Friday, July 14, 2017

Back

This is the hardest post I've had to write. I've put it off all week.  Thought of a few sentences. Had a few random thoughts. Did the photos. Left it.  Unsure what to say.  For the first time in, oh, forever, I think, I don't feel much like writing.  Both my daughters have commented about missing reading my posts. A very close blogger friend had good advice: don't wait too long or you may never go back. So here we go.

Some things are constant in life:
'my' lake this week
Some things are not.

Brady, my beloved grandson, no longer has a dad. He died very suddenly and tragically on Father's Day.  We spent the past several weeks out in Alberta. How does a child recover from the loss of a parent, especially when both are so young?  How can grandparents help?  How do parents help their daughter heal?

I don't know.

Be there.  Enjoy/treasure ordinary moments.
Nana was a bit of a MacGyver herself, rigging up a sprinkler of sorts on a hot day; like his Nana, Brady loves to read

Listen.  Do what you can.

How do I get 'back' into my life?  Well, I made some more Canadian Women blocks.  I was sewing this set the day the phone call came.
88 - Viola Rita Huggard MacMillan: woman miner, first to be inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame; 89 - Helen Creighton: folklorist of Nova Scotia; 90 - Ann Hulan: successful Newfoundland farmer, after her husband died, she sailed her goods to St. John's on her own schooner (note the ship in the centre 2.5" square)
When I got back home, part of me knew I needed to keep plodding along, trying to catch up, even though I'd missed three more sets of blocks.  Another part of me knew that choosing the colours, ploughing through the scraps, and doing the ensuing piecing was healing.  And part of me recognized that reading about these women's hardships and perseverance would, in turn, help me in dealing with our loss.

Slowly I've sewn six more the past few days.  Each one takes me at least an hour, usually more.  My impatiens below, once again, do not disappoint, despite being left to their own devices for three weeks. Who knew they'd be such a perfect backdrop to these blocks?
91 - Maud Watt: first female game warden in Quebec; 92 - Sophie Morigeau: successful trader, one of the first BC women to claim her own land, 320 acres; 93 - Kirkina Mucko: at age 2, she had her legs amputated below the knee because they got frozen and gangrenous, yet she hobbled around, sometimes on her knees, sometimes on artificial limbs, for the rest of her life. After losing 6 of her 7 children as well as her husband to the Spanish Flu, this amazing woman became a midwife, working in Labrador for 30 years.
I set these next three beneath a stunning flower arrangement that the Movati Club where I teach yoga, sent me:
94 - Irma LeVasseur: first registered francophone woman doctor in Quebec; 95 - Clara Brett Martin: first woman in the British Empire (yes! and she was Canadian!) to become a fully-fledged lawyer, earning her LLB in 1899; 96 - Caroline Louise Josephine Wells: first female dental surgeon in 1893.
Being alone this week has been mostly good as I start to regroup and recharge.  So much kindness from so many people have come my family's way. This meal (well enough for 3 meals!) was thoughtfully made for me by my sweet friend Liz.

I added the (score!) dry rosé from the Provence region I found at Trader Joe's. Thanks, Dayna, for a much-needed fun morning there, and at the Farmers' Market, and then at a wonderful local place for lunch, Crispelli's, which we picked up, and ate in her serene back yard.

Life does go on, as they say. We will be okay.  I know sewing and quilting and yoga will help me.  I have the Cows quilt on the frame from before, and I have a new pattern I'm working on for an upcoming issue of Benartex's Modern By the Yard. That link will take you to their blog, with a link on the sidebar to the summer issue, full of free wonderful patterns.

I heard just last week from a reader, Michele, asking about the directions for the Freefall QAL which she had just come across. That warmed my heart, but even more so, because she sent a photo of her first blocks as she works through it on her own! She gave me her permission to use this photo:

Aren't these truly luscious fabrics?! Cannot wait to see more.


Just a reminder that Connecting Threads (affiliate link there and below) is having quite the 10th anniversary sale:

  • up to 40% off kits and samplers (here's one I really like:

Move Over quilt kit


  • up to 30% off batting (something I've taken advantage of several times. They carry Hobbs.  (I need to do a post on my experience with their battings, all good so far.)
  • 25% off thread
Craftsy is also having a summer sale on kits and supplies, up to 50% off. Here is just one I really like:
Cornerstone Dreamfield quilt kit
Thank you so much for the support of this blog.  I should be back on Instagram later today as well. I have an aunt and her three daughters hip-hopping around the south of England, (and over to Paris--ahh!) and I need to visit their feeds! My aunt sent me some gorgeous shots of hydrangeas...

