Tuesday, 11 September 2007

In memory of a VERY special person...

It took most of the summer, but it is now finished, my quilt made with the Memory of my cousin 'Linda' sewn in with every stitch and inch of fabric...In one day I managed to do all the binding even all the hand stitching, it was quite funny to be sat in the sun in my shorts with the quilt wrapped around me as I hand sewed the binding on the back, if Linda was watching she would have thought me a complete numpty! I have known my cousin Linda all my life, she was ten years older than me and I have always looked up to her and her sister. As a child we spent a lot of time together, we shared family holidays. I guess for Linda she would rather play with my brother, she was the kind of kid that just got in there and joined in, the rough and tumble suited her play. One family holiday at a working farm, we discovered the hey loft and I can remember watching my brother and Linda and her sister just jumping and rolling around in the hey, as for me I was too young to be allowed to join in as they jumped from bale to bale and down great heights.
As she moved into adulthood I stayed at her house and watching her get ready, the shoes, the bags, her bedroom filled with pieces of pretty china. I was into pop posters and generally uncomfortable at being a teenager, so again I looked in wounder and this person. Linda was an amazing knitter, the best I have ever come across, not a stasher she did one project at a time and the things this lady knitted...just amazing, traditional complicated aran sweaters, often knitting for friends children and a whole knitted outfit...simply stunning.
As with most knitters she was good with the hook to, I have fond memories of sitting with her and her Mom teaching me to crochet, OK I only got as far as a long chain (and I mean LONG) and a little mat for my dolls house that would not lie flat, but it is Linda I guess that started my love of all things with Yarn. As a knitter now myself I can really appreciate just what a talent she had. Linda was diagnosed with Cancer and was given three months to live, I remember the phone call from my Dad when she had told him, my Mom and Dad adored her, especially my Dad as they both had the same naughty and rather saucy sense of humour. When I went to see her I was shocked at how well she looked, having watched a couple of close people suffer this dreadful disease I was expecting her to look very ill. Well what can I say...three months...no way not with Linda's love of live...she sure showed the doctors that she was not going to take this news lightly and she remained with us a lot longer.
Sadly through all of this my Dad was then diagnosed with cancer and within weeks he passed away, Linda and her sister came to visit him in the hospice. Where as Linda was still looking vibrant my dad had deteriorated quickly (although he never lost his character). As I mentioned my Dad and Linda had a special bond, I think to see my Dad like this hit her hard emotionally. We are not a close family now, we do not spend much time as a family together despite how close we live. This has always saddened me. SO I did not see Linda as much as I wanted to and indeed towards the end my Mom suggested I stay away. I did visit her (secretly) in the hospice a few times. Once I took a Rowan knitting book and she chatted to me about what she was going to knit when she got home, the next visit we talked about how knitting was not something she had any inclination to do, I left her very heavy hearted. The knitting book was returned to me later by the family unread, this broke my heart as only a knitter would understand the true meaning behind this. My last visit she talked about being ready to go now. We lost her earlier this year, despite her suffering, she always had a smile, she always made an effort when you visited her, she supported others in the hospice. A more beautiful, smiling person you could not hope to meet. There is great loss now in the people she has left behind.
So as I thought of all these memories whilst I cut, sewed and put together this quilt the memories of this special person are well and truly sewn in (with love) into this quilt. Rest in peace my cousin. To hear her laughter one more time would be a true gift.

18 comments:

Soo said...

what an amazing quilt....you can see the love and the memories behind it, it's beautiful!

Monkee Maker said...

A beautiful quilt and beautiful words for your cousin. Familys can be such a pain sometimes, can't they? (not mine, I hasten to add .... just incase they're following my comment trail!)

I hope that every time you wrap yourself in it you have happy thoughts about the fun childhood you shared.

Queen of the froggers said...

That is lovely, a fine tribute to Linda.

Ragged Roses said...

A beautiful post and a beautiful quilt, I'm sure Linda would have been very proud.
Kim x

Sarah and Jack said...

Oh Suzie, what a lovely post. Your quilt is beautiful.

beki said...

That's so pretty, Suzie!

French Knots said...

What a heartfelt post, your love filled memories will keep you warm as will your beautiful quilt.

anne bebbington said...

what a wonderful tribute to your cousin - I firmly believe that cancer is the devil incarnate on earth - it is such a wicked wicked thing

capello said...

that is an amazing quilt. and your cousin sounded like an amazing person as well.

odd dotty said...

What a beautiful quilt and a beautiful story for what sounds like a beautiful person!

Splaneyo said...

What a beautiful quilt! Your post was very touching and I am sorry to hear about your losses.
Heather

Lucy Locket said...

Suzie that is beautiful. A wonderful quilt in memory of a wonderful person. Thank you for telling us about it. Lucy xx

de vliegende koe said...

I love the way you talk about Linda and celebrate her life! I’m sorry to hear you lost two meaningful people. You made Linda an amazingly beautiful quilt!

knittin'_kitten said...

What a beautiful tribute!

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Oh that was such a lovely, heartfelt post, I really felt for you reading that. The quilt is beautiful, just beautiful.

this is my patch said...

The quilt is so pretty, the epitome of summer and will brighten up your dull days. I felt very emotional and had a few tears when reading your post. You have written it with such heartfelt emotion, one which I can relate to, as I too lost my best friend and my mum and losing them makes you feel very sad. Louise x

lazylol said...

A very touching post. I am sorry for your losses. The quilt is a lovely idea and is beautiful.

weirdbunny said...

Your quilt is stunning. It would look lovely hung on the wall.

I'm sure your friend would have adored it ~ love Julia x