It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Perfect Day (Attitude is [almost] Everything)....


Today was the 1st anniversary of my darling Mum's passing.  I did no sewing, but I have Mom to thank for all the sewing that I have done.   So this post is a little bit about sewing, a little bit about gratitude, and a little bit about attitude.  And of course, a lot of bit about Mom :)

Mom was the reason I sewed in the first place.   As with many women of her generation, sewing was a part of life, and  I was so grateful that she passed the practice on to me.  :)   Even though I gave it up for many years, she was, all those years later, the reason I started sewing again - so that I could make clothes that would fit her altered body and her special needs.   And whaddaya know, the sewing bug bit me so hard that I haven't bought a piece of RTW clothing for myself since!  I (theoretically) started sewing for her - but over the past years I've replaced half of my RTW wardrobe with clothes I've stitched myself.  :)

The death of a loved one...and the anniversary of the death, can bring up so many feelings.   I could have been feeling sad, steeped in memories of the past, but instead I've had a remarkable joy-filled day :).     Yes, I miss my Mom - we were close, and I was her caregiver for the last 5 years of her life - 3 relatively easy and wonder-filled years, which gradually got a bit more stressful, and ultimately quite time-consuming by the 5th year....but always filled with wonder, and blessings of many sorts, from many sources.

I set aside this day as a day in honor of Mom, of what she represented to me, and the (usually) positive and uplifting way she lived her life.   I began the day with a lovely energetic clearing and meditation,  and this set the tone for a day of blessed reflection and accomplishment.

I knew that I wanted to spend the day in the garden - another passion passed on from her. Whenever we lived in a place that had a plot of land, we had a garden, and fresh fruits and vegies on the table.   She was often busy doing something with her hands, something creative, be it sewing, cooking, gardening, artsy-craftsy fun  and creative projects - and she worked full-time!   My father also had a strong (somewhat rebellious) creative side, so I think I came by my own somewhat unique sense of style quite organically.  ;-).  

Today.  I cleared all of the vegie patches in the yard and readied them for planting - lettuces and spinach and chard went in today; tomatoes, tomatillos and peas will follow tomorrow, and root vegies will go in soon after.

And then, as the day was winding down,  I remembered that today was the finale of the Great British Sewing Bee!   If you read my last post, you already know how much I love this show, but what makes it even more special is my heritage - Mom is from England; she was the quintessential WWII War Bride - she was in the WAAF, and Dad was a Sargent in the US Army. They met at a dance, and she followed him back to the U.S.   (with enough $$ for a return ticket back to England, just in case, she was fond of saying.....)  They married, somewhere along the line I came in to the picture, and they continued to dance together for many years.

When she came to America, one item she brought with her was her darling little Singer Featherweight, which she sewed most of my clothes on as a child :)
Sad to say, this is not "The" Feather she used, and subsequently taught me  to sew on - some time after she passed it on to me I gave it up in exchange for newer, bigger, faster, "better", [headdesk] but I mended my error in spades once I started sewing again.

(See Featherweight Spa Treatment Post
And now, I'm off to watch The Great British Sewing Bee finale (still rooting for Ann, even though I really appreciate all of the finalists!!), and lift a (rare for me, but this is a special day) glass of wine in Mom's memory.

May we all have someone to pass our love of sewing on to, and may they appreciate the gift even half as much as I appreciate the gifts from my darling Mother.   The gift of a passion shared, and received, never stops giving. :)


37 comments:

  1. Lovely story. I loved reading about your background. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Heather :) I find it gratifying to have a place to share my story :)

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  2. What a lovely tribute. I, too, learned to sew from my mom who is now 88.

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    1. Here's to the octogenarian Moms who sew! ;-)

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  3. Beautiful post, Jilly. Very inspirational.

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  4. Your story brings back many memories of my own mom and grandmother. My "Nana" was the alterations lady for our small-town department store and did custom sewing in her basement as well. I spent many hours with her in her basement; she let me cut the pattern pieces apart because she knew I was a "careful cutter." My mom sewed practically everything I wore to school or church. I have always been pretty petite, and when I was growing up I hated the ready-made clothes that fit because they always looked too "babyish" for me. I only liked the things my mom made because they were just my style. She used to joke that the fabrics and patterns I picked were so "old lady." I liked earth tones and simple Jackie Kennedy-esque lines, even at age 12 or so. I think Mom was probably a little bit right, and I was a little bit right, too! It's still my style, but I'm trying harder with color. I started sewing for myself in college, right after I got married. Mom was so pleased she gave me a sewing machine for graduation. At one point in my life, I, too, sewed everything I wore. Mom's been gone for 8 years. Thank you for inspiring me to remember ...

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Bunny. :) You were clearly taught well - I hope that you are passing on your exquisite techniques to someone special :)

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  5. Yesterday was the anniversary of my Dad's death - yet much longer ago - 1966. I was 14 and I still miss him so much! Glad you had a good day!

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    1. My Dad died young as well - but I was 18 and had moved out. I can't imagine losing a parent at 14; I hope you have many good memories :)

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  6. A lovely, uplifting post. Karen

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  7. Thank you so much for your beautiful and thoughtful post.
    Kathy O (I hope to meet you at PR weekend!) I admire you so much!

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    1. Gosh, thank you Kathy! I look forward to meeting you this weekend :)

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  8. That was a lovely post about your Mom, and you must miss her very much. It is such a strange coincidence that my mother was in the WAF and my father in the Air Force and they also met at a dance and my mother moved to the states to get married.

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    1. Apparently it worked out, eh? Here's to those dances in England!

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  9. Beautiful post, Jilly! Not everyone can be a caregiver, but those of us who were are living with no regrets. Someone recently said "May we see our challenges through the filter of our blessings." How true that is!

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    1. A beautiful sentiment, and one I try to remember - thanks Judi :)

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  10. What a lovely story, Jilly! Thanks for sharing this with me.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your mom with us, Jilly! I am so glad to have read this post.

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  12. What a very nice story. Thank you for sharing. Your mom brought extra money "in case"---liked that part.

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    1. Thanks glorm....hee hee....I can still see the wry little smile on her face every time she said that :)

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  13. Lovely to hear about your mom and passing on the sewing (and gardening) bug, Jillian. My mom didn't sew on a machine at all but she gave me my first sewing machine at age 8 (a tiny hand-wound Singer chain-stitch) because she knew I'd love it. My dad gave me the gift of gardening. Even though they were my adoptive parents, they still appreciated my need for making which I later found that I inherited from my birth family. My daughter is crafty and my son's daughter, age 8 (must be significant, huh?), is learning to sew with me. Lesson learned: if you have a skill, pass it on!

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    1. How wonderful to have found that creative link in your birth parents! And how lucky to have parents who nurtured your gift :)

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  14. I'm honored to have met your mum - there was such a brilliant sparkle in her eyes!

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  15. Beautiful post Jilly. What a wonderful way to spend the day.

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  16. Beautiful post. I feel honored that you shared this with us.

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  17. How wonderful! My grandmother met my grandfather the same way, although it was after WWI instead of WWII, and it was France instead of England. Your mom was so special :)

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  18. Bittersweet memories. I like you, feel so blessed to have had grandmother who sewed professionally, and who put a needle in my hand at 3 years old. And although my mother could sew, she didn't like to do it. But she encouraged me to do whatever made me happy. Thank you for your story.

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  19. Beautiful tribute to your Mom.

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  20. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. Beautiful.

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  21. This is a beautiful tribute to your Mum Jilly :)

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  22. Your mom surely smiled upon this post :)

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