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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In memory of Robert - in honor of Jane

It seems the older I get, the busier I get. I thought once the girls got married and moved out, I'd have more time to sew and quilt. But now there are family dinners on the weekend as well as grandbabies to visit and play with. Since Larry's heart attack, he hasn't golfed much. His hours golfing used to mean hours for my sewing. Now we head to the local driving range, and he works on putting or his swing while I walk a few miles. He prefers not to go alone, and I feel more comfortable being nearby to keep an eye on him.

At our last quilt group meeting, Donna mentioned a project of sewing shirt protectors (adult bibs) for a nursing home. I was interested in this project because I thought it would be something I could contribute to the home Mom lives in. After talking with the social worker, it became more bother than it was worth. However, the social worker said they could always use wheelchair quilts; and so a new project was born.

When I talked with my cousin Audrey about it, she said she had homespuns that we could use; so a Saturday was spent sewing her blocks into quilts. She mentioned this project to Darlene who does long arm quilting, and she gave us a pile of batting scraps that could be pieced together.




I had blocks left over from making wedding quilts for my girls, and they got sewn into quilts. These quilts are only 36" square, so they work up quickly. I have been quilting them on my sewing machine with a simple straight line.







My parents were not ones for calling attention to themselves. They gave of their money, time, and resources to their community and church but never wanted recognition for it. There will certainly be no buildings at a college because of their contribution, and no blocks with their name on it will be purchased for area fundraisers.

When my dad passed away six years ago, I had the job of closing out his estate. As I submitted a death certificate for each financial account, I thought to myself it was one more way he would never be remembered. I saved his credit union account for the last as this was a credit union he helped establish. As I met with the manager, I found she never knew my dad; and she didn't even recognize his name. Without him, there would have been no credit union and no job for her. It was hard to imagine that his name was slowly being erased from the community he lived in all his life.

So I'm giving these quilts in memory of dad and in honor of mom. My plan is to give a stack of these the next time I have a care plan meeting for mom. I am giving them from Audrey, Darlene, and me. I know Mom and Dad wouldn't want the recognition, but their story is part of my life; and the story of my life is the reason I have this blog. There will be no label on the quilts stating any of this, but I'll know.

And the legacy of loving and giving continues.

18 comments:

Christine said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your family and says a lot about you as caring person, generous and thoughtful - just the kind of person your loving parents nurtured in you!
A wonderful idea - many blessings for doing it - God remembers and takes note! Even a cup of water is rewarded!
Blessings
Christine

Melanie said...

I loved this post....what an outstanding quilt project for your group. The best parts about quilt fabrics is that it seems to grow and grow from one project to the next....(p.s.Bet your kids love you a bunch--just like this)

Linda said...

I think that is so wonderful of you. Brought me to tears. It's a beautiful tribute to your parents.

Susan said...

What a wonderful testament!

Stitched With Prayer said...

Oh my gosh, your story caught me off guard!!! I too am a Born again Christian and so very blessed. I too had the duty of closing out my dad's estate when he died, however it was 13 years ago thought without my hubby's help I probably would have lost my mind during the two long years it took as it was contested by my step mother. But, God was watching over us through it all. My hubby also had a heart attack...it was 3 years ago and he is doing very well now, but I had just barely started quilting when it happened and had plenty of time to work on my quilts. He has since retired after over 40 years of working for the same business, so right now the quilting is catch as catch can, LOL. So, your asking yourself where is this going, right??? Well, the thing that really threw me when I read your story was that also like you, I left my dad's Credit Union account until last, because my dad had been one of the original Board members who got it going and it is now the largest Credit Union in our state. When I took one of the 'History of Our Credit Union' books in to show the manager my dad's picture, she said simply "hmmm, I've never picked up one of those books". That was when I realized, and I'm quoting you "he was slowly being erased from the community he lived in all his life." I had always felt a special connection to that financial institution...no more. For me now, it is just one of the places I do some banking. Well, I've rambled far too long, but there is one other thing. We have a new Veterans Nursing Center nearby and I am trying to get some quilts made to donate to them. Our lives have so many similarities, I just had to share with you. Hugs...

Modern Amish said...

What a wonderful way to honor your parents. Great idea. I've been trying to think of a way to bless my grandparents (whom we moved into a home earlier this year). Thanks for the idea. Blessings & rewards in Heaven!

Siobhan said...

Oh, what a beautiful post!! That made me cry. It is true--it's the unsung heroes who get forgotten as time passes, even though they live on in our hearts. What a great project to do--and a wonderful way to honor some very special people--by passing on the love and care that they gave you to others. Big hugs.

Carol said...

What a beautiful post...truly a tribute to both of your parents...

Barb said...

You truly are a blessing in so many ways! The making of the quilts and the honor to your parents, very special indeed. But really Mary, not a surprise because you are a very caring and loving gal...blessings back to you, two fold from your friend in Central PA!

Sue said...

Mary, what a sweet post. I love how you are honoring your parents with these quilts.
It's such a sweet and caring thing to do.

Nancy said...

wow Mary
this a wonder full tribute to your parents, are you going to let us help?

Leann said...

Hmmm... I thought that I commented here??????? I love that you are following right in your parents footsteps:)

Enjoy the weekend!
Leann

Gramma 2 Many said...

This is one of the best tributes to family I have ever seen. All of the people will be blessed by this little act of kindness and your parents will be remembered in a wonderful way. I love it.

Karen Sue said...

I think my parents are still using that credit union, as it was where my grandpa's money was, too. And the part of life now where your job is just your job is sad. I had a bank problem that took several people many days (months) to resolve and you know, 25-30 years ago, I'd have just gone to Shirley and she would have made it all right, today...and known who I was and where I worked and my kids names and what my parents were doing!!
The quilt idea is very nice and the hubby went to a memorial service not too long ago for a quiet man who sure didn't throw a lot of money around or act flashy, but the people he blessed filled the church and then some....It's how you live that is the measure... Bless you today.

Quilts Sew Shabby said...

What beautiful living memorials you are creating to honor your parents! Bless you and your family.

Rural Revival said...

Good for you Mary and while it's difficult to see the outside world lose touch with what we've lost and still hold so dear to our hearts, I keep their memory alive for the next generations. It's the least I can do.

A beautiful post.

Linda said...

That's a wonderful tribute to your Mom and Dad...your post brought tears to my eyes. When my husband and I ran our Church's Youth Group for many years...we always brought the kids to the nursing home to visit with the people there...those older people loved having the kids there...I know how much they will love your quilts. I am a blanketeer for Project Linus and giving those kids quilts is a joy even though as you say there is no label and I never meet them.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

This just made me cry. You are such an amazing mom and daughter. Grandma and Grandpa would have been so proud of you.