I’m interrupting M&M Workbook posts for a different story. I could have titled this post – The Power of Sewing or The Happy Ending or Quilts For Forgiveness or Making Up – but in the end I settled on what I named my latest quilt. I have a sister; you will not have heard her mentioned on the blog for as long as I’ve been blogging, and a little bit longer, we haven’t spoken to each other. About 5 years now.
My sister is younger than me, prettier, very sociable and personable, fitter and slimmer, and life and soul of any party. But this is not why we fell out. My sister has three boys and they were born within a few years of my son; our boys grew up with one another. Every Saturday and bank holiday when the boys were young we would go to a park or the beach or just to one another’s house. We went away for days at a time to the coast and had a laugh – a truly wonderful childhood we provided for our sons.
Like all family fall outs it’s simple and it’s complicated.
A month goes by, then two and before you know it a year has passed. It gets easier not talking. Another year and another. It broke my heart. It was easier to not think about what we’d lost and still time passed.
My sister has been sick, I mean very sick. As she was dealing with chemo and radio and drugs and all the side effects, I wasn’t there and it just about empties my soul thinking about it. Guilty, yes but more like sadness, a profound and overwhelming sadness.
In June this year I texted my sister and told her I sewed and was now making quilts. I gave her this blog address as I’d just posted about my son’s Big Bang quilt. I asked what colours she liked. I wasn’t really expecting a reply.
However, I did receive a short answer – blues and turquoise.
Immediately I sought out fabric and spent many happy and involved hours deciding on a pattern.Every summer when we were children we spent months by the seaside, climbing over rocks, investigating rockpools and swimming. My sister loved to swim when she was young, she loves hot climates by the sea and loves bright, happy colours.
This is her quilt – Rockpools:
For the last 5 years we have given our nephews their Christmas and birthday presents through a third party – our parents. However, if I make anything for someone else then there is one condition that must be adhered to – I hand over the item in person. A neutral location, a time arranged with a limit and the quilt would be given over to its new owner. I don’t mind telling you that I was nervous: What would we say to one another? Would she even like the quilt? How would it end?
And this is the happy part. My sister loved, I mean loved, the quilt. We talked easily and freely for half an hour, smiled and even laughed a little. I received more texts from her that same afternoon about the quilt and we were still texting each other well into the next day.
I’m not claiming that the last five years have all been erased or the hurt and pain has gone, but it’s a start. A very positive and encouraging start.