Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.

Jun

14th

guest post: coming together to create a gift

The following is written by Danielle in Australia. We are honored to share this with you too. Grab a tissue.

…..

I’m an amateur photographer (and Project Lifer) who is always looking for more photography practise, so when our friends asked if I would photograph their wedding recently of course I said yes.  Geoff & Debbie have been together for many years but never got around to getting married. Then Geoff was diagnosed with Melanoma in November 2012. Many different treatments were tried and as a family they fought his cancer valiantly. Their youngest son is only 6 months older than our oldest son and we have known them for many years, and so this was a very emotional time for us all.

Geoff had proposed to Debbie last year, and on 13th April 2013 they were married. It was a small, intimate ceremony in their own home, as by then Geoff was very ill and had been hospitalised. He was released for the day to marry his love. It was a beautiful, touching ceremony full of emotions and it was an honour to be part of it.

As a budding photographer with limited, self taught Photoshop editing skills, I found editing the photos a daunting job. An indoor wedding on a rainy day with a groom who looked so very ill, plus the emotions I myself was feeling whenever I saw him in the photos, looking so ill and not like how he had been in the past, was making it very difficult. I wanted to get them done quickly so that Geoff in particular would have time to look at them, as we just didn’t know how much longer he would be with us.

So what’s a Project Lifer in this situation to do, but ask for help on the Project Life Australia Facebook group page. I posted one of the photos from the day there and asked for help on how to edit it. To my surprise and pleasure I was inundated with tips, ideas and offers of help. Two of the ladies, Christine Cid and Shannon Summers, even offered to do some of the editing for me. Christine in particular, who had 5 children of her own at home on school holidays, edited 20 of the images for me over the next few days, and did a far, far better job than I could have done. All of their edits made it into the final pick and I was and will always be so grateful to them.

A question that was asked on my post was, how was I going to present the photos to them? I hadn’t thought too much about that at that point as I was just trying to get the photos edited and looking good. Naturally enough the consensus was that a Mini Album would be the best choice, paired with the Wedding Mini Kit – which hadn’t been released digitally at that stage. One of the group members suggested that I ask Becky’s team for help with that.

Time was of the essence with Geoff’s illness progressing quickly, so I emailed Becky’s Project Life team and also Craft House in New Zealand with requests for help. Replies were prompt and I was thrilled to be allowed to purchase the digital mini wedding kit early, and have the Midnight Mini Album express couriered to me immediately. Five days after their wedding, I had received the album from Craft House and was printing the digital Wedding Mini Kit and photos. I also used some cards from an Etsy store here in Australia, Mister Mostaccio.

That Saturday, one week after their wedding, our family delivered the completed album to Debbie. We were not with Geoff in the hospital when Debbie showed him but are told that he was very pleased with the end results, as was Debbie.

The process of completing this album for our friends has really reaffirmed to me just how helpful and genuinely nice people can be.  Everyone was so generous and thoughtful with wanting to help make a special keepsake for them. The compassion and an outpouring of hope and good wishes for them both was overwhelming.

After we gave the album to Geoff & Debbie, the Project Life team asked me if I would share photos of the album and the story of it’s creation. I replied that I would ask them how they felt about sharing their album in that way, as even though I took the photos and created the album, it’s not mine to share or not, it’s theirs.

Unfortunately Geoff had taken a turn for the worse and it wasn’t the time to ask. Just over 3 weeks after their wedding, he passed away, 6 months after he was diagnosed. He was 48 years old. It was a very difficult time for us all, most especially for Debbie and her family.

I told Debbie the story of how the album came to be, and how many people all over the world had helped to create it, and she agreed to share the photos and their story. It is heart warming to think that to create their wedding album, people in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, America and New Zealand have all come together and given freely & generously of their help and advice.

It has renewed my faith that the world is not that bad a place really, there are still so many genuinely nice, caring people out there, who are willing to help complete strangers. As one lady on the PLA Facebook group said – even though they don’t know our friends, they have 694 people praying for them just on that group alone. They are both loved, and are both very special people.

To everyone involved with the creation of this album, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will always be grateful to you all.

Sincerely,

Danielle in Australia

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COMMENTS

39 Responses

  1. Robin Gibson says:

    What a beautiful story & album! Such a very special gift! How generous of everyone who gave, this special gift, from their hearts! Certainly does restore ome’s faith in humanity.

  2. Amy Myers says:

    Oh my goodness. That is such a sweet and beautiful story. It’s amazing how many people came together to make this special album. So touching.

  3. Kirsten says:

    Very touching. Thanks for allowing me to view such an amazing keepsake. What a treasure!

  4. Susan Luna says:

    What a very touching story. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Bonnie Harward says:

    Wow, what a nice story. Prayers for that sweet family. Love that it restores my faith in kind, generous people in this world.

