Sunday, October 09, 2005


I haven't entered anything recently...been having tougher days mixed in with the "okay" days. I did have a blessing of being able to see a stage version of Anne of Green Gables. Sundays are mostly difficult, but one Sunday I wanted to and managed to be pretty "INCOGNITO." The few people who did find me...were just the right people at the right time. I didn't need a lot of words...just presence. Ironically? one of the ladies has her jaw wired shut. She doesn't even normally sit near where I was...she usually sits upstairs. Hmmmm...

This entry today I wrote around Michael's birthday last month. I haven't wanted to share much because I'm just plain sad sometimes. I know each day/moment is just another piece. Someone asked me today, "Does it feel sometimes like it's two steps forward, one step backward?" Yes. She knows...she lost both her parents very close together.

I think loss sometimes puts us close to people we wouldn't necessarily run into/connect with at other times. I found out her husband used to ride with Michael. More pieces.

Quilts are usually made up of pieces. My paternal grandmother, whom I never met, made a quilt for my Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Wilson for their wedding. It is made out of flour sack material…just cream and faded orange stripes… perhaps that is all she had to work with in those days. I assume the stitching was done by hand…and it is impeccable. It must have been done with a lot of patience and consistency. My Aunt was 23 years older than my dad…she just passed away a few years ago. I was so thankful to have acquired the quilt through her estate auction. Another Aunt put a new binding on it. I’m glad it didn’t slip out of the hands of our extended family...treasured pieces….I guess I’m funny about things like that….you know, passing things down from generation to generation. When it comes to character being passed down...that can be a negative or a positive thing.

Some quilts are appliquéd….things “put on” a piece….stitched on…grafted it? Just thinking...

What makes something a “quilt?” Is it the layers or the stitching that holds all the layers together? Usually the back is one piece of fabric or one pattern. I wonder if in our lives we need one thing to be the under riding purpose, etc.? (Wonder Under??? :)) The quilting is usually clearly seen as a unified picture on the back while on the front it is usually hidden by the different pieces and patterns on the fabric.

I finished my daughter’s quilt last Christmas. It is a design I thought of in college…why? I don’t know. I call it “hearts in my pocket.” I bought the fabric to make it for my oldest…who is graduating from high school in May. I eventually decided the fabric was too “girly” anyways. (Was that because it didn’t near completion until I had a GIRL…who would even care???) I worked on it some when my oldest was a toddler. My mother-in-law actually helped me with some of the early piecing. In the meantime she made Michael and me a quilt.

I took a “quilting hiatus” for a few years…being thankful that the fabrics had not gotten musty. I was using calicoes and old blue jeans.

When I came here to this town I met some more quilters. Kathi helped me get re-started on my seemingly eternal project. I was so grateful. I was actually a tad short on some of my pieces of material (my overall pattern was extended a little bit). Kathi ‘just happened’ to have some of my material…that I had purchased almost 15 years earlier. I worked on the quilt when I could. About a year and a half later I needed help again…especially to learn how to quilt the sides. Kathi ‘just happened’ to have one of these new swanky rolls of stick-on patterns…with hearts!!! Another friend, a fellow recent widow, was able to stitch it for me and put the edge on before I slip-stitched the binding and was able to say, “I’m done!” “My” quilt ended up being put together by a few different hearts and hands…but it is one piece.

If you were to look at the stitching on the back there are some rows that are even and smooth. Michael’s very dear friend Linda from college did some of that part for me. She’s a quilter. She has made many, many quilts…including a square for the Whitehouse Christmas tree!! My stitching is too tight in some places and too loose in others….(a quilt judge would not be too impressed..) The overall quilt though is pretty neat…even if I say so myself. I couldn’t have done it without those that helped me. At times it SOOOO overwhelmed me and I thought I would never finish. It is a sweet treat to go in and see it covering up my daughter…or to see the little stuffed animals poking out of the pockets.

On Michael’s birthday a gift arrived in the mail. It was a quilt from his college buddy…for me. Earlier in the summer she had written a neat letter about their college days and her ‘checking out’ every date Michael had. When he called her about me she was very protective (she was already married…:) ). Long story short, we became kindred spirits the first time we met. The quilt she made me has Michael’s personality. It is unordered and yet has a pattern. It is made of different textured materials and tones. The back is like a swirling ocean…but it is one finished piece. A patch on the back reads:
For my friend Annie B.
in loving memory of Michael B.
1 Peter 5:11 NASB
2 Corinthians 13:11-12 NIV
September 15, 2005

I am blessed. I am comforted. I am covered. Another piece. Linda also did something very special for each of my children. (On a side note…Linda and her husband John were able to visit us 2 weeks before Michael left on his journey…Who could put those pieces together???? I do not know what I would have done if I had to call her and tell her the news if she had not been here so recently.) Not too long after Michael’s journey a box of 4 teddy bears arrived. Each one was different and had a note attached to it. Each note was written to a different child and shared a different story about Michael and a blessing of how that child
has character qualities of their dad.

As I reflect on May 14th, I will never forget the ‘blanket of sovereignty’ that I felt was laid on me. Each day, each new experience is a piece in my healing

And that gives me PEACE. He (Jesus) says about peace, “ Peace I leave with you; My peace I give thee, not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27 “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 A place for peace…a way to get there…a provision…a covering…

The more I see the way God “puts the pieces together” for me…I am amazed and awed. Please pray for us...we have 3 more birthdays to get through this month...and then the holidays. I know for most grieving people...those are difficult times. I am thankful for my friend who reminded me that I can't live in those days...I need to live today. Just today. I get to see some long-time special friends this week. I DO look forward to that.

And to you, peace.

Annie B.

Each of the ladies that helped me on “my” quilt have major mountains in their lives…but God is using those mountains to draw them closer to Himself…and the closer they grow toward Him, the more they reflect Him…He IS the Light of the World.


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