Thursday, February 14, 2013

Disappearing Act

It's been over two weeks.  A lot has been happening.  I just haven't found a moment to write.

I had a nasty cold that knocked me on my keister.

We had a major project at work that had me working long hours.

And my mother-in-law is in the hospital.  It isn't good.  "There's nothing more we can do" and "hospice" are the words coming out of the doctors' mouths.  I can barely hear them because inside, I am screaming "NO!"

She is in constant pain as her body betrays her, so the right thing to do is to pray for comfort for her in her last days, and peaceful acceptance for the rest of us.  My mind knows that.  But my selfish heart wants her to keep fighting. Her children need her.  MY children need her.  I need her.  For the 19.5 years that I have known her, she has been a rock, someone you could always go to for wise advice or a listening ear or to take action when action needed taking.  She is the glue that holds the generations together.  When she is gone, there is going to be such an enormous, ugly gash torn out of the fabric of our lives.  I can't even conceive of how our lives will change - not the day to day movements, but the foundation on which our family existence sits.

We dropped everything and went up to Pennsylvania to see her for 5 days last week. I brought with me the "Chicken Soup" prayer quilt I had started for her last time she was in the hospital a year and a half ago, but never finished. (I'm not going to restate the symbolism or the process for this quilt, but you can read about it at that link if you care to.)

I had tried to do some free motion quilting on it and hated it, so put it aside when she got better.  When she went into the hospital this time, I pulled it out and frantically started pulling out all those ugly stitches to put in the kind I know, the kind that soothe me, the kind that allow me to say a little prayer with each pinch of fabric.

When we got to the hospital, I laid the unfinished quilt over her, and she raised her head, smiled, and said, "Plaids."

I chose the homespun plaids and stripes because they remind me so much of her.  No nonsense. Sturdy.  Useful.  Nearly every shirt I see her wear is a plaid or a stripe, as is much of her furniture.  She kept the quilt over her in the hospital, and I worked on it while I visited her.  But then I realized, as slow as I quilt, I'm not going to finish it in time.

When we came home, I brought it with me to attach a binding, and I'm sending the unfinished quilt back up there to her.  The prayers are still in it, even if all the stitches aren't.

Meanwhile, the day to day movements of our lives continue.  Valentine's Day. I didn't think much about it until the kids came home buzzing about it yesterday.  I refuse to buy anything, but here was a good opportunity to use up some of that Halloween candy that lingers in my home.  The kids missed the bus, but they finished their Valentines - Dum Dum Butterflies and Pixie Stix Cupid's Arrows.

Plus, I stayed up late last night to make my 3 Valentines some mini cheescakes.  No photos yet because I need to buy some fruit to garnish the top.

Tomorrow is the last day that the Blankie Depot is accepting quilts for Hurricane Sandy relief.  I got three more in the mail this week that my guild helped to finish

Plus, the Star Quilters Guild in Roanoke, VA got 3 in the mail.

Same border, but this is a different quilt!

I still have about 5 tops that I have finished but haven't quilted yet.  I'll get them done eventually and send them to eQuilter Quilt Relief - 5000 Quilts, as they are still accepting donations.  THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who contributed.  Check your mailbox in the weeks to come for a little something from me.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.  Oh, and I did find the time to send the giveaway winnings out - the winners were Vivian from NC (no blog) who won the book and Jane from Jane's Fabrics and Quilts, who won the scraps in the polka dot Chinese takeout container.