"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times..."A Tale of Two Cities was a favorite of mine to teach, especially the opening (and of course the closing) lines. Our lives are made of good times and bad times, often happening at the same time. My grandson Ryan is currently reading this book in his sophomore English class, and I hope his teacher is making this book come alive. Each character illustrates so vividly how our actions matter, even and especially after death.
Christopher's Grief Quilt from his brother Bradley's shirts is finished. And this has definitely been for him and his family the worst of times. I didn't know Bradley or any of the LeGrand family. But through Chris I have met them, learned about them, and have felt their pain over the loss of Bradley. I wonder if Bradley had any idea of how he might be missed - I wonder if any of us realizes the impact our lives have on others. Sometimes it takes a movie like A Wonderful Life or a book like A Tale of Two Cities to lead us to this realization. For others it takes a death like Bradley's for us to know how fragile our lives are. Chris and his family will mourn Bradley forever as they also celebrate his life.
To balance the sadness in my studio when I'm working on grief projects, I like to do baby quilts. And one fell into my lap at the recent Chicago Modern Guild Quilt Retreat. The 15 of us strip-pieced 2.5" strips and within 30 minutes we had the blocks for 3 baby quilts made. I volunteered to assemble and quilt one of these quilts for Project Linus. As I worked on this quilt I couldn't help but think about the sick child and parent it will go to and the small security it will give. I thought about how blessed my life has been and how much support I have to meet my life's challenges. I'm also starting two baby quilt this week for my friend Cathy's fifth grandchild and friend Cecilia's third grandchild. For their families, it is the best of times.