many of you know that I am pretty new to actively participating on Facebook or even sharing my needlework through my blog. My needlework was and continues to be something I love to do as a way to settle down and cherish the day and think about all the events... I usually carve out my time in the evening or early morning and do try to keep my hands busy every day... with some forms of needlework this is also a very meditative process for me.
My shoulder issues have hindered a lot of my activity these past months but as I evaluated all the activities of the recent past at the end of last week, I got word that my grandmother's younger sister was not doing well and had been admitted to a London hospital. I had had a 'weird' feeling about her recently and so this news obtained from an email from my father and a post on Facebook from her granddaughter made me stay up all night - and stitch and think.
I may have bored many of you and perhaps even irritated many of you with my posts to try and assess what you wanted me to do with the little Schwalm bird design... and I do apologize if I did and for any faux pas I may have committed with posting them on various Facebook groups....
BUT this news reminded me of the support and love I always received not just from my grandmother but also from my grandmother's sister - she was closest to having the feeling that my grandmother was still around. She was most interested in needlework and was always interested in learning about new techniques - she was doing Goldwork and taking classes not too long ago! I used to send her pictures of my work and we exchanged many emails and phone calls with needlework being one of the points of discussion. This past year she was not doing very well, was trying to make the best of it all but her physical conditions were starting to wear her down. She was courageous enough to undertake the flight from London to Toronto to meet everyone... I of course talked to her on the phone and could hear her despair over the phone but in true form she was more concerned about my shoulder than her own issues! She stated that she couldn't even access her computer because of arthritis anymore and apologized if she had missed emails and longed to see my needlework up close and personal. When we hung up the phone that Sunday, we both knew that we had to meet her - we rearranged schedules (not hard, since I was not really doing anything) and a few days later we drove up there accompanied by my parents.
This is when I realized that not framing everything was a good thing in some ways - I was able to pack a lot of my recent projects into two portfolio bags and take them up for her to see. In her haste to get ready and meet us for lunch at the restaurant, (her treat! and we couldn't talk her out of that... ) she had forgotten her glasses at her daughter's home but that didn't bother her - she borrowed her brother's glasses and then we spent a glorious afternoon 'examining' my needlework with glasses, without glasses, with my magnifier or just up close in the sunlight.... she forgot about her pain, I forgot about mine, she was not interested in resting in the afternoon or having tea AND this was the best example of sharing. A few years ago, when I visited my grandmother in India, she too enjoyed an evening just looking at all the pictures of my work on the computer screen - in those days my grandmother hardly came out to the dining room and preferred to eat in her room...but both of them got ready, came out and both of them enjoyed seeing what I was up to and 'sharing my needlework' with them will be my last memory of them.
In retrospect, I am amazed at the similarities - both of them 'forgot' even if only for a short time about the trials of age, both of them loved hearing about needlework techniques and both asked detailed questions. Interestingly both 'needlework sessions' with each of them had generations of family around us, and both times they had one of their brothers there...both times all the rest of the family, males and females, were all interested to see ALL of the things which absolutely amazed me!
So, if my 'blogging' and showing my needlework has this effect on some of you 'out there', then I will continue sharing some of my work here on my blog. I have however decided that I will restrict my Facebook activities - I need to guard my time and many a time I was too busy reading and following links etc. and spending too much time with all that. It is time to refocus my energies.
So here are a few pictures of my great aunt from that afternoon last summer - I will always be thankful to have had the opportunity to have met and known this extremely intelligent lady for most of my life, thankful to her for teaching us some of the chess moves in Wales and Germany, making excellent scones and many amazing dishes we had never ever even heard of when we were kids, thanks for all the love and support you showed each of us at all times... she shared a lot of herself... I will always remember her grace, her smile and all her amazing talents - from needlework to cooking to just living.... thanks for teaching us all the many ways of sharing!