New Greeting Cards Offer Encouragement, Hope
David Twiddy, The Associated Press

Audio for Mirroring

We have just celebrated Valentine's Day. Did you buy any Valentine cards? If so, were you able to find cards that you really liked, that said what you really wanted to say?

Buying a greeting card for Valentine's Day, someone's birthday, anniversary or if they're feeling under the weather is pretty straightforward.

But what if they're undergoing chemotherapy, struggling with depression, leaving an abusive spouse, undergoing drug rehab, or declaring their sexual orientation.? "Get Well Soon" probably won't cut it. Customers have said they wanted cards dealing with more real-life situations. They comment: "I don't know what to say during a difficult time, so I don't say anything at all."

To answer this need Hallmark Cards has just released a new line of cards that will speak to situations that have largely been ignored by greeting card companies. The new cards offer encouraging messages for people who are deeply troubled, or who are undergoing stressful or sad times in their lives.

Some categories covered by the cards are:

- Infertility, miscarriage, post-partum depression
Waiting for medical test results
- Caring for an aging parent
- Thanking a hospice worker or organ donor's family
- Addiction recovery
- Job loss
- Coming out
- Quitting a bad habit
- Empty nest

Some cards feature whimsical or inspiring photographs, but the majority feature abstract designs or just words in flowing script. Designers said they aimed for bright colors that matched the mood of the card, ranging from bright orange for the more hopeful cards to purples and blues for somber notes.

Finally, here are some examples of what the cards say:

For illness: "Cancer is a villain who doesn't play fair ... but it can't dim your spirit, and it can't silence prayer."

For eating disorders: "All I want is for you to be healthy - healthy and happy with yourself. Please take it one day at a time until you are."

For depression: "When the world gets heavy, remember, I'm here to help carry it with you."