The holidays are the time of year when I am a bit pensive about my children and their families living far from George and I. This morning as I sit in my breakfast nook in cold and snowy southwest Pennsylvania, listening to Christmas CDs and sipping my tea, I feel simaltaneously very far and very close to my children in Livermore, California and Plano, Texas. I am very thankful that I live in a time of email, Skype, long distance phone service, IM'ing, texting, superior air travel and employer paid vacation time. As a trained historian, I know that in generations past, families parted, emigrating across oceans, moving west across continents and chances were very good that they would never see or hear from each other again. I am very fortunate.
But nothing says the holidays like family gathered around you.
Jamie is my first child, born when I was so young and clueless about what to do with my life. She is loving, generous, positive in outlook, a fantastic mother, wife, and volunteer coordinator, a friend to many, a treasured daughter, cousin, niece, aunt, sister and granddaughter to all in her bewildering blended family. Jeff, with whom I share a birthday (and I can never get his present to him on time, go figure!) is the son I never had, always loving and welcoming to George and I, funny as hell, a stellar dad to Wyatt, a talented teacher and school administrator, a bright and shiny addition to our family. Together, they have made a home, given us Wyatt and brightened our middle years and rapidly approaching old age.
In this constantly confusing political time, with all the problems we as humans still need to figure out, as I watch Jamie and Jeff move in the world, working, loving,raising their son, being neighbors and employees, giving and making decisions about the future, genuinely being good global citizens, I am optimistic about the future of this country. It gives me hope for the world that Wyatt will inherit when I am nothing but a memory, the gramma who made quilts.
I hope Jamie will not mind that I am sharing the thank you letter she sent me after receiving "Lady of the Lake." My instant reaction was tears (of course) and this to Jamie: How did you get to be so WONDERFUL? I love you all with all my humble heart!
Wow I am so blown away & impressed by you right now. I just spent the morning at work reading the journey of the last year of your quilting and I am humbled by how loving and just downright unselfish you are when you give to your family. We are so blessed to be the recipients of your time, your talents and your love! Can I be you when I grow up?
How you ever kept this a surprise for a year is amazing to me. Shame on me for not following this blog, however I did notice there was no mention of the project on Where the Corners Meet which is what I do tend to look at now and then. You are a clever lady and my faith in knowing who to share my secrets with in our family is renewed. I don't think I could have been bursting with so much creativity and a fabulous treat and kept it under wraps.
The one thing I kept seeing over and over again in the comments from your followers is how lucky, blessed and special this gift was and how they would like to be a part of your family receiving this gift ~ they are absolutely right. We are so fortunate to have each other. I am so lucky to have been born into this family. With this mother, who has shown me what it is to "give" that it's almost effortless to pass that on to Wyatt. But it must be said "Thank You!"
I hope that while you might have had in your mind, an idea of which quilt would find its way into which home, that you are pleased with where they have all gone or are going and that they will be cherished. I hope that you don't mind that Jeff & I picked different ones for ourselves and Wyatt than what you initially thought. I think my favorite part of the entire surprise, as i relayed it to my coworkers this morning, was watching each quilt find it's "home" on Thanksgiving.
There was no fighting, bickering, sore sports - but instead there was love for what you had created for all of us. And something about each quilt spoke to each of us and said "Pick Me!" And some even heard that request from multiple quilts.
I think this is true with any piece of art. An artist creates and then puts their creation out in the world, whether for sale, on display or given as a gift. And the artwork becomes a "being" in it's own right, searching for just the right owner to appreciate it, take it home, live with it, love it. I guess that means art isn't too different than family members right?
Thank you for documenting this journey so that we may share it with future generations. Thank you for the gift of these quilts that now that they've left your house, they will come to my house and make memories for my family and my children. And someday my children will explain to their children and grandchildren, perhaps while sitting under one of our 2 Christmas Quilts, the year of the Christmas Quilts and the wonderfully beautiful woman inside and out that created them and gave them away.
I love you!
My heart leaps up! Merry Christmas all. Hug your family!