Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Let Me Support You

I met her in the fall of 1959.  Some of you may not remember that year so let me remind you about that time....gas cost 25 cents a gallon and a loaf of bread cost 20 cents.  We loved our Barbies...each one cost about $1.29.  The Twilight Zone was new on television that fall and Sleeping Beauty debuted in the movies.  Etch a Sketch was invented that year and the first U.S. astronauts, John Glenn and Alan Shepherd were introduced.  Most of that meant nothing to us, except for the Barbies of course, because we were consumed by the fact that we were 7th graders.  Our first year in Junior High.  We had Band class together; I played the flute and she played the clarinet.  And every day we ate lunch together, forging a friendship that lasted 56 years.

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 madamesamm@me.com 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!

Feb 9th 







Feb 10th  







Feb 11th  

69 comments:

Marian said...

What an amazing story, I am so sorry you lost your friend during the run of this hop. I can't imagine how you struggled to make this in her memory. I love your pillow tho, it's really awesome and fun. The zebra print is really very cool.

Hugs

Judy B said...

Thank you for sharing your friend with us. She will be missed by all, me included. Her Zebra pillow is beautiful and know she is smiling down on it.

Anita said...

A very touching story. You made a fantastic pillow in memory of her; the zebra fabric is stunning! Thanks for sharing.

Kathy MacKie said...

My heart breaks for you but what wonderful memories you'll cherish. The pillow reflects the humour you shared and the love felt. Many hugs.

Anna said...

This blog post was incredibly moving...I feel for your loss and love your pillow. Please refer others to the link on the left side of my blog for breast cancer support. My friend is a survivor and her husband created a CD that can help those going through the fight.

Anna said...

This blog post was incredibly moving...I feel for your loss and love your pillow. Please refer others to the link on the left side of my blog for breast cancer support. My friend is a survivor and her husband created a CD that can help those going through the fight.

Julie Fukuda said...

My mom died of breast cancer that went to her lungs. She kept it a secret from us kids and I got the news on a campout at the foot of Mt Fuji. I hope she is watching from heaven and has learned her failure of a daughter has wonderful kids, one named for her, and is keeping the faith.

Heleen Groot said...

You are amazing. Your friend would have loved the pillow. You did a wonderful job. Thank you for that heartbreaking story. I wish you strength.

Dee said...

I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an amazing woman.

Baa. xxx said...

So sorry for the lost of your friend - you will have that pillow always and remember the special memories you shared together.

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

What a great post and a sad post as well. Thank you for sharing and I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. A great tribute to her.

Cass Cusack said...

Hugs, I lost my sister to cancer and understand how difficult this must have been for you. She would have loved the pillow, it's a beautiful tribute and something wonderful for you to cherish

Elizabeth Coughlin said...

Your pillow is a touching and loving tribute to your friend. And it's beautiful too.

Britt-Inger said...

A very touching story telling of your dear friend that you have missed. You have made a lovely pillow thinking of all that you have shared together.
Thank you for sharing your story and your creativity.
Have a lovely week

Michelle said...

I loved your post and I can feel the sorrow of the loss of your friend. I know she loved you too, and is waiting for the day you can all have your reunion again heaven. Hugs to you Marlene!

Tammy said...

I love your beautiful pillow and memorial to your girl friend. I am so sorry you lost her....I hate cancer too. It runs rampant in my family. Including myself as I had breast cancer and have been cancer free now for over a year.

Auntie Em said...

What a lovely tribute to your lifelong friend. I'm very sorry for your loss.

charlotte said...

An amazing friendship and a wonderful story with such a sad ending to it. The love you showed for your friends is truly special. Your pillow is lovely and I am sure she would have appreciated it. I wish you peace as you grieve for your sweet friend. You are a treasure.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

so very sad....great memory pillow!

Mdm Samm said...

such a heartbreak but at the same time a touching tribute to one our sisters...it is a beautiful pillow Marlene...no doubt she would be smiling and feel so loved in our heart and soul

Dorian said...

Oh Marlene. You have me crying this morning. I'm so so sorry (((HUGS))) what a beautiful post about your dear friend. And a great pillow to help keep her in the forefront of your mind. Take care.

Kate said...

Beautiful cushion in memory of your friend. ♥

Michele said...

The pillow is fabulous and I'm sure she would have loved it. I too am so sorry that cancer finally took er from you.

