Some of you may know that I’m off to Sweden for two weeks. 40 years ago this month, I flew to Sweden (my very first flight ever) to become an exchange student for my senior year of High School. Today, I’m flying back to perform a memorial for my Swedish “Mamma.” I am so privileged to do my work!
I’ll be providing color commentary from the trip, right here. If you’re interested, check in! Probably some wedding tips as well! And yes, pastry descriptions!
Before I left for Sweden, however, I went to NYC with my cousin Nancy to deliver a quilt that my Nancy had made. It was supposed to be me… but I’m not all that crafty. Nancy had agreed to help and took pity on my woeful skills. Now instead of a wavy, wandering quilt, Hannah has a fabulous quilt. Each square is a piece of her mom’s clothing. Disclosure: there is more quilting to be done.
(Back story, Hannah’s mom died two years ago. A neighbor of Hannah and her dad Steve’s is in charge of the chaplains at NYC Hospice program and suggested this. Steve called Aunt Ann. I picked up a bunch of Maggie’s clothes this spring. Steve airlifted a bunch more. I enlisted Nancy’s help — I had no idea what i was asking her to do. Nancy’s side of the family got the crafty gene!)
So many people have had their hands on the quilt. They have moved squares around at my sister Deb’s 4th of July Party. They have checked on Nancy’s progress in the neighborhood and at the Y. People have seen, have wept and celebrated. It was blessed by hands and hearts at a UU church service. It’s gorgeous. It’s all Maggie and Hannah didn’t take it off her lap until we left for dinner! Here are three pics to give you an idea what it looks like, what it felt like when she received it and what that no-longer-little girl looks like in Aunt Ann’s arms.
This is what it looked like as she was unfolding it.
this is what it looks like and how it will be on her bed at school. There were notes in pockets and you could unbutton buttons and find little things that made it tug even harder on heartstrings! (Chocka dej själv idag is, interestingly, swedish. Steve got the Tshirt the summer before he met Maggie, and soon enough, it was one of her favorite running shirts. It means “Surprise yourself today!” Given my Swedish connection and the fact that she’s going off to school and this is a great motto, it seemed particularly wonderful to have it there)
This is how it feels when a whole world of friends and strangers creates a labor of love for you. I’m not sure who was crying harder. OK, me. It’s gorgeous! There’s more quilting to do, but that will be a visit or two to Middlebury in the years ahead! Couldn’t be sweeter!
You may not know everyone in your village, but if you’re doing something fun and sweet and transformative, everyone wants to play a role. We all got to touch the sky with this. If you had a part, even patting it in blessing, thanks so much. My girl will be safe and warm at college and for the rest of her life thanks to your sweet hearts! It’s nice to think of a village stitched together in love, isn’t it?