Linking up



51 comments:

  1. I love you, my friend. I'm happy to say welcome back <3

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I really have no words. I can't imagine the loss of a parent when so young. It was hell to lose one of mine when in my 40s. Hugs to Brady and your daughter. You do what you need to do for them. We are all glad to see you back. Hugs to you!

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  3. I am so sorry. Life is unfair but it is easier when we are not alone. Hugs

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  4. I have no words different from anyone else's, but I am very sorry for your family's loss. It is so good when you have each other to lean on, feeling the same pain.

    Welcome back.

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  5. I'm so glad to see you back. I was thinking of you this morning and wondering.

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  6. Back, that one word says so much. After grief, that can last so long, you sometimes just want the world to stop.It doesn't, and your lake might be the one constant to treasure and gain some balance between everything else. Being there, listening, is so important, and your daughter will always treasure this. The latest Freefall blocks, truly lovely. Down here, snow storms, freezing roads, areas isolated, 10,000 without power, it all went around us, the tiniest patch of sleet imaginable, so nothing to even boast about.How could I so long to have snow fall on our lawn? And there you are in summer mode and a lawn sprinkler all set up. Enjoy home once again. Hugs and love.XX

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  7. I'm glad you are back. I guess that sometimes we just have to pretend that things are normal until we can actually feel normal-ish again.
    Go work on those cows; they'll make you smile. :)

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  8. So sorry to hear about your loss, getting back is good; but give yourself time to mourn...it's been just over 2 yrs now since I lost my Mom and I am just beginning to "feel" and to feel better...so take it easy, be nice to yourself; slow is good...I hope your happy memories will help to warm your heart...hugs, Julierose

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  9. I certainly can appreciate how hard it can bet to get back into a rhythm with life again. I am so glad you were able to be there for your daughter and Brady and that you have so much support locally (in real life!) and here online. Much love heading your way from me to you.

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  10. I missed your absence but understand where your priority lies. So sorry to hear of your family's loss. I was in the midst of writing you an email wondering how you are and telling you that I've been missing your posts, when I thought I'll just go check your blog again. Now everything I was going to say seems trivial. I'm glad you're back. Take all the time you need.

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  11. I am so sorry to read of your family's loss - what a tradgedy for your daughter to lose her husband and young Brady lose his Dad. It will leave a big gap in all your lives. As you say, you can only be there for them, and offer all the love and support you can.
    Sending you all special cyber hugs from New Zealand.

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  12. Words are always so inadequate at times like this. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. You are a loving Mom who knows her daughter and grandchildren well, follow your instincts, they will serve you well. The first steps are always the hardest but be kind to yourself too. Big hugs x

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  13. Oh Sandra. I am so terribly sorry to hear about your loss. Though we have never met, I can tell what a loving person - friend, wife, mom, grandma - you are. I hope you know we will all hold you in our hearts and send lots of love your way to help hold you up as you support your daughter and grandson. 💕

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  14. That's a very heavy loss. So sorry to hear but you're right, the things as well as the people you have in your life will help you heal. Your blocks are gorgeous and honouring to women who as you say have been through very hard circumstances too. 'Hug' from here too.

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  15. I have missed your blogs . It always feels like an online chat . It's good to see you back again and that was good advice . I have been thinking about you and Brady over the last weeks xxxxx

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  16. I have missed you Sandra and was going to send you a mail asking if things were ok...I am so sorry to hear about your loss... Losing someone so young hurts so much. Life can be so cruel at times. I can truly empathise with your pain and will be thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. Someone once said to me that you never get over the pain of losing someone, you just learn to live with it...and that has proved to be true for me. It is hard to pick yourself up, so give yourself time... So much love and hugs coming to you dear friend from across the water...xxxx

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  17. Good to see you back! Sending all my hugs and love your way my friend!!!

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  18. I am so sorry for your loss. it appears you are doing the right thing. continuing on. even though it is hard it helps. thank goodness for friends. bless you

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  19. I have thought of you many times over the past several weeks. I didn't email since I knew you needed this time for yourself to mull over things and heal in your own way. Things like this can throw one of course and bouncing all over. I am glad you posted and glad you are starting to sew again-good therapy. Take care and hugs to you my friend:)

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  20. I am so sorry for your loss, Sandra - the same words and thoughts as everyone else, because what else can you say at a time like this? Know that there are many praying for you and thinking of you as you grieve and heal. {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}

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  21. Sorry for your loss, Sandra. I have missed readings your blogs but understand the why. Sending hugs of support.

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  22. So sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  23. I am praying for you and your whole family, the loss is great. Use time. family, friends, and quilting to get thru this.

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  24. Oh, Sandra. I'm so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences. Thank you for letting us know where you've been, and where you are now. Each day you may be somewhere different.

