{ bit-ter-sweet: Producing or expressing a mixture of pain and pleasure }

Working in my field I know that I'm not performing miracles (or brain surgery).  At the end of the day there are far more important things in this world than a super cute design, or providing the chicest "look" for a bridal invitation.  Still, it's my work and I do love it.  Especially since I get to be a part of other peoples lives in a unique way.

"Sara Paper . . . for Life and It's Special Moments" My tagline makes you think of happy wonderful events like weddings, graduations, golden anniversaries.  I've been blessed to work with people and experience their excitement over their wedding plans.  I've sat and chatted with couples who are planning their Golden Anniversary and enjoyed special stories of their wedding day.  I've been priviledged to know the name and sex of several babies before they've been born - just waiting for the official birth so I could print the announcement.  And I've sweated over not spilling the beans of said news.

Oh yes, I've kept my share of secrets regarding surprise parties, surprise announcements, special gifts.  On the flip side I've shared some sorrows.  Prayer cards for a local funeral home are always a sad job, especially when it's the death of a peer or someone who was taken too soon.  I've lent support to brides having a difficult time or have called off their wedding entirely.  

But a recent job invoked a new feeling - bittersweet.  I was honored to be asked to design an invitation for the ribbon cutting of The Sunshine Playground here in New Bremen.  You can (and should) read the whole story here.

In a nutshell a sweet little girl passed away.  But it was more than that.  Camryn Nicole Murgatroyd from Blacklick, Ohio lost her battle with special needs on May 8th, 2009 at the age of five.  Camryn is the niece of a New Bremen New Knoxville Rotarian, who was inspired daily by Camryn’s strength and love.  When Camryn passed her aunt promised that she would continue her fight for other children. That promise, and the fight of one little girl is how the Sunshine Project was developed.  

And this is where the bittersweet arrives.

Of course it's tragic that a little girl had to suffer from special needs and then in the end lose her life.  That is the bitter.  The sweet arrives later. Not necessarily in the form of a fancy new playground but in the love that made it all possible.

Love is an incredible motivator.  The absence of love creates holes in our lives and leave us bitter.  But the presence of love makes any holes overflow and beautiful things happen even in the midst of pain.  This is what we call the bittersweet.

. . . . . 

It was love that put the idea of a handicap accessible playground into Camryns' aunts mind.
It was love that inspired so many people to donate and help raise $250,000.00 to fund the playground.
It was love that made so many people believe in the cause and work together to make this happen.

. . . . .

And love will bring children off all abilities play together.  Gosh it makes me tear up right now to think of how a special needs child will get to play on a playground just like all the other kids.  Parents of special needs children will be able to have the simple pleasure of taking their kid to the park.  

And to think it was all done because of the love of a little girl.  If everyone transformed their pain like Camryns aunt the world would be a lot less bitter and much more sweet. 

I'm sure the Village of New Bremen and the New Bremen-New Knoxville Rotary would love to see as many people as possible attend their ribbon cutting on

Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 10:00 am.
at the Bremenfest Park.  

Kudos to the New Bremen New Knoxville Rotary for making it happen!