Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Live Life...for Rocky

Over the past year of serving customers at Starbucks, some have become friends. One such woman is Rocky. (That's her nickname because her last name is LaRocca.) She comes in daily for either a mocha with whipped cream or a mocha frappuccino without whipped cream, depending on the weather. Right now, I have to ask, "Hot or cold?" because the weather's not sure what it's doing in Georgia.

Rocky is one amazing woman. She has a heart condition that requires her to wear a fanny pack that administers medication to her around the clock. She travels regularly to the Cleveland Heart Clinic to get the best care available in this country for her condition. Still, she goes about life, drinking coffee with her friend Marie, gambling a bit, visiting her new granddaughter.

Rocky came in on Monday and stopped to have a brief conversation with someone else she knows in the cafe. I was busy making her drink, so it took me a minute to notice that she wasn't her usual self. When I paused from my activity to engage her, she blurted out, "They think I have liver cancer." WHAT?!? This can't be happening. Rocky has already fought HARD to live the life she's living, and now THIS?

We chatted and she shared that she was on her way to get bloodwork done that would determine if the suspicions of her oncologist were correct. She was a bit shook up, so we hugged and I tried to bolster her with a pep talk about how strong I know she is and what a positive attitude she's had through all she's been through. She agreed with me, but we both knew we were pretending to be tough. Because here's the kicker--the medication she's been on for her heart is what's CAUSING the cancer. So, if she has cancer, and if they've caught it in time to eradicate it with surgery, she STILL will have to get OFF the medication she's on for her heart. It's crazy.

I wanted to DO SOMETHING to encourage Rocky, so I sat down tonight to make a card. I chose the Level One Hostess Set, Live Life Like You Mean It. It's a simple set with a flower, a flower outline, the word "LIFE", and the set's namesake phrase. I have Laura Fredrickson to thank for the layout. I didn't want to mess with figuring that out too. I just wanted to craft.

The details of this card are pretty easy to figure out. Haiku DSP, Very Vanilla card stock, So Saffron mat, More Mustard mats for the DSP, and Old Olive grosgrain ribbon.

I really hope Rocky's spirits are lifted by this. And I really hope and pray that she doesn't have liver cancer.

BTW, the woman who is a caregiver for her mom was very touched by the card I gave her yesterday. She said it made her day. That's what this hobby is all about for me. Spreading encouragement, one person at a time.


Laura (scrapnextras) said...

Jenn, what a heart wrenching story. Life is not fair. Your card is beautiful...wondeful colours and I love the flower in the oval, and the sentiment below. So perfect for the situation. Blessings to you and Rocky.

Charmaine (CharmWarm) said...

Thoughts and prayers to Rocky! Oh my! Beautiful card, Jenn. . .it's just perfect!