It absolutely breaks my heart to write about this but I have been holding this in for some time and I need to get my feelings about this out in the open as this has been eating away at me for some time now.
Late last spring, one of the elders at my church asked me if I would make her some cards as she often has need for them for the purpose of "thinking of you" and "with sympathy" type of occasions (she organizes and oversees many of the funerals, illnesses and other difficult situations at our church). I told her I would be happy to do so and would not charge her for them. She insisted on paying me so I told her all I would allow her to do was to cover my costs and pay me a very nominal fee (I usually charge $5/card).
I made 48 cards for her in 6 sets of 8 cards each. They were left for her at the front reception desk at the end of June. There is always a clerk at the desk, although our church has a very open door policy and there are many groups that access our building during the week. Toward the end of August, the cards were still there as she had been away throughout the summer (I was unaware of this). I saw her toward the end of August and she wrote me a cheque and I assumed she had picked up the cards that same Sunday. She called me two weeks later, asking where the cards were. I had seen them under the front desk the week before. She said she had checked there and they were not there. She and the staff had searched everywhere and they could not find these cards. The ministry staff were notified, as were the custodial staff and everyone who works at the desk. They thought maybe someone had moved them, thinking they were for a ladies' group or something else. The church has basically been turned upside down in the past month but there has been no sign of them. They are all stamped with my personal name stamp and contact info on the back of each card. There has been a notice put in our Sunday bulletin the past two weeks as well but they have not turned up.
I tried to return this lady's cheque to her, telling her that I could not cash it in good conscience, knowing that she did not receive the cards. She is insistent that I cash it anyways.
So, I have spent the past three days remaking 48 cards - they are not the same as the original ones as I don't have a record of what I originally made. I can only guess.
I am absolutely heartbroken that someone would take something that didn't belong to them - something so personal and obviously something that has little or no meaning to them. Most likely, I expect that they were thrown out.
I will be hand delivering this next bunch of cards to this lovely and extremely patient lady (and no, she did NOT ask me to redo these cards - I am doing them because I feel the need to redo them for my own peace of mind. I am just finishing the final set of 8 cards now and plan to deliver them tomorrow morning. I will then be able to sleep peacefully and know that hopefully, I have done the right thing.