Susan and our company founder go back decades, to their 20s in Chicago PR. It’s fun to hear this poised and well-spoken professional tell this story about interviewing for her first job out of college … “A bit rattled to be meeting with a higher-up in one of the world’s top agencies, I was asked why I felt I deserved the hard-earned position of Junior Account Executive. I sat a little taller and quite confidently said, “Because I believe I communicate well, both orally and verbally.” Hahaha, indeed!
A successful career in PR later, Susan’s still an awesome communicator (both orally and verbally 🙂 as a strategic writer for a respected business-to-business client; Jodee considers her an invaluable sounding board and dear friend. Over the years, her gracious personal notes to Jodee ~ words of friendship, gratitude and support & encouragement ~ have been grist for the Cardthartic card mill. With her permission, we mine every one for potential messages, and have already published a number of them. And whenever Susan wants to stretch her Creative muscles, she knows where to turn. Meanings of Life designs especially can give the best of writers a good work-out!
Susan’s favorite card is the condolence card #93227, “She … was quite a lady.” She explains, “When Jodee’s mother (“DJ”) passed away back in 2005, a woman who worked at the little coffee shop where DJ had breakfast each morning somehow learned Jodee’s name and address and sent her a note that read in its entirety, “She was quite a lady. And I will surely miss her smile.” With the waitress’s permission, Cardthartic published the message, credited to her and dedicated to DJ. A few years later, I sent this card (in volumes) to everyone who had supported me when my own mom, Pat, passed away. Not long after, I received this same card in the mail from my dad’s second wife. She purchased it having no idea that it was from my beloved Cardthartic line, much less that it was my personal favorite.” Susan concludes, “God works in mysterious, wonderful ways.”
She was quite a lady.
Beyond writing them, Susan has inspired many card designs over the years. When she visits Jodee on Miami Beach, the two spend hours bobbing in the ocean with their floats tied tete-a-tete so they won’t miss a word. As they talk right through lunch and dinners, grinning waiters quickly catch onto their hand gestures. “As much as we look forward to yoga,” Jodee says, “we both admit to being fine when class is cancelled … that gives us another valued hour to hash through this, that and the other.
“You know how it goes,” Jodee says. “You may not solve the world’s problems but, together, you get a better handle on your own. Lots of laughs, a few shared tears and never enough time for all there is to say to one another.” The Passages card #93781 (shown above) came to be one night when Jodee says she’d just hung up from an hours-long phone conversation with Susan. “You know how sometimes you end a call practically worn out because you’ve covered so much good ground? At the time, I laughed to myself, ‘I love that, no matter how long we talk, there is so much more to say!’ and found the image for it a few weeks later.
When Susan saw the card she said, “Wow, I am touched and honored. Jodee, I have been thinking about how you and I worked — and work — at our friendship. We try to learn from each other and help each other grow, never taking offense by how brutally honest the other might be. It is very freeing … a glimpse of heaven, actually.” That would be Susan!