Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Friend Elinor

Several years ago, before I met Robbie, I was going through a very difficult time in my life. A recent divorce had left me with very low self-esteem and few friends. Then I met Elinor. (Can you see her there in the midst of all those blossoms?)


Elinor was the type of person who could find something to laugh at in the midst of any situation and was great at helping others feel good about themselves. We met at a church Single Again group and became instant friends. When I mentioned that I was struggling with depression in the middle of the night, she immediately gave me her phone number and offered for me to call anytime (she worked the late shift as an RN and was up most nights). No matter what time it was, she always answered the phone and took time to just be there when I needed someone to listen. (Years later after Robbie and I were married, she went through a difficult time and I was happy to sit up late listening to her as she struggled through it all.)

My friend passed away yesterday, so to honor her, today I'm sharing some of my fondest memories of our fun times together. (Many of my photos were pre-digi, so please excuse the grainy quality as I share my recollections.)

It always makes me laugh to think of the time we participated in the Relay for Life and wore matching "cow" pajamas (made especially for us by my sister) for the Midnight Karaoke Pajama Contest. Elinor made signs for us to carry - one with a hamburger crossed out and one that read "Chomp on Cancer." And, yes, we won the contest - and not because of our singing!


I'll always associate Elinor with New York, a city that she loved to visit. We took a trip there in the spring of 2001. We had a fabulous week. A friend of hers at the time gave us corsages to wear, which caused lots of people at the airport to ask us what the special occasion was. Before I could reply that it was my first trip to New York, Elinor calmly explained that I was a super model, she was my agent, and we were off to a big photo shoot. The company in charge of the shoot had sent us these beautiful corsages because they were so excited to be working with me! Did I mention that she had a way of making people feel good about themselves! [You can see the entire scrapbook I made from that trip here.]



Once Elinor came to visit us when we were at my parent's home. Since I always rave about Mama's biscuits (which Robbie now makes for me), she insisted that Mama give her a lesson in biscuit making. There was flour everywhere and as usual when she was around, lots of laughter.


Which reminds me of our second trip to New York (this time with Robbie and my niece Nichole along for the fun). The night before our trip, Elinor arrived at our home and insisted on making a treat for us to snack on during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here she is with her son Michael, trying to decipher the recipe.


The day we arrived in New York, Elinor presented each of us with a gift - Christmas toe socks for me and Nichole and a Christmas tie for Robbie. (I love toe socks and Elinor could not resist these cute Santas for us to enjoy on our trip!)


Since we were treating Elinor to the New York trip, she surprised us with tickets for the four of us to see the Rockettes perform in the 75th Anniversary Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular production. (Very lucky for us because when we arrived in New York, the actors were on strike and there were no Broadway productions being performed!)


So today I sit here mourning my loss, yet celebrating her life. I have my feet propped up on the desk as I thumb through my New York scrapbook, I'm smiling at my Santa socks, and remembering the fun times.

I'll miss you Elinor - thanks for the memories!

20 comments:

Cheri said...

She sounds like a wonderful person and the best kind of friend. I'm sorry for your loss, but glad to know you have such happy memories.

Heather said...

Aww what a lovely friend. She sounds like she had a great sense of humour :) So sorry for your loss xx

Jo.C said...

Beautiful post and a real tribute. Thinking about you at this time xx

Ellyn said...

Melissa I'm so so sorry. She sounds like a wonderful person. How lucky you were to know her!

Rebekah said...

So sorry to hear of such a loss. What a special person she must have been. Thanks for sharing about her, what wonderful, sweet memories.

scrappyjacky said...

I'm so sorry for your loss,Melissa.....but what wonderful memories you have.....she sounds like 'one of a kind'.

beccaf1970 said...

So sorry for your loss. This was a lovely tribute to your friend. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Amy said...

Oh Melissa, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend.
I am very glad you are able to find comfort through your fond memories of her ... scrapbooking is wonderful for that!

Tammy said...

So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to your friend. I feel like I got to know her just a bit reading your post. Sending you a big hug.

cate said...

sorry for your loss. What amazing memories you have of a wonderful friend!

Cheryl M said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Melissa. Only the best of friends would listen at any hour (I know, been there done that and vice versa), so you know absolutely for sure what kind of friend you had....and vice versa. She would enjoy your post very much! I'll keep you in my prayers.

Lynn said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend - she sounds like an amazing woman! Our loss that we didn't get to meet her although I feel like I know her a little through you and your wonderful tribute. My prayers are with you and Robbie.

Sian said...

Oh Melissa, I'm so very sorry for your loss. That's very hard to bear and I'm thinking about you both

Sue Althouse said...

I'm sitting here with tears running down my face, amazed and inspired that you can be so positive and celebrate Elinor's wonderful life in the midst of your sorrow. Friends like those are rare and special, so I'm glad you had an Elinor in your life.

Alison said...

What a lovely tribute to your special friend....I'm so sorry for your loss Melissa, but you must be so glad to have had Elinor in your life
Alison xx

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Hi Melissa ~ I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your great friend. This post is a beautiful tribute to her!

Sandra said...

My heart breaks for you at your loss. But you are blessed with happy memories of a dear, dear friend xx

Karen said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend! I know your happy memories will help you through this difficult time.

Ginger said...

Melissa, I'm truly sorry to hear of the loss of your very good friend Elinor. Friendships are a wonderful thing and the stories you have told here of Elinor will help keep her close in your heart. Take care.

furrypig said...

what a wonderful friend and a beautiful tribute to her Melissa (sending you a big hug today xxx)