We graduated from high school together and vowed never to lose touch and to always love each other. And went our separate ways...to college, to marriage, to motherhood. At our 40th high school reunion we made a new vow - not to let 10 years go by between reunions before we saw each other again. And so it began - the Sisters of the Heart. Seven of "the gang" came to my house for the weekend every fall. We always got together the last weekend of October, which happened to be about Frances' birthday time, so she announced happily that of course we did it for her. In 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy, did chemo and radiation, and promptly went back to her life...working, loving her daughters and grandchildren, all the normal things. In 2011 it came back. She took the bull by the horns, had a double mastectomy, more chemo, more radiation. And once again she defeated it.
On October 12 this last fall we all gathered again, this time for our 50th high school reunion. This is how happy and healthy she looked...
We had so much fun...we gossiped, we laughed, we shopped, we drank wine and giggled. There were so many unforgettable moments. Five days later she had a routine colonoscopy and found that it was back...this time in her colon and liver. She fought again. She wanted to live, she wanted to see her grandchildren graduate from high school, to go fishing a hundred more times, to meet her Sisters of the Heart on a fall weekend for a lot more years. She left us on December 23. I hate cancer.
I signed up for this hop before I knew the cancer was back. And the plan was to make a fun pillow for her to laugh over - I was looking forward to giggling with her over it. Ya'll, I can tell you that making this pillow was not fun, and I struggled with the whole idea of it. I don't want to see one more friend or family member go through this. And I didn't want to make this pillow when my heart was breaking. But in memory of her battle, of her strength, of her laughter...I drug out the zebra fabric and made a bra. (our high school mascot was the zebra)
On the back I embroidered all our names - those of us who loved her so much. And in the corner I put her picture.
I thought I might like it in my reading chair in my bedroom. But I think it will probably end up on my bed where I'll think of her every time I see it.
Thanks so much to Madame Samm for her tireless work on behalf of stitchers everywhere, and also to Pat who organized us and kept us on the right path. Organizing quilters can sometimes be like herding cats so Pat certainly had her work cut out for her! If you're interested in buying the pattern so you can "support" someone you love just e-mail Madame Samm at firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll give you all the details. And be sure you visit the other blogs who are participating - I know you'll love seeing more support!