My Niece is a Seaman Recruit

My Niece is a Seaman Recruit

Tomorrow, March 12th, marks 5 weeks since my niece reported to bootcamp with the USA Navy.  Felicia is a seaman recruit, and she is my hero.  Words cannot express how grateful I am that Felicia chose this for herself and that she followed-through with one of the hardest decisions she may have ever made.  With that said, I was beyond proud of her when she passed her fitness test (week 1).  Felicia said that if she made it thru week 2 there was no doubt she would it to graduation day.  Graduation for her is April 6, 2018!

I have had friends who had family members serve with the US Military, but I’ve not experienced the feelings one does when I loved one chooses to serve in the Military.  I have experienced worry, fear, excitement, joy, and wonder.  To be honest, I try not to take in the news and consider the “what ifs” because that is a joy-stealer to the max!  The silence has been hard – I want daily updates, but that does not happen when your loved one is in bootcamp… However, I can tell you that when I received a hand written letter from Felicia on her 2nd week, I was beyond thrilled. You would have thought the letter was worth a million dollars; and to me…it was.  I waited until I had a quiet moment so I could slowly open her letter to see if I could find a secret code telling me how she is really doing (is she safe, is she making friends, is she scared? – I don’t think she would be that transparent with me, but I was hopeful).  Instead, Felicia was upbeat, excited about what she was accomplishing, and only complaining about how hard the workouts were – not that she wouldn’t do them. For a moment there I thought… I can never complain about my workouts ever again!  Ha!  I’m a very proud aunt.

Once we got word we could write to Felicia, I wanted to show her how much I think of her and how much I love her so I designed this greeting card for Felicia.  I felt my heart pounding thru my chest when I put her card in mail because because it dawned on me that she had a new title… SM, Wingle, Felicia.. Proud Aunt Moment all over again.  Aunt T

Roxy and Rudy

I was asked to create a custom print for a friend of mine. She told me that her sister loved owls and dogs.  The problem was the original design I created had a cat instead of a dog in the illustration and she asked if I could make the switch.  Wendy assured me that it was not a rush to get this done for her, but she would like to give a print to her sister, Barbara.

Timing is everything; as it was just before the busy holiday season and I had a few custom design jobs I was working on.  As time passed, Wendy reached out to me to see if I could just “cut and paste” a dog into the design; but it just wasn’t that easy (I had to create a dog since I’m such a cat person).

Home in my studio the day after Christmas, I put some finishing touches on the design and was excited to share the finished product with Wendy, so I  sent her a message via Facebook Messenger.  I was hopeful she read it because there was an acknowledgement stating that she had viewed the message.  I found it unlike her to not get back to me right away with either an edit, but I patiently waited for her to respond.

I knew Wendy was not well, but I didn’t realize how ill she had become so quickly.  Sadly, Wendy lost her courageous battle with cancer and passed away on December 30, 2017.  My heart was a heavy when I heard the news.

I’ve since reached out to her sister, Barbara and I’ll be sending her a gift set of the greeting cards that I designed for her.  I believe the circle is now complete and although this is not the outcome I had expected – I know Wendy would want me to follow through on the plans she set in place when we first discussed this special gift for her sister.  Roxy and Rudy – these two are in sweet Memory of Wendy Steinberg.