Thearica said...

If I could reach through the computer screen I would give you a warm gentle hug and wipe your tears. I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend. You are such a strong woman to be able to complete the pillow when only a short time has passed. I am sure she is smiling down on you and the rest of the gang.

krislovesfabric said...

Beautiful tribute Marlene, my heart aches for you and yours. So sorry for your loss, praying for you and her family and friends.

Linda said...

I'm so sorry you lost your dear friend. Your beautiful pillow is such a wonderful tribute to her!

Jeanie said...

As I was reading your post, enjoying the reminiscing, I was expecting a happy ending of a battle conquered. How sad for you and all who knew your friend. Your pillow is a lovely keepsake and tribute to your friend. May God give you peace and comfort as you grieve the loss of your dear friend.

The Slow Quilter said...

Cancer changes your life and the people around you. Thank you for sharing your story, it was so heart felt. The pillow will alway remind you her and she will be missed by all.

Deonn said...

What a beautiful tribute for your special friend - thanks for sharing the story behind it. Such sweet memories of your band of Zebra sisters, I hope it provided some healing for you as you stitched. I can just picture her giggling over your shoulder.

Carol said...

Your pillow is so cute with the zebra fabric and is such a sweet reminder of your friend. I hate cancer, too! It is heartbreaking to see someone as beautiful and healthy looking as your friend lose their lives because of this stupid disease. I'm so sorry for your loss!

Doris Rice, The Quilting Queen said...

Thanks for sharing a heart filled story. I so wanted the ending to be a fairy tale but the "C" word is far from a fairy tale. Blessings my sweet friend. You now have a wonderful momento to remind you every day of the beautiful friend and the cherished memories you had with her.

Ray and Jeanne said...

Thank you for sharing. It is a beautiful pillow that I know she would have loved and it may give you some comfort one day. I also hate cancer. Sending hugs and prayers for her family and for you. ~Jeanne

Needled Mom said...

I can imagine how difficult it was to make this pillow. It is such an ugly disease and robs so many of making great memories. Your pillow is beautiful and I am sure she would be giggling over it.

Theresa said...

A beautiful tribute to your sweet friend. Your pillow is beautiful too and so is your heart.

Carla said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful friend. Your story is a beautiful one of friendship. Your pillow is a pretty tribute and a sweet reminder of a lovely friendship of the heart.

Renee said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I can only imagine how bitter-sweet it was to make your lovely pillow. I am sending hugs and prayers to you, your friends and her family.

creativity amongst chaos said...

What a heartfelt post Marlene. You can hardly get through it without feeling your heartbreak and loss. It is such a pretty tribute to your friend, and I admire you for completing it despite your loss. I am sure you stitched many a tear into that project. Big hugs to you Marlene, it is a lovely tribute. ~Cori

Josie McRazie said...

What a great way to honor your beloved friend!! Thank you for sharing with her! Yes! Cancer sucks! (My cousin who had brain cancer has a grey ribbon with cancer sucks written below it!) Prayers!

Calicojoan said...

Wow, what a tribute... I must admit I shed a tear here. I love the fact that you got thru the process of bringing this pillow to life no matter how hard it was. May it bring great comfort and joy to you for many years to come. You know your friend is in your heart always!

Calicojoan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thequiltedcat said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. The pillow in her memory is very sweet!

Lana said...

Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved...where there is deep grief, there was great love.
Praying for your heart to be comforted....and hugging you here too.

Jane's Quilting said...

I am so sorry about your friend. I know she would have liked your pillow. You dId it beautifully!!

Leah said...

What a lovely tribute to your friend. The pillow if beautiful and looks wonderful on your bed where you can see it always.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

What a loving tribute to your precious and courageous friend; I hate cancer too. Hugs to you~

LJ said...

What a way to start the 9th; I still have tears in my eyes from reading your story. Darn, that miserable cancer. My youngest sister (10 years my junior) died over 10 years ago just after her 50th birthday. It is still raw and your heartfelt story brings it back but...no worry. She was one fabulous woman and fought hard like your friend. I miss her dearly but thinking of her is always good because I do remember all the great times and special memories. Thanks for sharing. It is a such a sweet pillow; I love that you used the zebra fabric to commenorate her. Support the cause and the girls!

KaHolly said...

I'd leave a more heartfelt comment, but I can't see through the tears.

