Saturday, March 05, 2011

Baby Quilt and Bag: From Oregon With Love...



Headed south for the wedding of a handsome young man who grew up as one of my own in the house next door. I had known his parents since college in the late sixties and watched him and his two siblings grow into beautiful young people as we bought land, built our houses, raised three children each and together...and lived next door to each other for the next 20+ years.

Tragically, we lost his mother and his 12 year old sister in a fatal car accident in 1997. His mom was my best friend, his sister, my 12 year old daughter's best friend since birth. People we knew and loved with all our hearts...a terrible and tragic loss that deeply impacted all of us and floods us with loving memories to this day.

We went up to Portland and watched his brother get married a few years ago and now this young man will be married to his sweetheart, as well. Their mother would have been so proud and so very happy. His little sister would be 26 now,. She was an amazing child who carried national track records in the U.S. so many years ago and died on her way to the Jr. Olympics in Florida. Her two surviving brothers and her father survived the car crash and carried on with such strength that it brings tears to my eyes, even to this day.

But I can carry this young man's mother's and his sister's love and pride in me, as I watch and celebrate with friends and family, instead. Today, he is a college professor, his brother a talented and dedicated teacher, as well. I know his brother will be there, and his father.....three strong men who were forced to begin new lives and new families from the remains of a fractured and grieving one.

So, we headed south to California to Asilomar in the Monterey Peninsula. A beautiful setting whether it is for quilts shows or weddings. And a patchwork of memories, old traditions, and new ones as we welcome new family members into our midst, and celebrate life, rebirth, renewal, and love.

Coming along for the ride...a list of donations made in their honor and a quilt I have just finished and a cheerful bag to carry it in.... for part of my gifts for their new life, together and the building of a new family. Nothing better than gifts from the heart and one's hands...especially when the heart is so filled, and so full.

As I exclaim at every full moon and every New Year as I extend this open bag up to the moon..."fill it up, fill it up." May their life together ...and all of yours as well...be blessed and completely filled up with all that is so justly earned and deserved.

Fill us up, Fill us all up with love.


10 comments:

  1. Michele, qué historia tan triste, no me extraña que aún hoy sientas dolor. Éstá precioso el quilt, tiene unos colores muy bonitos y la bolsa es una maravilla, un beso

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  2. Have a wonderful time, making new memories at this weddidng and remembering old memories. Hugs

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  3. what a touching story! blessings to all of you.

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  4. Memories will always be with us. They wonderfl things to always have in our heart. Nice job on your quilt and bag.

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  5. That is a pretty quilt - great colors. I am sure they remember you with love and fondness as well.

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  6. What a wonderful gift, with love in every stitch. I too give my gift in hand made bags, a good gift for the environment as well.

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  7. It's beautiful, Michele, and so are your memories that you share with us. I can even feel some of the pain from such a tragic rending...

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  8. What a moving story- I am sure his mother would be very proud of the young men her sons have grown into- what a difficult journey they have traveled.
    May you enjoy a wonderful journey and celebrate their nuptials with joy.
    Thanks for the reminder of what things are truly important in life.
    Warmest regards,
    Anna

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  9. Love helps the broken hearted, that's for sure. Sounds like a very nice wedding and trip

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  10. What a great post! It is always wonderful to see kids you watched grow up turn out so well!

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.