Time has proven to me that it will forever keep marching on. The world doesn’t stop, even when someone special to me ceases to exist in my living world on Earth.
This past week marked one year since my mom passed away.
It’s been one year since my siblings and father stood by her casket receiving family and friends, each of us trying to comfort the other. It’s been a year since I have talked relentlessly over the phone in her ear. I called every day. It’s been a year since I took one of her most beautiful pairs of Keen mary jane’s home with me to wear and remember her.
But it’s also been a year since she has dealt with the pain and discomfort that came with her mortal body. It’s been a year where I know that I have an angel on the other side. She has quietly whispered in my ear to clam my anger when my daughter peed on the floor for the thousandth time. It’s the courage I felt when it was time to bring a new baby into our family without her by my side. And it’s the encouragement to keep being a mom and wife when I feel like the demands are too great. She’s there and I know she always will be. And I am forever grateful for a mom who loved me, even though our time together was a short 31 years.
There’s a funny thing about death. I have gained a new perspective on my relationship with my mom. We didn’t have a perfect relationship. We fought and sometimes she bugged me. But since her death, I’ve realized that most of that was me. And although I remember those frustrating feelings, I don’t feel them now. All I feel now is that I love her and miss her. She wasn’t perfect, but she was amazing nonetheless. And I feel very close to her.
It’s this desire to continue a close connection that likely fuels my fire to quilt. I feel a close connection as I follow in her footsteps to create something that wasn’t there before. My mom was an excellent quilter. Her pieces are perfect. And although I don’t have the patience to reach her level of perfection, I feel close as I sit down at her old sewing machine she gave me. I’m surrounded by pieces of fabric she stashed for a quilt someday. I’ve inherited countless scissors, pins, thread, rotary cutters, knickknacks, and one awesome seam ripper that I call my “pterodactyl claw.” All these physical reminders are worth more than face value – they represent my mom. And that memory is priceless.
This process of creation has led me down paths to remember her more fully, with something tangible and soft to help recall different memories in my mind. I remember the various shades of pink and red shirts she wore. She looked beautiful in pink and red. With these seemingly ordinary articles of clothing, I tried to create a moment forever etched in time where her family is forever remembering her goodness. We look up at the beautiful sun and earth and can feel her love around us. Encouraging each of us to be a little better. Be more loving and patient. To do our best. Because that was her message here on earth.
Through making various quilts for family members, my siblings and dad, and her siblings and parents, I have hoped these quilts are loved. Because they were made with love. From the fabric that was sewn into them and worn by my mom, to the hours spent at her machine sewing them into existence, they represent love. And my goal is to one day be able to give these types of memories to others after they have lost someone special to them. To give them an opportunity to wrap themselves up in a quilt made with clothing from someone they loved. And be able to remember them and their messages.
So time continues. The three year old is potty trained. The baby starts crawling, and I feel guilty sometimes that time hasn’t frozen with her passing. I know she’s happy about our future here. And that makes living without her okay. If she were here, she would whisper “Go on! Get on with things! I will still be here in the end.”