Friday, May 2, 2014

Let Me Tell You a Little Story....

Once upon a time there was a woman who had a farm and a wonderful husband. They were happy and in love and worked hard. She raised organic vegetables and sold them to very appreciative customers in the city, several years before the magazines started writing prose about "farm-to-table" or CSA's and featuring very well styled photos of idyllic farm-side dinner parties.

Then the love brought along babies. One thing led to another and then there were two. The woman wanted to raise her babies without the demands of a farm and a huge mortgage and so they all packed up and moved to Beverly the nearby small town and they were quite happy even though they missed the farm. To Thing One and Thing Two was added a Little Boy Blue.

The woman, who had begun to think of herself as just a mother, was fully immersed in being a mom and very grateful that the three babes and home were her only responsibility. Sometimes the mothering took every bit of patience and more that she had and she knew without a doubt that if her responsibilities were any greater she would completely lose her mind. She had no idea how working moms managed, nor how any single parents survived. She was in awe of so many moms that she saw.

And then it hit: cancer. Her strong, handy hubby had a huge tumor under his armpit. The first surgeon said "We'll do everything we can to save the arm". Losing an arm would be a death sentence to the man who loved working with his hands. Thankfully the first surgeon was wrong and referred us to another surgeon. Breast feeding Little Boy Blue gave way to many, many babysitters and long chemo infusions.

It was a dark, dark, time.

But there was a tiny glimmer of hope. Hubby was a rock. A very tired, grayish, hairless rock. The woman filled her time at the cancer center with prayer and pages and pages of doodled quilting designs. One co-occupant of the infusion room asked, "Are you an artist?" The woman laughed, blushed, and said "Oh, no."

Cancer got its butt kicked.

The budget got a good beating too.

The husband grew a beard but kept his head shaved. He got a tan and began working again. Many praises were lifted up.

The woman was quilting and seemed like she'd never stop. The stitches kept her life from falling to pieces when everything else came undone; the dishes, the laundry, the cooking. There were small contributions made to the floundering finances from the works of her hands.

And the woman started to feel like more than just a mother again. She was still very happy to have had all the time she had focusing on her children when they were little and needed her most but she wanted to be her own person too sometimes. Maybe, just maybe she was becoming an artist after all. The quilting introduced her to people who weren't always talking about babies and housekeeping.

She began sharing her quilting adventures in the big world of the internet. She kept stitching. She entered a show with a quilt that had all her pain and fear, but also hope, stitched into it from the dark time of cancer. Eventually, someone asked her to quilt a top for them. Then she began teaching classes on free motion quilting. She began working with the very nice older gentleman who sold her the first Janome she every had.

Videos were made, pictures were taken, posts were posted and shared, and the blog grew and grew.....

Thanks for joining me on my adventure!


Where will it lead?




48 comments:

  1. I lost my husband to cancer and am always happy to hear stories of others who've beaten the monster. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Debra, I am so sorry to hear it. We were very lucky with hubby’s cancer as while it was very rare and stage 4, it didn’t involve any organs. That made a huge difference.

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  2. Oh Amy!! I was waiting for more. We too have lost parents to cancer; not a nice thing to go through. Very nice story...and I love your farm quilt; what I've seen of it so far.

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    1. I am hopeful that the dark days are mostly behind us, but if they return, I know we can get through them somehow just as before.

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  3. What a beautiful blog post... I went from smiling, to teary, and back to smiling. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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    1. Thanks. It was therapeutic for me to write. It still chokes me up when I think of it.

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  4. What a lovely and insightful post. I find it remarkable that so many of us use our quilting to help us through very dark times. I am so happy that your dear Husband has faced this hurtle and is now on the other side. A blessing indeed. Your talent and the gift of sharing it is much appreciated. I have sewn since childhood and many times that skill has provided solace and even income. Recently it has helped me survive the loss of a child, a pain that is almost unbearable and certainly not tolerable without faith. By quilting I can redirect that energy into something productive. My best wishes. to you and yours.

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so sorry to hear you've lost a child, words are not adequate..... Faith and quilting have been such a blessing to me and many others and I am so thankful!

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  5. Lovely Amy. So glad you all made it through with renewed sense of purpose and appreciation. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. It’s funny, sometimes I feel completely crushed by the experience and other times, it’s like “I am woman, hear me roar!”

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  6. Glad your family beat the cancer and you found a new creative outlet. Am really enjoying the blog.

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  7. Amy; That was truly the nicest story I have read in a long time! So glad you have come through it. I was really touched in a personal way. My hubby also beat the odds. He was diagnosed with non-hodgekins lymphoma and lost his spleen.They estimated 10 years and we are now going into 12 with no recurrence. I am happy you realized your potential and talent and so willingly share it !

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    1. Let's hear it for our hubbys! Thank you!

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  8. Thank you Amy for sharing this amazing story. What a gift quilting has been and thank you for sharing your gift with us!

