Friday, August 8, 2008

The albatross is lifted.. a final time

For anyone who has known me over the past few years, you must already know that I have had an "albatross" around my neck. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner tells the story of a mariner who takes on something that was too big for him. He is forces to wear a dead albatross (one that he himself killed) around his neck as punishment for killing it. Its a long depressing poem that I studied in school and even though I don't remember much of it, I do remember that albatross.

My albatross was a scrapbooking project that I started 6 years ago. My sisters middle stepdaughter, Michele, gave birth to triplets... in 2002. I was in the height of scrapbooking at that time and promised a baby album that chronicled their first year. I loved doing this book.. at first. Then an album for Stephanie's graduation became my all consuming focus. Then the summer hit, then back to work, then getting ready Christmas, then winter... then another album for my sister. All along, I puttered away at the babies' album. It was over two years in the waiting at this point. I started to feel bad about not getting it done, but then another album needed to be created... Michelle's graduation album. then the summer, and so on and so on....

After 4 years of not finishing it, it became an albatross... just something hanging around my neck, filling me with guilt.

My dearest friend Debbie, who scrapbooked with me, and who also created an album for her graduate, Ashley in 2005 kept my spirits lifted and kept the ball rolling. After our girls books (which were huge and a ton of work) were done, we still got together each Monday, and tried to work on our respective albums. Mine was a mental block if there ever was one, and to spend one night looking for pictures, coming up with a plan, scanning what I needed, choosing colors, and fonts and journaling and then to put it all together for the next week was painful some weeks. We couldn't do every Monday, and when we missed a few weeks, we were both back at zero trying to remember where we were!

Ok... that's the history. This summer, I decided that it was not going to go on any longer. I knew I would see my super three in August and that was when they should see their book. But as always, I found other things to do instead of scrapbooking!.... Until last week. Then it just hit... it was uncontrollable how badly I wanted to give them their book on the long weekend in August! While Terry ripped up floors, upstairs, I was planning, cutting, choosing and constructing pages downstairs. I only needed to get 6 double pages done. I worked morning to night and actually did an extra 4 pages, because there were pictures that just needed to be scrapped!

This weekend, we went to my sisters' cottage and to her home. I lay the book out on the coffee table and surprised the triplets and their mom and dad.

Somehow, the albatross wasn't really an albatross after all. Maybe it was divine intervention. It was so much better to have waited until the kids were 6 before they got to enjoy their baby book. They all loved to see themselves and peppered their mom with questions. Michele and Wade were excited to see things in the book that they had forgotten. So worth it.. and sooooo much better to have it when you are 6 years old instead of when your 2 or 3. The very last page of the book will have this picture on it with the words "A Gift of Love". I truly loved making the book for this family, and I am so pleased that they will have a fun book to look at and see just what little miracles these kids are!


Anonymous said...

I love the title for the last page because this book truly was a gift of love. The triplets (and Michele and Wade) are so lucky to have you in their family, to have volunteered to take on such a special project. You really put so much thought, as well as your heart and soul into the creation of each page! It is a gift that they will all treasure and enjoy.
Thank you for letting me witness the book in the making. It truly was a learning experience for me - I don't think I will ever volunteer to take on such a gargantuan task!!!!!!

GailM. said...

The book is so beautiful. It's a good lesson to others, maybe there is a reason you can't get your project done when you planned. When the time is right, the time is right! Don't fight it, just go with the flow. This is such a beautiful book. I love the book you did for me too. I still look at it and it brings such a feeling of love and comfort to me... Thanks so much... I LOVE YOU!

Anonymous said...

WOw, YOU DID IT...good for you and nice that Debbie was there to keep you going. You two have such a great friendship.....two peas in a pod. I am so glad I have both of you as friends. Your Diamondtologist Friend

cpm said...

OMG! You finished it! now you'll have tons of time to help me with mine! ha!ha! just jokes!!!
What a wonderful they will treasure forever! You are one special aunt! (and friend)