Scrapping the hard stuff

My son got infected with E. coli from contaminated food when he was 6 years old. He spent a month in the hospital, including almost a week in ICU due to complications from the infection. It is hard to think about it. It is even harder to type it down here in public. And for the last 6 years since he was released from the hospital I have been meaning to capture that story for his scrapbook.

I’ve had several difficulties in completing this task. In the beginning it was just to fresh and raw. After time passed, I then had the trouble of feeling like I wasn’t going to “get it right.” And while I was dragging my feet I had a computer crash and it looked like I lost the electronic journaling I had done during the experience. Luckily my husband had saved a “snap shot” of my hard drive and yesterday was the day I decided to look at that data and try to find my journaling. I cried a little when I realized that my searching was working and I finally recovered my notes!

What made me decide it was time to work on this? It has been a dozen factors. And the final push was this challenge from The Paper Variety.

I knew it was finally time. Having recovered my original notes from that trial made my determination that much more. I was going to capture this story before it got lost again! I ended up with 20 pages of journaling and decided this story had to be put into it’s own album. Due to the personal nature and the unpleasant details I thought a “mini” album that could be tucked away on a shelf was the right choice. I have for you just the cover of the album. All my details are stored away for just me and my family.

I really struggled with how to approach this project artistically. I knew all the “cutesy” medical products out there weren’t going to capture the emotions of that time. I decided to just get raw and messy and muddled and harsh because those were all the feelings we went through. I printed my journaling straight out on cardstock with  edits for spelling and a few for space. I printed all my photos straight out of iPhoto with no edits or adjustments. I almost always crop, reduce red eye or make other adjustments. Not for this project. I just wanted this to be true and complete. I’m so glad I bothered to take these photos while he was sick. Some people might think it morbid to take photos of a child hooked up to life support machines but for me it was, and still is, therapy.

I hope my sharing this very personal story will encourage you to get a difficult story scrapped.

2 thoughts on “Scrapping the hard stuff

  1. hi Misty, I’m so proud of you that you scrapped this hard topic. I guarantee you will begin to feel better now that it is done – you won’t have it in the back of your mind…nagging you “when are you going to get those feelings on paper?” You’ve done it! Congrats on scrapping a difficult topic! I like to think of scrapping difficult topics as a bit of therapy. 🙂 Thanks so much for always participating at The Paper Variety. I look forward to your creations each week. xo, patti


  2. What an awful, terrible thing to go through. I can tell you have come through this trial stronger and I’m sure you have touched many people with your determination to record this story. Thank you so much for joining us at The Paper Variety and for reminding me that documenting all stories is good for the soul.


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