piece.

Heather said...

Lisa~ Gorgeous Layout...and wonderful tribute to your dear Mother in law. It is so touching that she wrote the letter to your mother. I know she meant so much to you..and your family. I started reading your post, and I too cried....I remember a year ago..time passes so fast. The poem is just beautiful..and perfect for your layout. You have always had the perfect stories or poems to share.
Hugs and Prayers for you and your family my friend.

Marilyn Peter said...

How beautiful Lisa, it made me cry!! What a wonderful tribute to your MIL....my MIL is also my best friend and her health is not the best and I cherish each day we have with her.
That peom is beautiful, so touching! Thanks you.

Tracey Gregory said...

Oh,Lisa,this is so touching and beautiful, I'm crying now too..what a beautiful tribute o such a spiritual woman...

Lisa said...

Wow I bet the tears were rolling. You were lucky to have her in your life!!! This is a beautiful tribute to her and beautiful it is!!!

Shona said...

awwwww that is always such a hard time...gorgoues layout love the journal sectoin on the back, very touching

marla said...

Lisa - what a meaningful layout. I know what you are going through in the griefing process I just lost my dear FIL last month. It is never easy to lose a loved one.

Lizzyc said...

OH my goodness... I have heard this poem before and each time i read it it brings tears to my eyes.. How very beautiful.. This is a wonderful tribute to your precious MIL and I am sure this layout will be amongst the most cherished of your layouts.. really heartfelt, and extremely beautiful...love it..

gretheB said...

I can be hard to find the right words- but I loved your story and it made me think of my mother. It so beautiful what you wrote and a beautiful layout you made. Enjoy the memories - sometimes tears are following, but it is so nice to have the good memories.

Elisabeth said...

Reading your touching story got tears in my eyes. How blessed are you to have had a mother in law who appreciated you. Wonderful LO which preserves a precious memory.

jennifer berkhahn said...

That is really a beautiful story both the poem and the story of your mother in law. I am sure she looking down from heaven smiling amazed at what an inspiration she was. I was very touched and will keep that poem close to my heart for a long time. Thank you

Olga V. said...

Lisa, thank you so much for sharing a story about your mother in law and the poem. Both are very moving...

Carolyn said...

The layout is simply stunning and the EMPTY CHAIR story made me cry. TFS

Maria said...

Oh Lisa, I feel for you ... Your mother-in-law sounded like one heck of a lady. Your layout is, AS ALWAYS, a masterpiece - I think part of why you create the most gorgeous layouts is because of the beautiful people like her who have touched your life so much. I know she and your family are so honored to have her memory captured so beautifully!

Helen Tilbury said...

Such a beautiful layout & thanks for being inspired by Once Upon a Sketch - wow!!! Great idea for your journaling too!!

Cherished said...

OMG. What a beautiful Tribute. Brought tears to my eyes.

Vicky Alberto said...

Amazing post, amazing layout - I'm speechless!

Denise said...

Oh.Lisa..honey I remember when she passed. This lo is such a beautiful tribute and so heartwarming..brought tears to my eyes..you can see your whole heart in this lo..beautifully done my friend...**hugs**

Bente Fagerberg said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person. It will be something for your family to treasure. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at OUAS!!

phamil said...

LISA....I have chillbumps girl! This is spectacular, so heartfelt and beautiful. I have no words to express my thoughts about it. YOu have done an amazing tribute to a very special woman. I know she would be happy to see it! WOW....thank you for sharing with us a using this for OUAS!!! Hugs!

Georgia Heald said...

Such a beautiful moving layout. I think you are right, you MIL would have really loved what you have created. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Once Upon A Sketch =)

Jasmine S said...

Well I am now sobbing...lol. I loved hearing about your gorgeous MIL and special she was to many of you and then when I read the story of the old man, the tears really flowed. Thank you for sharing two beautiful stories and a gorgeous page. Thanks for joining us at OUAS.

MYLIFEMYPUGSMYSCRAPBOOK said...

How beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your story and that prayer with all of us, I have printed it for my mom she will love it!!

Natalie Elphinstone said...

Thanks for sharing all this with us at Once Upon a Sketch - it's such a special page. I love the prettiness of it, especially the touches of pink. And I love how much heartfelt journaling/story/prayer you were able to include.

Lynette said...

You were so blessed to have such a loving MIL...and I believe that her prayers carried you through many days. Isn't it amazing how scrapping can bring so much healing in our lives.

YOur layout is beyond gorgeous.

Corinna McGregor Barth said...

Oh goodness, what an amazing page! I was so moved reading the poem and "feeling" the layout. As I looked at the layers, it was as if your love came through, layer by layer, loud and clear. Beautiful!

Sherry Gardner said...

Your journaling story is beautiful...and your lay out is stunning...and reading the empty chair is a beautiful testimony of faith...thank you sooo much for sharing this it blesses me....
Sherry

Heather Jacob said...

how wonderful that you had a special relationship with your mother-in-law .... that is so special .... and you have beautiful memories ... the deeper the relationship the deeper the grief I always say .... a beautiful post from a beautiful person, I can tell you are an awesome soul ... take care and believe in the process of life ... all is well ... love and hugz Heather x

juscrap said...

Our beautiful that's what you wrote! You touched my heart. Congratulations on a page so beautiful.

Lauren said...

Great take on the sketch, very moving.

Trudi Harrison said...

Heartfelt and so beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us at OUAS

Jeni O'Connor said...

Lisa this is wonderful. What a beautiful tribute. Your love and pain are palpable. Gorgeous work.