Here's my story- I had not touched a sewing machine since high school -home economics class and now that dates me! And I remember that class being such a struggle!
My mother was very crafty. She sewed my sister and I "look alike applique" dresses when we were growing up. My mother would crochet afghans for all family members when she was traveling. She claimed it helped her arthritis.
For the grandbabies she made quilts which I have in storage for whenever my grandchildren come along. When she was in her early 80's she started to become forgetful, but had such a sense of humor and love of life, that she would laugh about it. She did continue to play card games and do crossword puzzles. Her father had been like that years ago, so she knew what was ahead. As it further developed, once in awhile she became frustrated with herself and would say, " Oh, *****" because she could not remember something. She joined in conversations less, but would always smile.
At the time we figured that is just mom and life went on. My father was battling hodgkins non-lymphoma with numerous radiation treatments and chemo. She helped him for many years with this debilitating condition. But as the years advanced, he also took on the role of being her caretaker. I'm sure there were many challenges, that being as independent as they were-"the best generation"- did not let their family know about.
My father finally had to leave their home and go into a hospice care facility. He put this off as long as possible and died two days after entering. We tried to reassure him that our mother would be taken care of. That was his biggest concern. They had been married for almost 70 years!
My sister and I- having families and full-time jobs were not able to care for my mother personally and placed her in an assisted living care. It was with a very concerned, family- based home and we knew she was being cared for in the right way.
We took her "masterpiece" quilt to her. It was the only one that she had kept for herself. Beautifully done! As her condition deteriorated and she became bed-ridden, it kept slipping on the floor. My sister at that point, took it home with her. When I went in to see her, for some reason, it bothered me.
Cleaning out her stuff, I came across blocks and scraps of the same material that she had used in the quilt. I became consumed with putting it together into a smaller quilt. I quickly purchased a Brother sewing machine from CostCo. I DID NOT know what I was doing. Tried to do a disappearing 9 patch. Nothing matched as far as seams were concerned and I would have to resew them as they came apart. But I did manage to put together a resemblance of a quilt.
My mother, right to the end recognized family members and would call me by name. She was in very happy spirits when aware and also seemed to believe my father was in the room with her at times. When I gave her the "quilt" she acted like a child at Christmas time. She was so appreciative of my beginner's efforts and that I had sewn her a quilt.
This is a story I've been wanting to tell.
The theme of it is family, love, and quilting! It is also how I started. Thank you for reading. It's been a year and a half but I miss her everyday.