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  25. OH, how sad for your family, my heart goes out to you and yours..it takes a lot of energy to grieve so keep this in mind when you are running out of energy, be sure and take a rest. I love the Freefall quilt so much and seeing all of the different fabrics that quilters made from the pattern. Love and hugs, Stitches

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  26. You have been missed. What a painful experience for you and your family. Your grandson will miss his dad but hopefully you and the other family members will keep his memory alive for this young man. It is true that we should treasure each moment as we never know what the next will bring. Sending you good thoughts.

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  27. Oh, Sandra, I'm so sorry. I had been missing you on the blog lately, but with it being summer, just thought you were in the middle of home improvements, vacations, or whatever. Please know that this whole quilt community has you and your family wrapped in love and concern. I'm glad you could find your way back to the blog. I hope it will help you in your healing just as you bring joy into the lives of everyone who reads your blog. And on the days when you just don't feel like having anything to do with it, we'll be there for you in spirit.

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  28. Sandra, I am so sorry to hear about your son in law. I can't imagine the pain, sadness and worry. I was just wondering where you were the other day. I'll pray for you and your family, the only think I can do from here.

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    1. No need to respond. Virtual hugs coming your way.

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    2. I am so very sorry, Sandra. I'll keep your family---grandson especially---in my prayers. Sending lots of love your way. I have missed your posts after FreeFall ended and just assumed you were taking a break--maybe vacationing. Life throws us a curveball now and then. I have faith you and yours will grow stronger in love as a family in dealing with this horrible loss. I'm so glad you took the plunge and returned to blogland--you were missed. Writing is a good way to heal. Quilty hugs....kathy in WV

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  29. I am so very sorry for your loss.
    Hugs ~ Tracy

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  30. I'm very sorry for your loss. My son was 8 years old when his father passed & it was also an unexpected & tragic death. Time, lots of love, & listening is what I know it takes to move forward. Wishing you lots of healing love.

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  31. Sandra, I can't begin to imagine what losing a family member at such a young age is like. So glad to see you have lots of people who love and care about you. You and your family are in my prayers tonight.

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  32. I am so sorry for your loss. Hopefully creativity will bring some solace to you.

    -Soma

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  33. Oh, honey, I'm so, so sorry for you and your family. You are much loved, well thought of, and in all of our hearts. The dark cloud will gradually lift and slowly be replaced by loving memories. Am sending big cyber hugs to you, your daughter, and your sweet grandson.

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  34. Thanks for being transparent and sharing your heartache with us! I am so sorry for your loss. So much of life is hard and deeply painful, but we can't quit or give up! Your grandson needs you and your courage and perseverance are encouraging to all of us, but especially him! KEep loving her m as you do!

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  35. As many have said, there just aren't words. So sorry for your family's loss. Glad you are back to blogland.

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  36. I'm so sorry to read your post Sandra, I cant imagine what your family is going through. It does sound like your daughter and GS have a loving and supportive extended family. Sending you all hugs and best wishes. Hope the sewing helps to lighten your heart a littlexx

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  37. So very sorry for your family's sadness.

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  38. I've been thinking of you and your sweet family. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Canadian Women blocks look beautiful and are a great way to get back. Take care, my friend!

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  39. So sorry for your loss, I will keep you and your's in today prayers. Your blocks are beautiful as is your lake. Very well photographed.

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  40. Loss is so very personal, isn't it? And no one tells you how to parent your adult children...Wishing you moments of peace in the long days ahead

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  41. Sending lots of love, hugs and warm wishes. You are in my thoughts.
    This too shall pass.

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  42. Wow! So sorry to hear of your family's loss! You are in my thoughts!! I'm glad that quilting is bringing you a bit of peace to deal with this. Hugs!!

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  43. Just catching up on blog reading. So sorry to read this post and of your tragic loss. Sending hugs.

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  44. This is tragic and heartbreaking. My heart goes out to all your family and most especially to Brady. May you each be surrounded by love and peace Sandra.

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  45. Hi Sandra....I've been so out of touch with blogs lately that I completely missed this post. I'm sorry to hear of your family's loss. When my first husband died ten years ago (I can't believe it's been that long since I've touched him), someone said something to me that has stuck. "People will say that time heals. That will hurt since it makes you feel that they are like a scab that will heal and go away like they were never here. Time doesn't heal but it makes it more bearable" These words got me through. I'm sure each person has a different way of carrying on though. I feel the hurt of your daughter and grandson and hope they are ok. One thing I wish is that during that first year I and my children should have gone for grief counselling. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind. On a gladder note....I have a one day retreat on Tuesday and hope to get back to my Freefall!! xo

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  46. May you each be surrounded by love and peace Sandra.


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