  6. Julie says:

    Beautiful story and album! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Should have got the tissues… Danielle you did an amazing job bringing this altogether.
    A beautiful love story indeed…

  8. Alanna N says:

    Absolutely beautiful Danielle, you have done such an amazing job with this and should be so proud of your efforts. A truly heartwarming tale of community spirit, teamwork and compassion.

    Thank you, and thanks to Debbie for allowing you to share this project with us online.

  9. Sue Ogden says:

    Just when I am ready to give up on humanity, I am reminded once again how many truly giving, loving, good people there really are in this world. Your album is lovely and a precious gift to that family.

  10. Donna says:

    Wow I dare anyone to remain dry eyed after reading that post, my prayers to the family friends and strangers involved. There are truly good people in our world. Becky you should be so proud of what you and David have done with your company and the lives that it brings together in times like this. Forever a Project Lifer…Donna

  11. Brenda says:

    Thank you for sharing something so touching and private. It’s a great blessing to see that so many people can come together to help a family. An example of Gods children working together to help others in need. Thank you for sharing!!

  12. mthata says:

    Beautiful & very touching! Thank you for sharing.

  13. Ruth says:

    The scrapbooking/PL community is the best! So beautiful and touching, I have a lump in my throat.

  14. Nicky from Okotoks says:

    Thank you for sharing. Nothing like a good cry to be reassured of God’s Gifts.

  15. Donna M says:

    What a touching story and thanks for sharing. Makes me proud to be a scrapbooker, Project Lifer, because I know from experience these people are so caring.

  16. Vi says:

    Oh man, that’s beautiful. Story and album and people, all beautiful.

  17. Melissa says:

    This is a beautiful story. Thank you to Becky’s team for helping make this happen for them, that is really great of you guys.

  18. Amanda says:

    So lovely to see this on your webpage. We were all touched when Danielle shared some of the story and so grateful that you released the kit to her early so she could do this. It shows how small businesses can react quickly and I am sure this story will inspire others to assist strangers in the future.

  19. Angie Peill says:

    Danielle, what an awesome gift you were able to give this family…I had read a little about this story on PLA but to read the story here puts a lot into perspective and reinforces what we are doing and why we do it…

  20. Kristina in Oz says:

    Just beautiful Danielle.

  21. Sue says:

    so beautiful Danielle, you certainly have brought tears to my eyes.

  22. Lisa W. says:

    What a beautiful story…my heart brakes! Thank you for sharing, AND what a wonderful friend you are to her!

  23. Donna Compton says:

    Precious and heartbreaking. Here I am weeping for this couple whose love has transcended continents to touch strangers and show us a pure noble way to spend last days together.

  24. Betty says:

    Danielle you’ve created something that will be treasured forever, such a great job. x

  25. Candy says:

    You sound like a wonderful person and a great friend. God Bless you Danielle and all the people that helped you

  26. Jodie York says:

    That is a beautiful story and you are such a beautiful, thoughtful person for pulling it all together and recording it. You are a very special person Danielle. xxxx

  27. Kim says:

    What a beautiful example of the care that you have for the family. It was the thought and time you took to show the family that you love them that is impressive. Well done Danielle, Christine and Shannon!
    Kim from Australia

  28. Janet says:

    Hi , I am Janet from Perth WA, I have just read this wonderful story to my husband and we are both in awe of it. I have always said that Scrapbookers are a group of people unto themselves. Kind , caring sharing, helpful people who have other peoples families in their thoughts as well as their own. I think this proves how right I am .
    Firstly how kind of you Danielle to offer to do the photos , then to have such caring people on PL site to help share the editing, amazing work from Becky to allow you to ave that albumn and then what an extraordinary offer from the girls to help edit. Yes the world has hatred, racism,misunderstanding and some really horrible people in it but it also has some gobsmackingly great ,sympathetic, thoughtful and sharing people too and this has just Ben proved. well done to all of you that made this special album.i am blessed to have been able to share such a lovely moving story.

  29. Donna says:

    I am so touched by this heartwarming story. You will never know how lives that you have touched and blessed. Thank you for sharing your story. God is Amazing and I love how he brings his children together.

  30. Tonya says:

    Gets right to what really matters. So touching! Thank you for sharing and best wishes to your family!

  31. selena says:

    What a beautiful thing to do Danielle. And may your beautiful friend rest in peace xxxxx

  32. J3SS1C4 says:

    This turned out amazing! What a beautiful and special thing to be able to give to a family going through so much! This is truly heartwarming. Best wishes to you, Debbie and the rest of Geoff’s family

  33. Carmel Keane says:

    Thank you for sharing this Becky and of course thank you Danielle. It is a good reminder of why we do this!

  34. Nicole says:

    What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing this, and thank you to Debbie for allowing her wedding memories be shared, as well.

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