This picture doesn't do the actual quilt justice, at all, but the story behind it is the most important. Last week I began pulling out some of my Christmas things, including the beautiful quilt my Aunt Lisa made for me last year (see below). My Mother-in-Law admired the quilt so much when I put it on the couch. Later Dorin told me she was asking where she could get one, if she could buy one, and how much. Hearing of her desire and appreciation of something that was handmade by my Aunt (which I was very proud of) I decided that since I had been wanting to learn to quilt for a while anyways (I've even had all the tools for months) that there was no better time than now, before they left. I wanted to have a Christmas quilt, handmade in my Mother-in-Law's suitcase.
I called up my Aunt Lisa, it was the day before Thanksgiving, and she said we could work on one together and definitely have it done in time for their departure. I took Mami (my MIL) to the fabric store and had her choose her fabric and shopped for all the other materials I would need. The next day at Thanksgiving my Aunt Lisa and I got to cut a few of the squares but we really didn't get much work done (Dorin's Dad was too busy making us all dance and sing while he played guitar!) The next day was Black Friday and my Aunt went shopping, Saturday was recovery from that, and Sunday I made it over to her house around noon to get to work. After half a day of cutting and sewing we realized we were not cutting the correct size and would have to start over completely. Thankfully Aunt Lisa had Christmas fabrics we could use to start from the beginning. So, Sunday evening I left and the new quilt was all cut out and about halfway sewn.
They were to fly out Tuesday morning! Well, I thought, we can always send it to them. But, the next morning Aunt Lisa called...she had stayed up half the night and early that morning finishing up and could bring it over for me to hand stitch the binding on! WOW! My heart was so happy! How generous of my Aunt! She was so willing to share in my desire and enthusiasm to get a quilt made for my MIL, and so generous with her time. It was truly an act of passion on our parts to want that quilt to be done and make it happen. My Aunt brought the quilt over so we could present it to Mommy together and of course she cried. I finished the hand stitiching at 2:30 am and they left for the airport at 9 am.
Our hearts have been so sore since they left. Our house is so empty without them. We had such a beautiful and happy time with them. They seem so far away over there in Europe, across the World. It's not easy to get there, or to get them here,...time, money, jobs, life, etc. We don't know when we will see them again. It felt so good to have that real family closeness in our lives, just to have them go so suddenly...it snuck up on us so fast. Six weeks went by in the blink of an eye. They fell in love with their granddaughter so wholeheartedly, and she them, that to see them say goodbye to her was truly heartbreaking.
I miss them so bad. The days will feel just a little bit empty until we are together with them again. But, this quilt story has reminded me of something that I forget sometimes...if you want something bad enough you can make it happen. I know that someday we will live close to Dorin's parents and have the kind of family closeness that I dream of for Stella.
It is so nurturing for a child to be raised with that kind of love and family around them. It was very healing for me, as well. Having them close to us is one of our hopes, dreams, and goals. Until then, we will try to fill the void with plenty of phone calls, photos, and love, sent across the ocean...from our hearts to theirs.
Thank you Aunt Lisa!...for sharing that dream with me and making it happen! I love you!