Saturday, February 5, 2011

Most important moments

Last August I participated in Big Picture Classes' Big Idea Festival. I loved it, but I was particularly inspired by Jen Mohler's idea to scrap the 100 most important moment of my life. Here was moment 1:

I had just come into these photos, so scrapping moment 1 seemed a perfect beginning.

I had hoped to scrap a moment a month, but a lack of childhood photos made me neglect this goal. (Note to self: Ask my mom for more photos!) I have, however, been staring at some photos of me and my growing-up dogs, which made me think of a later moment, moment 58.

I scanned the older photos, resized them, and repaired them somewhat (they had minor scratches on them). I also printed a photo I loved of my dog Roswell and me, taken the year she died. Following a similar layout design as my first page, I created this one:

I had the felt dog left over from a kit. I remember debating throwing it away; I'm glad I didn't. I also added some of my typical stitching: a running stitch around the layout, as well as some machine stitching through the title and journaling. Broke a needle doing that, gosh darn it. Twice. X%&#!

Some of the papers come from the Basic Grey Max and Whiskers line. I also picked some older Pink Paislee papers that seemed to match.

Most important to me was the journaling. Here it is:

Growing up, my dog was Ben, a yellow lab we bought when I was about 14. He was so good-natured, I loved just to sit on the floor petting him all afternoon. As he grew older, he started to develop bloody noses: he’s sneeze, and the mucus was tinged with red. His vet never found anything wrong, though.

When I came back from college during the summer in 1994, there was a dramatic change. Like a faucet that had been turned on, blood poured out of his nose in a continuous stream. I ran to my mother in a panic, who told me the nosebleeds had been like this for a while. At his next doctor’s appointment, we learned that Ben had a tumor that would ultimately kill him.

At this point we decided that we needed to put Ben down, so we gave him a dog day: we fed him his favorite foods (cheese and strawberries) and took him to the lake to swim. It was a fun romp, but tinged with melancholy, knowing it would be his last.

On the way home, wind now swirling and rain beating down, we stopped at the vet’s, where we had an appointment to put him to sleep. Here’s where I failed Ben: Given the chance to stay with him until he died or leave him with the vet to do it, I left him to the vet. I couldn’t face it. My mother stayed, though, holding him until he died and walking home afterwards in the rain.

My failure to be with Ben in his final minutes haunts me. This dog had been such a good pet, and I had loved him through his life, but not at the end. My failure taught me that when I buy a pet, I need to commit to it through life and death. I swore I would never again leave a pet alone to die, so when Roswell developed liver disease in 2009 and we had to put her down, I stayed with her until she died, fulfilling my promise to Ben.


ZoezMom said...

Love the look of this layout and that you scrapped this moment. I hope that getting it down on paper helps you let go of the guilt. *HUGS*

Brenda Johnston said...

I love this layout of your dog! How precious! I logged onto Big Picture, but I couldn't find the 100 moments class. I also looked on Jen's blog, but didn't see it listed. I want to know more!! : )

Jennifer Larson said...

Brenda, it wasn't a class, but something Jen Mohler was doing. She brought it up as a part of the Big Idea Festival. If you email her, she can probably link you to something more specific. Or follow the tag 100 moments on my last post for the first LO; I may have a more specific link.

Susan said...

Reading your journaling brought tears to my eyes as I remembered our lovely dog Sasha. Thanks for sharing this.

BabyBokChoy said...

Now that's a concept, most important momemnts in my life, lol... I can't remember most of them... :)
We must scrap together again soon!!

Diana said...

Oh so sad Jenn!
Wow I would never have the photos to scrap my 100 most important moments going back, but I do feel like many of my personal pages now are about important moments, sort of. I like the idea though. Something to think about.
OK, so I am now never going to try running my sewing machine over chipboard alphas, because that exact thought had crossed my mind (broken needle) and you've confirmed it!

Jennifer Larson said...

Diana, it was only because the needle hit the edge of the chipboard. Every other time it's been OK. Plus I'm just inept at changing needles.

Keshet said...

Such a sad story, but a beautiful layout. I just love it.

Sue, a.k.a. midwestgirl said...

This just tugs at my heart. I had so many wonderful pets growing up, mostly cats, and still have such fond memories. Wonder if I can find any photos....

Lisa said...

What a special post, I got teary reading it. Pets are such an important part of one's family. Our 2 pooches are our babies.
I love the layout you made ~ so sweet :)
I had to giggle when I read that you broke 2 needles on the stitching for the layout. Everytime I see stitching over a chipboard title I wonder how my needle would hold up on my machine. I better figure out how to change the needle before venturing into that territory, lol.

Jody said...

Oh my.
You're "Losing Ben" layout made me lose it.
So beautifully written, Jennifer!

DanaMK said...

Jennifer, what an absolutely touching story! I was crying after reading your journalling. This is what scrapbooking is all about.