This post was sponsored by Hallmark Signature through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Hallmark Signature, all opinions are my own.
Because to say this year has been tough for me (and my family) is a severe understatement…
I try to be a person who is grateful for my friendships and relationships ALL the time but given the 2016 that I’ve had, well…this year I really put extra thought into who I’m especially grateful for this year. After the sudden death of my little sister at the end of April, my family and I have been struggling to figure out/think about so many things. What happened, what’s next, how do we try to move on and live full lives, etc. I was touched (truly) by so many people in my life and how they were there for me in ways that I don’t necessarily know I would’ve even KNOWN to be there for them, and for that I want to say thank you. But how do you even DO that, you know? Aside from, of course, actually saying “thank you” to them over and over again, when this project with Hallmark Signature came up I instantly knew it was a good fit because it would give me the opportunity to do something a little extra special for three people, in particular, who have helped me get through an immensely tough time in my life.
One of the first friends I called after my mom broke the news to me about my sister, Melissa, was my friend Nadine Jolie Courtney. Nadine lost her mother to cancer just about a year before we became IRL friends (we had emailed for years but only connected when I actually moved to Los Angeles). Since I lost Melissa Nadine has checked in on my constantly, offered advice, comforted me and has just been an overall amazing friend…and again, in ways that I don’t think I would’ve even known before losing my sister. Nadine explained how this kind of thing works: most of your friends will offer their sympathy but if they haven’t lost someone in their immediate family (i.e. a parent or sibling), they don’t REALLY get it. Nadine gets it. And I’m really lucky to have her as a friend, which is why I chose the Hallmark Signature card with bells inside for her; Nadine has a toddler daughter, who I think will thoroughly enjoy playing with this card, ha!
Another person who has really been there for me is my college friend/former New York City roommate, Sarah Grise. Similar to Nadine, Sarah lost her father a few years ago and it was a sudden loss. In fact, we actually lived together when her father passed and if I could go back in time I would’ve been there for her the way that she’s been there for me- supportive and just super loving. Sarah was the first person to ask me what I’m doing for ME and how I’m trying to make myself feel better, as opposed to just helping my parents.
As for the third (and last) card that Hallmark Signature sent me, I debated. I had four other friends that came to mind: Elyse, Devon, Sydne and Jamie P. All three not only have been super supportive, but they also took care of my cats for TEN DAYS while I was in New York spending time with my family and attending the funeral. Leaving my cats for that long was extremely stressful for me since I’m so attached to them, but my friends stepped in to help with zero question and that means more to me than anyone will ever know. However, the final card actually had a slot for money or a gift card and that just felt weird giving to a friend, haha. So, instead, I decided to send my sister’s son (my nephew), Mark, a card. He loves asking me to ask him how much money he has…
“Aunt Jamie! Guess how much money I have?”
“How much, Mark?!”
“$347!!! I have more money than you do!”
“At certain times of the month, you might be right!”
Haha, I kid, I kid.
Mark, obviously, is very affected by the death of his mother and the most important thing that I want to do right now is be there for him and make sure that he knows just how LOVED he is. I slipped a $20 bill into the card and wrote my nephew a love note that I’m sure he will read and go “ok, thanks!” and run away…as seven year olds DO.
Final thoughts: Don’t wait until something tragic happens to thank all the wonderful people in your life. I’m so happy that this opportunity with Hallmark Signature came up, because it gave me an excuse, but now that I’ve done it once I think I’m going to make it a yearly holiday tradition to choose three people in my life and THANK them for all that they do for me.
Hallmark Signature cards are available in the card aisle wherever Hallmark cards are sold.