It's National Quilting Day and yes, I'm spending today quilting away. This quilt is for my friend, coworker and the Official Office Big Brother, James... who has inoperable, terminal liver cancer.
Last year I made 5 quilts for friends with cancer. As I sewed, I prayed for each of them. For healing, for comfort, for the awareness of how much each of them is loved, for strength in the treatment process, for peace.
And for a year not filled with making quilts for friends with cancer.
Thus far, each of them is kicking cancer's ass... even Dwight, who has pancreatic cancer and we know that he probably won't see Christmas. But he wasn't supposed to see last Christmas, so the fact that he is still with us, fighting with all he has, means he is kicking cancer's ass.
But James... sweet, loving, caring, generous, big-brother James... his health has been so bad for so long that he doesn't have that much left in him to be able to fight as hard. Bless him, he hasn't given up yet, but his ability to fight as hard as others might... well, it just isn't there.
So I'm working quickly on this quilt. For many reasons, I love this quilt. For other reasons, I hate it.
I love it because the fabrics are rich and lush, yet simple in the designs. They speak to me of James. Civil war reproduction prints that are beautiful. I hate it because James is so much a part of my life and he is being taken away from me.
Love it because it's tested my ability to allow imperfections without fretting about them. Love isn't perfect, and it's about letting people be imperfect. Hate it because James won't be able to enjoy it for very long.
Love it because the quilting in the border is symbolic of hugs and kisses and the hope that he feels wrapped in love when he uses it. Hate it because I so hate cancer for the suffering and pain it causes.
As I stitch, sometimes the tears block my vision so badly that I can't tell what I'm doing.
Enough rambling... I need to dry my eyes and put the binding on this quilt of love and hate.
...may there be mercy in the sorrow and joy in our time left with James.