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    1. I am thankful I have folks to share with!

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  9. I'm so happy your husband and you have gotten through such a difficult period. How kind of you to share your story, I've been following you for awhile and now I feel like I know you more like a friend other then just a blogger. Quilting has gotten me through some dark times as well and your kindness in sharing has helped me to expand my quilting repertoire, thank you again.

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  10. Amy, I love reading your blog and now I especially love it! You are a survivor and an artist and you inspire me to push myself further with my little hobby of quilting! Thank you for sharing your story xoxo

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  11. What a delightful post! So sorry it involved a hard time for you but without hard times, we will never grow in all the ways we are meant to. After a very hard time, my prolific alterations business became a theraputic quilting hobby. A new long arm machine has been added to the sewing room and I found your blog soon after that new toy arrived. I have learned much in the reading but your post reminded me God is at work in my life for my good and His glory, Thank you for a great post! PS--so thankful to hear your dear husband was around to enjoy your success.

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  12. Amy, I love that your doodling was a refuge for you & now offering an income in addition to the satisfaction it's given you. Great journey!

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  13. Such a moving story Amy. Thank you for sharing it. It never ceases to amaze me how our crafting endeavours can help us in our tough times. I hope your adventures go from strength to strength.

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  14. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and may there be many more happy chapters in this story.

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  15. Thank you Amy! I'm so glad that you are willing to share your 'art' with all of us. May God continue to bless your family!

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  16. lovely to hear the story..... and wonderful of you to share it and your art with us...
    Hugz

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  17. I am new to your blog & never knew. So nice to hear your touching story. Life is full of twists & turns, but doesn't the thread & fabric help us through. Bless you. AND the best of life to you & yours!

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  18. Thank you for sharing your story. So glad there's a happy ending.

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  19. Wow, I LOVE that story!! Thank you for the cliff notes version! I don't know if I could've written such an abbreviated version of my life!! I know that quilting and my quilt friends are the best thing that happened to me besides my family. Quilting can save your sanity that's for sure! I love happy endings! Nini~

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  20. Lovely story. Kudos to the artistic lady who did not give up in the dark tunnel. She is blessed because she found the sun and will never forget that it is out there shining somewhere every day.

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  21. Amy, You not only have a talent for quilting and drawing, but to that resume you had better add writing. I was taught from a young child that a good story grabs your interest from the first couple of paragraphs. Yours had mine from the first line. Thank You for what you do!!

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  22. Aw Amy... this is precious. Thanks for sharing your heart and your inspiration with us -- and many blessings to you and that no hair tanned man of yours ;) Hugs, Karen

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  23. Awe!! Beautiful story and makes your blog that mean that much more!! Congrats and I hope your life continues to be full and fulfilling!!

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  24. Oh Amy, thank you so much for sharing your personal story with all of us. And thank you for sticking with your blog to inspire and teach your wonderful free motion techniques. All the best to you and your family.

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  25. Amy, thank you for sharing your story - I'm also new to your blog and didn't know the story of your family. It shows how you can beat cancer and enrich your life with new friends and a surprising twist to making money with your quilting. I love reading/watching your blog and can't wait for the next installment - where will you go next?

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  26. Thank you Amy for letting us "see" more of you. You are wonderful!
    Esther

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  27. So happy to hear about someone beating c. Thanks for the "story".
    Hugs

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  28. Yes, the big C...such rude impact and ever present. Glad that you are all ok and able to tell the tale. Thanks for sharing this very personal story.

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  29. Thanks for your willingness to put such a touching story out there for all to read. I'm enjoying your blog.

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  30. What an inspiring family history. I'm sew glad you share your love and talent with us all.

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  31. Thanks so much for your beautiful story. I am new to your blog but enjoy it so much. I quilt on my Janome 8900 Horizon. I have several Janomes and love them all.

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  32. Thank you for sharing such a personal life story with us...I love your blog and all the challenges you have been putting out there for us...glad to know your family is doing well...happy quilting.

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  33. Totally get the "want to be her own person", glad everything worked out for your husband and family and wish you the best for the future.

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  34. Hi Amy! I just found you as I am starting on my own free motion quilting journey. Stitching really does hold us together during challenging times! I am so happy your husband made a recovery and is doing well.
    I'm looking forward hanging out here while I figure this FMQ thing out :)
    Best wishes!!!!

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  35. Thank you for sharing your story. It makes it clear that although our stories differ somewhat we all have trials and rocky patches in our lives. Its nice to read how you used quilting to make it through yours. Thanks again for sharing.

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  36. So beautiful and such an inspiration Amy. Fantastic news that your DH has got through a very dark journey...and has had the love and strength for all your family along the way! You are all going from strength to strength... I also love the way you have coped and how your quilting has shone through it all.. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story.

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  37. Thank you for sharing your joys and pains with us. It is good to know the artist and takes alot of courage to open up your life. Continue to pray and God will continue to shower you with blessings!

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