It is early Friday in
Five days later, Dad is still alive; his pacemaker keeps on pacing. The five of us kids and Mom try to pace ourselves. In life and in death, Dad had a hard time giving up.
Each of us handles the stress of a death of a parent or loved one differently. For me, sitting at my sister’s home and hand sewing on the binding of a quilt gave me peace.
My sister and I had shared the making of this quilt to give to our nephew and his bride . . . the wedding just over a week away. Calm comes over me as I thread the needle, feel the fabric with my fingers, and rhythmically stitch the binding. . . but I see in my mind, my Dad dying the wasting-away- kind-of- death he feared, just like when he was a Prisoner of War under the Japanese in WWII. Tears fall on the wedding quilt.
In the past eight years, my husband lost his job of 23 years, gained and lost four more jobs, is unemployed presently, and had a massive heart attack at age 46; we became empty nest; my father died; my mother has slipped into vascular dementia; my sister has colon cancer; my mother-in-law has breast cancer, chronic lymphatic leukemia and had a hemorrhagic stroke. I come from a family of medicine, and understand it well, but, is this enough stress yet?
When my world is falling down around me, I head to my sewing area. Smell the unique scent of fabric. Feel the soft, rough, smooth textures. Put some fabrics together on the design wall. Hear the whir of sewing machine. Calmness comes over me. Now I can sort the feelings, deal with some, put some away for later. Some would call it therapy. I call it quilting, the art of healing.
Written by Jeannie M. Bush
Founded in 1999, Quilting From My Heart created quilted treasures with personalized story labels that will touch your heart.