Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hankie Full of Tears~ Joy, Grief and a Reminder to Pray

"Let your tears come.  
Let them water your soul."  
~Eileen Mayhew

credit: suzanneduda's photostream

Although I grew up in the "Kleenex" generation, the beautiful handkerchiefs stacked up in my grandmother's dresser drawer were always precious to me.  I would admire their dainty, feminine fabrics trimmed in colorful patterns and lace and consider it a pity that they were left alone in the drawer.  They seemed to long to be a companion for a character out of a Jane Austin novel~ one who waves her hankie as she swoons over a man!

Handkerchiefs represent all things feminine paired with practicality~ at some point, no matter your level of elegance, dabbing the perspiration from your brow or wiping tears from your eyes becomes a necessity! 

Here are three precious ways to bring those beautiful handkerchiefs out of the drawer:

1. Give the mother-of-the-bride/groom a handkerchief for the wedding.

I love this photo!  I gave my dearest friend, Mary Charles, this little hanky right before the rehearsal dinner for her son, Trip and his bride Jessica.  As they began to share precious stories about her boy after dinner, the tears began to flow and she reached for her pretty hankie~  Their fabulous photographer Elizabeth Jayne captured this tender moment 
(take time to enjoy the wedding pictures, as well ~ they're amazing! You can see them here).
Mary Charles wipes tears of joy with her hankie

2. Enclose a handkerchief in a sympathy card for a grieving friend.  

My friend, Lee Ann Odom, shared that her mother has adopted the practice of including a pretty handkerchief in the sympathy cards she sends.  What a tender and sweet gesture!   Carol Pauley, a grief counselor for Christian Works, shared that "tears are the bodies way of getting the sadness out."  Wouldn't a pretty handkerchief be a sweet way to capture the sadness of a grief-stricken friend.  It would serve as a constant reminder that as the tears flow, they are not alone in the process. 

Be sure to include a verse to remind them of God's faithfulness:
  "He will wipe every tear from their eyes..." Rev. 21:4

3.  Give a handkerchief to your teenaged son to tuck in the pages of his Bible.

I learned this little treasure in a book called Celebrations of Faith by Randy and Lisa Wilson.  When Blake graduated from high school, I gave him a beautiful handkerchief that I had bought in Belgium when I was traveling in college.  I showed him how beautiful and dainty it was; the lace was hand stitched and elegant.  I challenged him to put it in his Bible and ask God to help him be a man who guards and protects the women in his life and as a reminder to pray for his future wife.

Bet you can think of some other ways to bring out the hankies... 
would love your feedback and ideas!

If you don't own any handkerchiefs, scavenge through your grandmother's house, purchase them at CUSHor Two Sisters Old and New, or hit the flea market in Canton or Round Top 

Want More ideas on decorating, framing and using handkerchiefs?
Check out Pretty Quirky's post Hankerin' for Hankies~ precious!


  1. You have 'blessed this neighbor' once again this morning with your words! Please keep blogging! SC

  2. I'm pressing on because of your encouragement! Thanks SC!

  3. I love the idea of including a pretty hankerchief with sympathy notes! Thanks so much for the nice post. :)

  4. I'm a hankie lover!! I have quiet a collection displayed in my little space in Indie Genius, Stash! I've also framed several of my favorites and they make a beautiful art display!

  5. Just before my father's funeral service was to begin, my best friend Diana gave me a beautiful handkerchief, monogramed with my father's initials, JMC. I was deeply touched and will treasure it forever...as a reminder of my dear and loving father as well as my dear and loving friend.

  6. Jill, thanks for your story~ what a sweet way to enhance this gesture. You will remember it forever, I'm sure. What a wonderful friend Diana is!