8.23.2010

this week

I apologize for being a bit absent lately.  We are trucking along here with the sewing, crafting, and schooling, but my thoughts have been directed away from my usual documentation.

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Smootch has graciously agreed to model two hospital gowns I spent a portion of the weekend making for the young daughter of crafty friend. Both gowns were upcycled from adult garments, previously worn soft and comfortable, using this free pattern.

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My friend and I have sewing and crafts in common, but our connection was forged when we realized we our daughter's both bare the distinctive mark of heart made so pure that it almost broke its fallible human encasement.

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Tomorrow my friend's daughter once again will have her strength and determination tested as a surgeon does the necessary work of performing miracles. I wish I could go and physically shoulder some of the burden, but, of course, if we could do such a divine thing for another human, I would be only one in a very long line of people more than willing to take up the task, with her mother being right in front of the line.

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We can not live each others lives. But we can lay strong foundations to help support the load and we can warmly wrap one another with the work from our hands and hearts.

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We've recently been carried along by a tidal wave of crisis.  Today Smootch and I traveled eight hours to attend the funeral of a much loved teacher, wife and mother of three children, while my grandfather went in for a necessary but long time coming surgery on his hip. 

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Loss is our theme of the week. Tonight, even, after the alternating agony of waiting and then the deep pain of watching, helplessly, another's suffering, we turn to a brand new book in our ongoing bedtime comforts and find that old Jack has died and scarlet fever has taken Mary's sight forever. Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing is of such simple beauty that her words reach across more than a century and a half to seriously move the world of my little girl. Smootch feels the adventures and sorrows of the Ingalls family as sharply as she does her own family. It was with these first two chapters that she finally comprehended in the root of her being that some things can not be fixed and that a spirit can be knocked loose from it's mortal home and set free to who knows where.

I feel overwhelmed by loss. My own and others. I do not read the news because I can not get through a day knowing how much suffering there is, how can we just sit here drinking coffee when all of this stuff, this horror! is happening, and I get radical and depressed and burn myself dry.

No news for me. Not if I am going to do what I need to do right here, now.

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Lately, though, perhaps with being a periphery witness to battles not my own, I have caught a glimpse of another perspective to the Problem of Life. Despite all the suffering, the frailty of the human body, the trauma done by careless accident and, much worse, evil intent, our words, our hearts, our love continues to guide our way as we do the work of raising our families and helping each other out. All the shit that could be slung has landed point zero on our vulnerable species, and yet there is so much to be thankful for.

On Thursday we will make the first leg of another long car ride to witness the wedding of a couple of people I don't know.  The Man has a cousin, who I have failed to get to know at the few family functions we have both actually attended, and he has fallen in love with some woman I only know as a name on a cream coloured paper invitation.  I am one who has often viewed weddings as a burden, particularly those of extended, unknown, family, but this wedding I am looking forward to.  I am so up for a celebration of devotion and love.  I will take my children and The Man and we are going to cry happy tears at their union, and then we are going to eat and dance and party to the shared beating of hearts.   While I'm at it, I will try to get to know a few more of these people The Man calls cousins and aunties and uncles, and try to add my brick to their foundations.  There is, I suspect, a lot of good to be found.  It is inevitable that we will someday need to call upon our family and community to help hold us up in a storm and it is true that one day we will also depart, no matter how hard we resist.  The only way to survive the ultimate storm is through love.

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You have our love M and S tomorrow and beyond. Our thoughts are with you.

16 comments:

  1. My prayers are with your friends and your family. I love the hospital gowns. I also love that you found a book to reflect your loss. Sometimes a good cry over good friends from a book helps you deal with things more difficult to cry over in life. Last of all, I love that you have found a place to feel joy. May your foundation building bring even more love into your lives.

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  2. i know i can't reduce your grief or loss, but i sincerely wish and pray for god to give you strength to sail through tough times. And i agree with you that despite all such sorrow around us, life has beautiful and wonderful things for us to be thankful for, i forget all my worries when i see my darling daughter smile. take care

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  3. My thoughts are with you, your family and friends as they embark upon this uncertain time. I too bear the mark of heart that both your daughters have. Although I received mine 30 years ago, it has had a profound influence on my life (for the better). I am strong and determined and resilient and have an appreciation for the life and gifts that I have been able to explore because of a surgeon and the miracle he performed. I'm sure you see this in your little girl.

    So enjoy that wedding and remember that the rough times only last for a tiny amount of time compared to the wonderful experiences you have yet to share with your friend and her daughter.

    And of course, I love those hospital gowns. Much nicer than the "show the bum" type they hand out there! :)

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  4. On your third picture my heart jumped when I recognized that thin mark on the chest. My son has the same. This past year I got really close to another mother, whose baby was born with the exact same rare condition as my son. We spent almost a year emailing our experiences, emotions, advices. All the feelings I buried or ignored 2 years ago finally surfaced and caused a lot of overdue tears.
    This little baby I loved but never met was not as fortunate as my son and I will forever carry her smile in my heart.
    It is really nice and courageous to support your friend the way you do. I think I understand the feelings.
    I hope the best for your friend's daughter. Enjoy the wedding, give extra hugs to your kids and I'm off to hug mines.

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  5. my goodness that was beautifully said, and what cozy gowns--you thought of something so comforting. life is difficult, and beautiful. thanks.

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  6. Thank you. From one random blogger to another, your words mean something to me.

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  7. I used that gown pattern last Christmas to make gowns for a little boy in our church who had lived his entire life in the hospital. He passed away shortly after that, never seeing the age of two.

    Your post made me remember my feelings at the time, the first being one of absolute helplessness. I wish I could have taken away his problems but instead all I could do was make him gowns with frogs and kittens on them.

    Thank you for the remembrance.

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  8. I found you via Craft magazine. I have to say that your posts are awesome! I have a 2 year old girl and am looking forward to how she'll be when she's your daughter's age :)

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  9. love and hugs....thank you for being so inspiring....

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  10. Aw, I'm sorry your heart is sad. Life is far too tough sometimes :( .

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  11. my thoughts are with you and your family (chosen and blood).... i cannot express the beauty i see in your sad words... the wondrousness in your acknowledgment of the cycles and twists life takes... enjoy that wedding with the gusto that can only come in times of pain :)
    many blessings...

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  12. Thank you for making these.

    When my first born was 6 he was diagnosed with a "meanie" that put him in the hospital on and off for the next 7 years. I made him his own hospital jammies and it made all the difference for him. I know it will mean everything to receive such a thoughtful gift.

    Never lose hope, pray for the child, the family, the marriage, and the medical staff--all of whom will need Divine help to sustain them.

    Find joy in the wedding and know we appreciate you, your creativity, and mostly your sweet generous nature.

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  13. Once again, you have such a way with words and it's incredible. I think when your kiddies are older, you need to write a book, or a few books :) I for one will be first in line to buy them! Sending you strength from across the planet (NZ) so that you can deal with all you have going on right now. The hospital gowns are gorgeous; she will be the envy of all the other kids there :)
    Have fun at the wedding.

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  14. Thank you for sharing. your posts are so moving and heart-felt. you bring joy to my heart, just because you choose to share....

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  15. So beautifully written. You have such a talent with words. And sewing. And inspiring others to be better than they are.

    Thanks.

    Raygon

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  16. I loved your post. I think a lot of people forget that everyone else is just like they are.

    Thank you for helping--and sharing how. Whenever I go through something particularly hard, I try to remember it so I will know how to help when it happens to someone else. Every little bit helps.

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