Our July Inspiration night was held in honor of our friend Roanna Chang who passed away last month. We all miss her terribly and wanted to do something to honor her memory as well as be a support to one another through this difficult time as many of us were very shocked at the news of her passing.
Our evening started as most do, with introductions, announcements and updates. I was blessed to eat dinner with and also introduce a group that was very near and dear to Roanna. Her downline Jennifer and her customers Pat, Shannon and Kimberly.
I was so touched by their stories about how much Roanna meant to them. Roanna lived in Kapolei which was over a 40 minute drive for these three to attend her classes yet they didn't let the distance stop them. They would often be at her home for hours and she always took such great care of them assisting them and making them feel special.
Jennifer shared a story about how one day when she went to visit Roanna who was sick and the two of them were going to read the Bible together. Jennifer told Roanna, "you go ahead and open up the Bible and whatever page you turn to, let's study that part". Roanna agreed and opened up the bible and guess what chapter she turned to? The book of Proverbs, chapter 3. Roanna smiled as she opened her favorite pink bible and they read the chapter together that talks about trusting in God! Roanna and Jennifer agreed together in prayer that their hope and confidence was in God and his perfect plan no matter the outcome.
It was this beautiful verse that Roanna and her family cherished so much that we decided to frame in her honor. Here is the project we created together.
Roxanne helped to format the verses in both Hawaiian and English and did such a beautiful job. I was so happy with the outcome.
When I gave this frame to the family I created a matching sympathy card to go with it.
As we gathered at Inspiration Night to create the frame together, I encouraged people to share stories and memories about Roanna. We also had a display table set up where many people brought projects that she had given them or that they had made at her classes.
It was fun to hear the many stories shared throughout the night.
When Michelle walked through the door she smiled and pulled out this treasure chest card which is pictured below. Michelle reminded me of when Roanna made this very detailed card to bring to convention and wanted to give one to Dawn Griffith because Dawn was such a treasure to her. When I introduced Roanna to Dawn, Roanna shared some words with her and gave her this card and before you know it they were both crying! It was a special moment to witness.
Jennifer shared how she is so happy that there is a recording on the Stamped With Aloha you tube channel of Roanna demoing at our Holiday Retreat. She wowed us all when she demoed the projects below. Jennifer said she watches it often just to hear her voice.
Kimberly shared how patient and loving Roanna was with each one of them. She said even though they were "slow" stampers Roanna never made them feel pressured to hurry up. They said when they created the frame below that they camped out at her house for several hours but always had so much fun and although it was a lot of work they always appreciated all the prep work Roanna did in advance to make it easy for them to create such outstandingly beautiful projects such as this one below. Just look at all the details! WOW.
Jennifer shared about getting Roanna's help to design and invitation and showed some of the beautiful samples created in red and yellow that Roanna gave her.
Goldie shared about the card in the middle and how it was a card that Goldie had made and Roanna was so interested she asked Goldie to show her how to make one. Goldie remembered that moment fondly as one of the first conversations she and Roanna had shared. Goldie also said that as they spoke they discovered they both had something in common, they were drawn to Stampin' Up! by watching videos where they would hear the "click-click" of the ink pad opening and shutting and that would always make them smile.
Others shared how touched they were by the time she helped them create swaps. Liane shared that when she was going to her first convention, Roanna gifted her with 100 beautiful swap cards to swap that were all completed. That was just the kind of heart she had, so loving and so giving.
Roanna loved punch art and this project as well was put on display. Again a gift that Roanna had made to bless a friend.
I know Roanna would have been touched by all the kind words spoken about her. There were even some funny stories shared that made us all laugh.
Terry spoke of meeting Roanna many years ago at a roller skating rink and how the two of them became childhood friends. After High School they lost touch with each other but reunited in my living room at a Stamp Class just a few years ago. It was such a fun moment and to think they both lived just minutes from each other and didn't even know it.
I think Roanna would have been pleased with the outcome. She loved crafting! Sharing creativity brought her so much joy and that was what the atmosphere was like as we remembered our special friend.
I think Roanna would have really appreciated the orderly manner that Verilyn (above) and Barbara (below) had sorted their flowers!
And I know Ann would have made her smile. Ann makes us ALL smile by her funny comments and contagious laugh.
It was a special night. Tasha pictured is creating the plumeria blossoms for the frame by cutting out white flowers and using an aqua painter to add color to the center. Tasha remembered to wear her pin that we created for our last gathering. It is our punch art Roanna pin that we can wear and keep her memory close to our heart.
There were two other parts of our evening. I gave out recognition cards to any demonstrator who had promoted or anyone who qualified in our TOP TEN sales. It was quite moving when I announced that despite her illness, Roanna was our number 2 demonstrator for the month of JUNE! This card created in her favorite green color was received in her honor by Jennifer who will be taking it to Roanna's family this week. I know that this sentiment truly reflects how Roanna was to her family and those she held dear to her heart.
Our swap was also done in her honor. It was a green card swap since GREEN was her favorite color. I made a card that was inspired by this cute card Lynsay had sent me in the mail last month.
I just adjusted the colors and laid it out a little different and this was the outcome.
Its hard to see in the photo but I added glue from the fine tip glue pen to the back of the lady bugs to make them shiny and to give them dimension. Looks just like crystal effects and dried a lot quicker.
Well the sentiment on this card certainly expresses how we all feel about Roanna. She was a precious friend and stamping sister that will be missed dearly by us all.
I want to end this post by sharing some words that I shared at this meeting.
These words framed here are something Roanna and her family believed with all of their hearts. It was their foundation. It is the reason why during her most difficult days she was still able to smile. It's the reason why when so many of us asked how she was doing she said she was fine even though if we had known the entire circumstance we may have thought otherwise. Roanna knew that her life was in God’s hands and she trusted Him for every day she was blessed to live. I hope that a you look at this project, you will be blessed by the words and allow them to sink in your heart. I think Ro would have liked to know that she had the opportunity to share her faith with you as that was so important to her and the reason why she was confident about her future. It's also the reason why her family was at peace. Although she will be missed greatly, they know that they will be reunited with her again one day.
Thank you for taking the time to read today's post to hear about our special inspiration night in honor of our special sister and friend.
Inspiration Night is so much more than a demonstrator meeting, and having one in honor of Roanna really demonstrated what our inspiration nights are all about. A night for inspiration, creativity, sharing, love and aloha.