Friday, September 3, 2010

A bittersweet surprise

Press play for the soundtrack to this post...This is a great song.

My mom died a few years ago, about a year before my son was born. We were very close. I miss her so much, even still. After she died, I listened to this song called "Butterfly Nets" by Bishop Allen a lot. I especially love the line, "Should you be blown back, know that I will always run to greet you, still surprised to catch you every time."

This past Friday, I cleaned out one of her old closets to give my dad more room.  I brought some of her stuff to my house.

Saturday, we held a baby shower for my cousin at which she received the most beautiful handmade gifts I have ever seen given, including a quilt made by the baby's grandmom. In spite of my efforts to be thankful for what a strong, amazing mother I have, even if she is no longer with me, I found myself feeling sad that my baby boy wouldn't get to know his mimi. That's what her grandchildren called her, and she lived for them.  Sunday night, I went through the things I brought from my parents' house. As I opened a beautiful basket, I pulled out some unused fabric, wondering what I could do with it.

Underneath, I pulled out an unfinished project (who can't relate to that?) of 4 x 4 hand quilted patches sewn together.  She obviously put a lot of hard work into it.

I am still surprised to "catch her" every time she "blows back" into my life.  It always seems like she comes when I need her most. How she knows, I'll never know.

Now I know what to do with the rest of the fabric. I'm going to finish the quilt for my son. Notice how it's blue (for a boy) and red (the main color in his room).  Actually that would be very meaningful if I could finish it, but I can't quilt. So, I'm going to have the quilt finished. Know any excellent quilters? I can't trust this special project to just anyone. It's a gift from his mimi, his angel.


  1. Reading this blog just brought a tear to my eye. My dad is in the Uk and I here in the USA. He was able to visit us once but when my youngest daughter was born, he fell very ill and was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He is still with us but is no longer able to travel... I talk to my kids all the time about granddad, but know that they'll never get the to experience him to the full and know him like the other grandkids... It so hard for us as parents, to accept that our kids will never get to know the beautiful parents that were / are such a strong presence in our lives. The quilt will be a beautiful gift for your son. Lx

  2. You again touched my heart and brought tears in my eyes. I lost my father 5 years ago and miss him terribly. It's funny, whenever I am down, he shows up in my dreams... doesn't say a word but just smiles at me. I know he is here and can feel him. I love that song ... very beautiful.
    You should finish the quilt. It will very special.

    Love your idea of doing a french songs and linking them to each other's blogs. Let's discuss it a little more.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  3. Ahhhh, you are killing me this morning. This is making me speechless. What a tribute.

    and to your know what is weird? It wasn't planned. I gave them no theme. Isn't that weird?

  4. What a heartfelt post. It brought a tear to my eye. I lost my dad when I was in high school, and it pains me that my husband never met him or got to know him, my (future) children will never be able to meet him, etc, etc. I treasure all the photos and items I have from him. How lucky that you found that quilt! I wish I was a good quilter, I would volunteer in a heartbeat to finish it for you. But I'm a novice, and I'm very mistake prone right now!! It's meant to be though, especially since it matches your son's room. How special for him.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss, I can not even imagine. Its great though that you have things to remind you of her....what a special post!

  6. Sniff, Sniff.
    I'm so glad you found the quilt. I think you should finish it the best you can. That way it will have two generations of loving hands making it.
    I had a very special grandma, "Pink Grama", give me hand stiched quilt tops that her mother had made out of dresses that she wore as a girl. They were tattered. I had never quilted before but I managed to make them into Christmas stockings for each of us and a tree skirt. Now they come out during the holidays and I am reminded that she will always be in my heart.

  7. Omgosh what a wonderful find!! If it were me, I would leave it just how her hands last touched it .. maybe frame it... what a wonderful post! Found you from Polished Pebble!

  8. So fitting for the way I am feeling today! Thanks for your kind words on my blog today. Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. I love this! Oh I agree with Antique Chase...isn't it already finished?

  10. ~*~Such a touching and sweet so sorry for your loss~*~I agree with Antique Chase, I think you should have it framed exactly how her hands last touched it..such a special surprise to find it~*~Blessings,Rachel ;)~*

  11. this is such a touching post...that quilt shall remind you and your little boy of your mother everytime you use it...and i guess keeping her memory close to you forever is the perfect way to pay tribute to her. =)

    happy weekend dearie...


  12. How beautiful! That's a wonderful gift to find.

    If you are still looking for a quilter (or someone to guide you in finishing it yourself), I'd be happy to send an email out to our craft group and see if we have any quilters. Or the folks here might be able to help:

  13. What a beautiful post. I lost my dad 2 1/2 years ago...and miss him dearly...but am reminded of him my youngest son has a lot of his personality. I love that you found the quilt...and what a wonderful tribute to her to have it finished.

  14. I have so much to say about this! loved this post. loved. Look into the book Bittersweet by shauna niequist...might be just what you need.

    thanks so much for your kind comments!

  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. I just wrote my mother a birthday card telling her that I just don't know what I'd do without her.

    But I love that you found this unfinished quilt of hers! How meaningful - and to always have this connection between your mother and son. Unfortunately, I don't know any good quilters, but I'm sure you'll find just the right person.

  16. I have tears in my eyes after reading this touching post. That really is such an amazing gift...adore your son's new found quilt!

  17. Oh this is so touching. How special, that is just so neat.

  18. This is such a sweet post. You are right, mothers seem to know when we need them most. The quilt will be perfect for your son and filled with meaning - the best kind of gift.


  19. We both posted about sad memories for Sunday Song this week...I am so glad to hear that your mother's memory will live on with that beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing this sweet song too.

    Best wishes,


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