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.