Sunday, January 27, 2013

In Memory - tribute to a friend

Did you ever wonder what caused a blogger to stop posting on a blog?  Perhaps you have read a particular blog for quite a while, left comments, and the blogger has visited your blog too.  Even though you've never met in person, you feel like you've become real friends.  And then they stop leaving comments, stop posting, and you miss them.  Often the blogger had a change in their life - a new baby, a career change, or they've simply gotten bored with blogging and moved onto something new.  

Perhaps, like me, you followed the blog Created 2B Creative, whose blogger went by the blog name Xinme (which stands for Christ in me).    If you read her blog regularly, as did I, you probably were aware that for more than a year she was fighting a tough cancer battle.

 I suppose my friendship with Xinme might seem like an unlikely relationship.  But me, the little Jewish art teacher in a public school, and she, the deeply religious Christian woman and homeschooler from Canada both shared a love of our families and a passion for creativity.  While her religious background was very different than mine, I admired her deep faith and optimism, and her positive spirit.

We became a little more familiar with each other personally in the time prior to her cancer diagnosis, when she posted this amazing post about transforming an old dress into a beautiful tote.  I was smitten.  We emailed back and forth as she gave me some specific instruction on the transformation.  I followed her directions successfully, but I still like her creation better than mine.  I think it's the awesome fabric she used.

Shortly after, she put out an invitation on her blog, seeking participants in a pay-it-forward creative challenge.  I jumped in.  It was a bit after this invitation that she received her cancer diagnosis.  Frankly, I didn't expect to ever receive my little creative gift; she was going through so much that was so much more important than a little promise made on a blog.  But she still posted from time to time, and remained upbeat.  Time passed, and suddenly a gift arrived in the mail: in a sparkly bag there was a beautiful teal stone necklace strung on a ribbon of reds and golds, vivid rich colors all (my taste, totally), and, lo and behold, there was also a dragonfly, woven out of wire with colorful beads, on a clothespin core to clip on the edge of a planter.  So it wasn't just a gift; it was a gift made personally for me.  She knew I adore dragonflies, and have a home full of plants. 
While she was no longer able to blog, I continued to follow Xinme's journey, through a website her family made available.  Xinme passed away a few days before Christmas, surrounded by her loving family, and while they miss her terribly, I'm sure, her spirit lives on with her wonderful devoted husband and children. They still feel her presence, and their faith has been a huge source of strength to them.  Despite the difficulty of her last months, she maintained her positive spirit and faith until her death.

Thank you, Xinme, for letting me into your heart for a little while, and for sharing your spirit with all of us.


  1. That's so sweet of you to post a tribute to your friend. You should send that message to her family.

  2. That just put tears in my eyes. What a sweet way to honor someone so special.

  3. A friend of mine had a sister who passed away last year, far too young, from breast cancer. She also kept a blog, and while I only discovered it after her passing, reading each entry made me feel like I somehow knew her on a personal level. My friend told me that she and her family often go back to her blog and re-read their favorite posts, because it makes them feel good. I hope Xinme's family sees her blog in the same light- as pieces of herself she left behind, not only for them, but for the whole world to enjoy.

    I'm sorry for your loss. Blogging friendships, while unique and "non-traditional," are friendships just the same. This tribute was really beautiful.

  4. Oh no! I was just looking on back blog posts by Xinme and I was also looking at her really awesome comments on cookie cutter art back in the day. That is where I knew her first from. I am so sorry I haven't been keeping up with the blogs, I had no idea. I am deeply saddened because I could feel her intense love for her family and faith through everything she writes. I know she instilled the same faith and love in her children and hopefully it will pull them through this unimaginable time. You will be missed xinme.

  5. Thank you for posting such a beautiful tribute to my baby sister, Paula (better known in blogging as "xinme"). I too, have a treasure that she made for each of her sisters, just a few months before she went to be with God and I will treasure it always. It is a beautiful star, made from wire and with gold beads attached (she knew I loved the colour gold, as did she). I made a few videos for Paula (it's my art), and if you would like to learn a bit more about my beautiful sister, I would like to share her tribute video with you. I wish I could have made it longer cuz there was so much to say about her.
    Thank you again and God bless.

    1. Judy, thank you for sharing that beautiful video tribute. My prayers are with you and all of Paula's family. I imagine that Paula's creative gift has provided lasting memories for you all.


  6. Thanks for writing a tribute about Paula. She would have felt honoured.

  7. Aww. So sorry.

    That is one of the great things about blogging - meeting people across boundaries.