Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Sewing Legacy

I was contacted yesterday and told that my mother was found dead in her home. She was my biological mother and raised me and my brother until I was 7 years old and he was 6. She sent us to live with my Dad and his new wife and she stayed gone for about 30 years. I found her once or twice in my late teens and early 20's but she couldn't manage to stay in my life very long. When I was 37 years old and had just had my 5th baby, she moved to Florida and found me. We had contact from time to time but nothing permanent. In the end our relationship was reduced to occasional messages on Facebook. As you probably know, Mothers have a way of screwing you up or helping to make you great. Well, I think I am a mixed bag of "screwed up" greatness. There were some good times (she was very funny) and there were bad times. I'm not going to discuss those things, however. You see my mother is probably the reason I love to sew, craft and create. When I was a young child she sewed from home to make a living. She made drapes for a company that allowed her to work at home. I watched, in awe, as she sat at the sewing machine but I never got sewing lessons from her before I went to live with my Dad. She made her clothes, my clothes and a lot of our home decor stuff. She made doll clothes and I would often find my doll with a new outfit when I woke up in the morning. She made me wedding veils and bouquets out of white tulle and freshly picked daisies. She was a very talented and creative woman. (My father is creative too, so I have a double dose.)

When she moved to Florida I had been sewing for several years. I taught myself to sew when I started having my own children mostly out of neccesity. There was a lot that I had not taught myself and finally she was able to teach me some of those things. She helped me make my first pieced quilt, put in my first zipper and together we made an awesome poodle skirt for my oldest daughter. We purused fabric stores together and she gave me her large cutting table which is one of my favorite possesions.

I love that we had sewing in common. I am flooded with mixed emotions but I pray that soon the pain will lessen and I can smile when I think of these things. I am happy to say that I have been passing my love of sewing to my five daughters as well. They have all sewn projects of their own. As little ones they sat behind me as I sewed and begged me for scraps. My oldest alters her own clothes, my youngest designs barbie clothes endlessly. My middle girls are all creative and are artists in their own rights. I know I have passed on an affection for crafting and sewing but my prayer is that they will have so much more to remember me by. I pray they know first of all how deeply I love them, I hope they remember that I never abandoned them and that I would fight til the death for them. I pray they remember that God loves them and sent his son to save them. I hope they remember me laughing, singing, smiling, being silly and yes instructing them. I know I am far from perfect and they will have memories of me 'losing it' from time to time. I hope they know I wanted to inspire them to their own personal greatness and to be givers. Yes, if they remember these things then my job here on earth will be complete. I miss my mother very much but I am also grateful for the reminder that I am making memories for my children every minute of everyday. Dear Lord, please help me to use my remaining time wisely. Help me to choose love over all else.

Goodbye Mommy (Melody). Rest in peace.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss and pray that you are able to find peace, despite the many thoughts associated with your Mom.

    I appreciate the thoughts you have and the things you desire for your daughters...I want my children to have those same things from me.

  2. It's never easy to lose someone we know, even if we didn't know them well. and it's never easy to lose a parent. There's always that ache of wondering what could have been. But you are clearly doing an excellent job of parenting if you are aware of and care about your own parenting style and skills. I do hope your heart mends quickly and will be thinking of you.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. Reading your story reminded me of my mom. Although she was always in my life, it wasn't always the best relationship. Like your mom, my mom was an amazing sewist...making me many homemade clothes and matching outfits for my Barbie Dolls. It sounds like both our histories have inspired us to be better moms and it sounds like God has truly given you that gift to be a great mom and inspiration to your daughters.

    having trouble posting w/my google acct.

  4. Oh SUSAN. I am so, so sorry. You are a wise woman, to hang onto the good memories - you are a wonderful mum, sweetheart, and your daughters will rise up and call you blessed.

    I pray our Lord will comfort you as only He can. My heart aches for you, sweetie.