Saturday, May 25, 2013


On this Saturday eight years ago (although the date was the 28th of May, not the 25th), I was sitting at work, talking with a colleague when I got the phone call.  Without even saying "Hello," my cousin Khadijah sobbed, "Uncle Craig is dead!"  I went home immediately, stunned.  My father was gone.  My larger-than-life, fun-loving, vibrant, effusive father had died in a car accident.  The thought that kept running through my head was, "Donald will never get to meet him."  I was 9 months pregnant at the time, and Donald was born 3 weeks later.

No worries, Dad, Donald has met you many times over in the stories we tell and the photos we share.
Dad graduated from college the year I turned 11.  I see that I get my aversion to ironing from him!
Luckily, he was able to meet Jason several times.  In every photo, Jason is gazing at him, enthralled.
One of my favorite photos - my dad and my brother
So this Memorial Day weekend, my father, who served in the US Air Force, occupies my thoughts.
He looked quite dapper in his uniform (with my grandmom)
So does my mother-in-law.  Knowing that she was dying didn't make losing her any easier.  I wailed after losing my father that I never had a chance to say "goodbye."  Having had that chance with Wilma, I realize there isn't enough time or words to say all that needs saying.

I've started making my husband a quilt from his mother's shirts.  She loved striped cotton oxford-type shirts, usually in blue, so I'm making a Kaffe Fassett inspired Shirt-Stripe Boxes quilt.  Luckily, she had a TON of them!  I've disassembled several shirts, but have only made one square so far.
First block made from Wilma's shirts
It is hard to cut and sew with tears in your eyes.


Wacky Woman said...

What a lovely tribute to your MIL. You are right; there is no easy way to lose a loved one.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

With every touch, with every thought, with every smell - they are in our hearts.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

nice memories - nice quilt idea

Julierose said...

What a lovely post; I think that this quilt tribute will be much loved and bring back many fond memories for you and your family. Have a wonderful Memorial Day and may your memories be all of the happy times...hugs, julierose

Becky said...

Wonderful idea! I can't wait to see it done. Maybe the cutting and sewing will be cathartic and help you heal from her loss. I'm sure Adam will love it and you for making it!

Anonymous said...

Oh my dear friend...what a precious blog post!!! It has touched my heart deeply! I want to say thank you to you for your Dad...and his service to our country. My son is deployed right now, and my DIL will be in two months. These are multiply times for them.

I laughted regarding not ironing~ LOL

God's blessings on you and sorry about your MIL too~ You must be in deep thoughts and emotions right now! ♥♥♥

Shay said...

Oh Erin, My thoughts are with you as you tackle more than any person should have to manage at one time.

Your Dad sounds like an amazingly driven person (college after kids is no mean feat) and the pain of losing your mother in law is still so fresh too.

For every tear you shed on that quilt you're making sew in a happy memory as well my friend.

joe tulips said...

Wonderful pictures. Your ironing comment got me to giggle hard enough that I had to put down my coffee.
The striped broad cloth quilt will be so precious!

Nancy said...

Many memories for you these days. The quilt for Adam is a wonderful idea and will surely be such a special one for all of you. I remember the quilt you made a few years back honoring your dad. Is it still be passed around in the family? Hugs to you.

Julie Fukuda said...

Oh my, that really is an aversion to ironing....! The quilt idea is wonderful and I know your boys are seeing the best of your father in you.

Char said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad!
I'm sure as the quilt will warm the body the memories will warm the soul.
And I just have to say, that quilt will be gorgeous.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I'm sure that quilt, when it is finished, will be treasured by your hubby.

Carla said...

Nice post. Love those memories.
I took my mother in laws favorite jacket after she passed and made a teddy bear. We call it Nanny Bear. She sits in my sewing room. My husband loved it.