Monday, March 27, 2017

Living in the Moment

It's been five years since my mom passed away, and I had wanted to make a quilt about her and me. I started to write in my journal on the day she hit her head and was in the hospital. Discussions about hospice care were fresh in my mind. It was the next step. My first entry was on Sunday, March 11, 2012. Same day, only in 2017, I started thinking about the quilt that I would make to honor my mom on that date. She passed away on March 21, 2012 and that was the day that I finished the quilt in 2017. 'Moments,' for learning how to live in the moment with my mom.
I began with making us. All of the fabrics were fused with Mistyfuse beforehand. I am using fabrics from my newest line from RJR Fabrics 'hopscotch' which seemed very appropriate. The designs in the fabric were hand drawn, so it seems fitting to make this quilt entirely by my own hands, heart and soul.
We both had gray hair at the time of her passing. Two gray haired ladies...don't think so. I am making the quilt five years later and I have pink hair. Much better this way. How she was then with her smile and me now, making the quilt.

The journal pages are hand written with a Pentel Gel Pen for Fabric onto Robert Kaufmann fabric, that kinda looks like graph paper. I had many pages of my thoughts from March 11-13 and some of the things that we talked about. I decided to take the best of these words to use on the quilt.

Here we are. This was such a healing and liberating quilt to make. We had a rocky relationship most of our lives, until the last ten years of her life. I am not going to lie. I treasure that time, even though she had Parkinson's disease and Lewy Body Disorder, and she changed into a better person and we could have a relationship. During that time, she was always very supportive of me, my family and my passion for making art. She and my dad would come and visit me in my studio to chat and laugh.

Some close ups of my journal pages, the moments in this life. My dad had died suddenly four months earlier, which contributed greatly to my mom's health. My sister and brother and I moved her to assisted living in December.  Journal portions not included on the quilt - March 11 is how the day began sitting in her hospital room with my journal. Saying prayers, thinking of love and kindness, dignity. Praying that the Lord would just take her hand and go to heaven and be at peace in her work which will be brighter than it is right now. A feeling of pure helplessness enters my mind when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes not all at once, but when I am grinding the beans for my morning coffee. I wish to wake up and feel myself again, filled with hope, possibilities and joy.

more, and her hand - the pink one has roses on it. Her mother, my Grandma Alice loved pink roses. Journal - Her disease acts like a buffer which I think is good. She sleeps and I hope she is with dad in her dreams. A basketball game is on in her hospital room. If he were here he would be watching it. March Madness. I feel his presence in the room. Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky. So weird. He is watching over her and me as I sit here in the room by the window with the rays of the sun over my legs. Are you here with me? I wish that you could hold my hand and tell me that everything will be alright. I am holding my hand out to you, Dad. I know it would be painful for you to see your love in her current state. We are standing in for you Dad with all of our love and courage. I need a strong dose of bravery right now. She has aged more since yesterday. I begin talking out loud in a soft whisper. She is asleep, but perhaps she can hear me.

the last part

me, the wild daughter

my mom, who loved a gorgeous sunny day, getting together with her friends at the beach or to play bridge. She was full of life, had a bright smile, enjoyed life to it's fullest, believed in God, loved showtunes, enjoyed singing a song or two, loved my dad, love us, enjoyed a good home cooked meal, could never miss a party, was a knitter, could sew, went on girl trips, lived by the half a sandwich, potato chips and ice cream for dessert stance. Ice cream was the last thing she ate.

Here's to you mom with all of my love!

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Beautiful quilt and post. I lost my mom this year, and I've been thinking about her a lot and how to make some art about her. She also had Parkinson's. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Such a loving tribute, with so much love

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  4. Love your tribute to your Mom. Hugs. Sending your peaceful and loving thoughts.

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  5. This is so touching. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing such personal moments. I have been wanting to make a quilt about my mother who died over 40 years ago. Haven't been able to go there yet. You've inspired me and moved me closer. Blessings to you and your family.

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  6. What a lovely keepsake!

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