How it all started...
I was raised in a small sleepy town that only had a handful of people. A very tight nit community where everyone knew each other and took care of each other. As I have gotten older I have watched as so many aspects of life have changed. For most of my life I have not been good at change. I have always enjoyed the peaceful comfort in knowing pretty much what each day would hold for me. I was happy to have my life revolve completely around my children and husband. As they grew older and started down their own paths in life I became concerned of "empty nesting". I feared that my need to care for others would be coming to an end. Of course I did what so many others have done and poured myself into something creative and before long I was able to be creative for others. I was lead to open a small home business that allowed me to pass my time and still do something I enjoyed.
My children were great and as supportive as they could be- helping set up, sitting with me as I spent late nights designing and creating what ever someone needed. I think somewhere in their hearts they know that I need each of them just as they needed me when they were younger. I set up a Facebook page and small website with the help of my sister who is amazing with her computer skills and even has her very own blog (that you really should check out at Taylor Life ). My dear beloved helped me pick a name (Crafty Compliments) and all of a sudden I was in full running business....but God had something else in mind for me.
Slowly my children moved out and grand-babies began coming. Which by the way grand-babies are one of the best things in life! I loved the challenge of creating whatever someone needed- but still did not seem to be completely satisfied with my life. There were so many changes, and if you raise a child that is strong enough to stand on their own then you should really pre-pare yourself for them actually doing that (and I def did NOT pre-pare myself enough).
Then it happened - what was left of my small wonderful lil world started exploding around me. My son was stationed on the other side of the country, my oldest daughter was married and babies on the way, and our youngest daughter was graduating High School and on a mission to begin her adult life. Even Crafty Compliments was changing into something completely different. And with the children grown my beloved wanted to be able to move closer to his work and no longer have the hour drive one way. I felt my life was spiraling completely out of my control- and it was.
A dear friend of mine passed away, the sadness from a loss is one of the deepest pains anyone can endure in life - the look on her grandchildrens faces and the pain I was feeling was over-whelming. This woman had been my adopted mother for so long. She was there for me when I needed a shoulder. She got on to me when she felt I was not on the right path. She always reminded me that even though I was having a difficult time in my life that I have a wonderful life and family and that God had something he needed me to do. She died while I was in California visiting my son and daughter-in-law (the first time in my life my husband was able to get me to leave The South).
I sat at her funeral completely heartbroken and felt as though I had nothing more to give. Her grandchildren longing so much to be able to keep something tangible of her with them. Her daughter was inconsolable. The devastation was only worsened at the fact that everyone knew the grandchildren would soon be loosing their mother also. This is where God stepped into my life and everything changed for me.
I sat in the church trying to hold back the tears, trying to be strong for my sweet Momma-Margaret family.Her dearest friend could see I was struggling and was such a rock for everyone there (I know in my heart I would have crumbled without Debra Kaye). I could offer nothing to comfort Momma- Margaret's friends and family, I had no more to give of my self..I was breaking quickly and could feel all of the life changes flooding in and taking over. I normally consider my self good in these situations - but this was definitely not one of those moments. Memories flooded in from the loss of my own husband and all the other losses in my life. Debra Kaye held my hand and God allowed for her to be the strength that all of us needed so badly. As I sat praying to God to give me any words of comfort for Momma- Margaret's grand-children because I knew I did not have the strength to give them when I knew they needed so very bad.
Of course as in all memorial and funeral services everyone tries to find conversation and it never seems to fail that comments are made on the beautiful floral arrangements, photos, videos and music. This was no different. The flowers were a special design by a local florist Southern Gardens and Florist and were just perfect for honoring the life of such a wonderful person.
I honestly believe that Momma- Margaret spoke to the Good Lord him self when she went home. I believe that she asked for Him to keep his hand on her children, grandchildren, and even me. Because as I sat there praying for anyway to help comfort her sweet family I had an over-whelming urge to tell them I would preserve one of these beautiful flowers for each of them. As I created the small keepsakes out of the flowers I felt a peace that I had never felt before. It was not long before other friends and family also wanted me to create keepsakes using different small bits of their precious mementos. And soon I felt led to change not only the name of my business but also what I should specialized in and devote myself to.
Now More than Memories Keepsakes is constantly growing. We have found a house in a small lil town not way far away from home and we believe that we can establish roots once again and create a home for all of the children and grandchildren to come. I will have my very own studio dedicated solely to the creation of these beautiful keepsakes. My beloved and I relationship is stronger than ever. My son and daughter-in-law are moving back home and coming with a new baby on the way. My oldest daughter, her husband and three children are looking to move around the same are we are at. And I can not lie- I am hoping that my youngest daughter will follow suit as well and we will all be close enough for drop in visits once again.
Although I have never been ok with change and I have had a total life overhaul I am happy as can be. God and Momma-Margaret have kept their hand on my life and I am once again not only able to continue to create (which has been a passion for my entire life) but I am also able to help others. Every piece I create brings me beautiful memories of my own past, my own losses, and my own experiences. When I tell someone that I am honored to create these...it is the utmost truth. Creating Keepsakes for others brings such a joy to my life and world. I feel so blessed that The Good Lord allowed me this privilege. I look forward to everyday creating and learning new techiques that I can share with others.