Stitched in Time

Lately I have spent a lot of time distracting myself.

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We talked my Dad into going with his friends this weekend to shoot their cannon at a demonstration.  They camped out for the weekend & it had been a long time since he had been able to join them.  Most trips, he needed to stay home with Mom.

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With him away I knew I needed to find a way to spend the day without just sitting around the quiet house.  Saturday was a month since the funeral.

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Thankfully a friend agreed to join me on an adventure.  What never fails to cheer a girl up? Being around animals.  So to Lazy 5 ranch it was to pet as many furry beast as I could.  Something about connecting with them puts me at ease.  They trust so easily, without judgment or condition.  Much like a mother does.

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Also had a lot of time planning for the baby shower & working on a few gifts for the new little one.  Aunt prep.  Felt close to Mom being in her stash of fabrics.  So many bright squares of various sizes cut, bolts of fabric waiting to be changed into something beautiful.  After many years of spending more than her share of hours teaching & dealing with the administrative details connected with it, she found joy in quilting.  That was one gift cancer gave her.  Time to do something for herself.  She ended up quilting for others, but that is just her.  Always trying to make a kid’s life better.  If we even knew how many quilts she had sewn and donated to Project Linus, Quilts of Valor and other organizations.  It was leftover blocks that were intended for one of those quilts that I made a couple of things for the baby… at her machine.  The bobbins filled by her.

Actually had a moment of panic when I ended up running out of thread on a bobbin.  Half way through the project, I knew I needed to fill the bobbin again & go on.  I froze.  Completely froze.  Got to thinking about how many hours she had spent at the machine.  How many bobbins filled & emptied.  My heart sank.  The weight of it all just hit me.  I got scared I would mess it all up.  Worried that I didn’t know enough to do it all right.  Like I might disappoint her in some way.  Felt so alone in that moment.

At one point I felt my stomach surge & thought for sure I was going to throw up all over the machine, fabric & anything else.  I didn’t, but I did realize I had sat there staring blankly for about an hour.  Paralyzed.

Contacted a couple friends and popped a klonapin and sat down still shaking.  Had a good long cry and googled how to fill the bobbin case for the machine.  I didn’t trust myself.  I sat outside and watched birds feed at the feeders placed all around the yard.  Listened to the doves coo from the trees above.  Snuggled the pug and cried.  For a moment she really felt gone.

I had heard of grief attacks being brutal, but that was surreal.  Time just slipped away.  Blurred.

Thought about just giving up.  Leaving it as is.  Try to preserve it as she left it all as much as I could.  She would never have wanted that.

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Took a couple of tries.  Her machine is much nicer than mine & I haven’t exactly sewn in a long time.  Can’t help but wonder if she guided me in some way.  Finished the project.  Started a couple more.  Hoping that she can be proud.  Realized that I remember my Grams sewing stuff for us as kids… then my Mom got into quilting.  So maybe this is my way of continuing the tradition.  Certainly made me feel closer to her, even if not in that moment of sadness.  Some of the best memories we shared together was in designing quilts and giving feedback on fabric choices she made in her latest project.

Can’t post any real pictures for now… still a surprise gift, but I hope that in some way it can be from Mom & I.  Bring a bit of her into the now.

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