Sunday, December 18, 2016

It's Been Ten Years

My ever-growing pile of black and whites, perhaps for a log cabin.
My college roommate Dodie died 10 years ago.  Just as I was retiring and planning a party in August 2005, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.  Her doctor said with treatment she might live another 18 months to 2 years.  And she died December 17, 2006.  I was the eulogist at her memorial service.  As I prepared I felt like I was writing the paper of my life.  And the delivery was incredibly difficult.  Over the years I have wondered - as death inevitably makes us do - why she died at 57 and why I am still alive at 67.

A stack of Wordsmith fabrics, with a few other fabrics mingled in.
There's a line in "Hamilton" about Hamilton writing as if he was running out of time.  And lately, that's how I feel about my quilting.  My projects are stacking up in the happiest of ways.  I rejoice in each day and am keenly aware that these past 10 years have been a gracious gift - a gift of 3,650 days that Dodie didn't have.  And so I plan projects and give quilts away.  I make purses and contribute them.  I look for charitable sewing opportunities for family and friends.

Fabrics from "Paper Obsessed".  All I know is that blocks will be 8.5" x 11".

These fabrics I've worked with before, and I want to work with again.  
Is that enough?  I wrestle with this.  And of course I have decided over the past 10 years that yes, this is enough.  This is what I do: Sharing my work and my skills.. Even when Dodie was at her sickest, she always asked how I was and what I was working on.  And this still amazes me.  As she was facing imminent death, she still looked outward.  In these melancholy days, I need to take a tip from her book of life and look outward and to others.
Fabrics for my nephew's wedding quilt.
My hand-quilting project.  Work has begun on two of the clams.

I miss Dodie. But life has gone on. As Dodie was dying, my friendship with Cecilia, the grief counselor, developed. It was she who made me say the words for the Eulogy out loud. She knew I needed to do this in order to make it through Dodie's memorial service.  We have now been close friends for over 10 years.   I later joined the new Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and made some terrific and invaluable friends - some women whom I love dearly and am so thankful for.  I have been the luckiest of women for these past 10 years.
Gifts from quilty friend. 


ChronicBabe - Jenni Grover Prokopy said...

donna, you're a real gem. thanks for sharing this perspective. i'm so glad to know you!

Mary Colter said...

Wishing you peace during this time of reflection.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling lately. I, too, am running out of time and often wonder why my husband died at 67 and I'm still here. I guess I have some chores still left to do. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with good health, happiness - and love - ;))