Cathy said...

Marlene this is the most beautiful, touching post I have ever read. Love that zebra bra!

Kwilt Krazy said...

As everyone else has said ... such a touching story. I read it first thing this morning. Made me tear up. So sorry for the loss of your sweet friend. Your pillow is wonderful and a great tribute.

Gmama Jane said...

You do have a way with words my friend. I'm sitting here in my kitchen, alone, and speechless. Your story was not only a tribute to your friend but to the endearing spirit of friendship. I feel like your friend was allowed to see this pillow and read your words except with a smile since there are no tears in heaven. It is a lovely feeling to be your friend and although we have never met in person Marlene,over these past 6/7 yrs. I like to think of us as Sisters of the Heart. Your kindness and loving ways are revealed in your stitching.
Blessings my Friend
Jane

Mary said...

Your friend is looking down on your and smiling. What a beautiful story of friendship. The pillow is priceless and so are the memories.

Farm Quilter said...

I am so sorry for the lost of your beloved friend. The strength with which she fought her battles is also in you as you battled through your pain to create this beautiful pillow. Literally crying with you. Prayers for you and the Sisters of the Heart.

Kyle said...

Thank you for sharing your story of friendship, triumph,and heartache. It was very touching and your memory pillow is making France's smile, especially the zebra bra.

toniaconner said...

Marlene , I'm s sorry for the loss of your dear friend. You did her proud with this pillow. I glad you have so many fond memories to to reminisce about.I glad you were able to go ahead and complete your lovely pillow.
Blessings
tonia

Createology said...

I hate cancer too and am so sad for your friend who lost her battle. May your memories keep you close. Your pillow of Support turned out to be a great reminder of your beloved friendship and the strength and bravery Frances had. Thank you for Supporting and sharing. You are amazing...

Lovelli Quilts said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. It must have been so difficult to work on your project while grieving. It is truly a beautiful pillow and I love the zebra stripes. You are truly a lovely person!!

Julia Plunkett said...

So sorry for your loss. Your pillow is a very lovely tribute for your friend. Thanks for sharing.

Alicia Key said...

So sorry you lost your friend but SEW glad y'all got together in the falls. We ALL need to do that more! I lost a friend to cancer yesterday & she was younger than me! Lost a friend to cancer couple years ago, also. I guess we all have someone close who's suffered. Blessings to you!

madebymeinred said...

There is nothing stronger than friendship. Yes, I remember 1959--that's when I was married. Your bra pillow is done up so well. Bless you.

apple blossom said...

love your pillow

Scrapatches said...

Dear Marlene, thank you for sharing Frances and the Sisters of the Heart with us. Your pillow is a beautiful tribute to your friend. May you feel the peace she is surely sending you and find comfort {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}} ... <3 Pat

Joanne said...

Beautiful!

Nadine said...

Thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to you, her family, and your group of friends.

sandra said...

Marlene this story hit me hard. I was diagnosed with BC ten years ago. The lumpectomy came back positive and since the margins weren't clear they decided to do a masectomy, I wasn't to satisfied with results so I decided I wanted the other Breast off. My Dr. Disagreed but after a year of fighting she finally took it off. It came back positive for pre-cancerous cell and although she won't say anything her nurse told me I probably would have Cancer back in few years. Although all Cancer Survivors always know that someday it will probably return. We learn to live to live each and enjoy. I am so sorry about your friend and your pillow s an memorial to her is very beautiful. Blessings Sandra

Quilt n Queen said...

Marlene...I hate cancer too. My son is a 15 year cancer survivor and my sister a 16 year survivor. It scares me and I always worry about it returning. The pillow is a reminder of the beautiful friendship you shared and how hard she fought to share her life with her friends and family. Thank you for sharing your support!! hugs Pauline

Amy said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dear friend. The pillow is such a beautiful tribute to her and your friendship.

Lesley said...

So sorry for your loss...but thank you for sharing the story of your very special friend. I love that you chose the zebra fabric and put the names of the friends on the back with her picture. A wonderful tribute!

Teresa in Music City said...

Your post broke my heart Marlene! Hugs & Prayers to you as you deal with the loss of such a great friend!!!!

Ranch Wife said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dear friend and thank you for sharing her with us. May your friendship and those precious memories bring you comfort in time. Friendships like you two had are truly a treasure and just think of the fun you'll have when you meet again. :)