Mysterious Ways: Greetings from Pat

A departed friend leaves her mark from beyond on a granddaughter's birthday party.

- Posted on Apr 3, 2013

Homemade greeting card

My best friend, Pat, made the most wonderful cards. Layers of colorful textured paper, hand-drawn flowers, graphic cutouts, glittering rhinestones and beautiful calligraphy.

She never forgot an occasion. Not just my birthday and anniversary, but also my children’s and then my grandchildren’s milestones. For me, the best part of any celebration was opening an envelope and seeing what wonder Pat had created this time.

Last year, Pat passed away after a long illness. Most of her card supplies were sold in a craft sale at our church in Nelsonville. I’d bought some items, but hadn’t had time to do anything with them. It’s just as well, I told myself. It’s not as if anyone else could ever make cards like Pat’s.

Not long afterward, my granddaughter Emma had her eighth birthday party at the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery. She and her friends had fun making jewelry, playing games and watching a puppet show.

I kept glancing at the stack of cards on the table by the presents and thinking about the one card that wouldn’t be there. If only Pat could have been part of this. It just didn’t seem like a celebration without her.

After Emma opened the presents, I was helping my daughter-in-law and some of the staff with the cleanup, gathering up the crumpled wrapping paper, when I spotted an unopened envelope still on the table. “Emma, dear,” I said. “You missed a card.”

Emma took the overlooked envelope and tore it open. The card was so much like one of Pat’s! Handmade and beautifully decorated—right down to the rhinestones and calligraphy! But it was signed by someone named Tiffany.


My daughter-in-law introduced us. Tiffany was part of the museum staff. “Do you always make cards for the kids?” I asked her.

Tiffany smiled. “Not at all,” she said, a note of surprise in her voice. “But I happened to buy all these amazing card-making supplies at a church craft sale in Nelsonville—glitter, glossy cutouts, textured paper. Somehow I just couldn’t resist making a special card for Emma.”


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