Monday, April 27, 2009

Little Sampler

Here's my little BBD sampler.



It's stitched over two threads on 40-count linen from my stash that I coffee-dyed and baked (my new favorite pastime). I used three purples: dark is WDW Eggplant, medium is WDW Purple Haze, and light is DMC 452. The little birdie came from BBD's Sarah Tobias.

I'm happy that I jumped on the big bad Blackbird bandwagon last week and stitched this sampler. The opportunity came along at the perfect time, as I explained to Alma and Barb. My youngest child, Rebekah, was born on April 29, 1991, so I immediately thought of stitching this project in her honor. She would have been 18 this Wednesday, but she died in February of 1996. Because this year seems (to me) like a big milestone year, I felt like I should mark it in some way, but I couldn't decide what to do besides the things I do every year. Stitching this little piece provided me with some much-needed stitch therapy.

I think of Bekah many times every single day, as you mothers out there would guess. Since '96, I've worked her initials (they're in the lightest color in the little sampler) into most of the things I've stitched. It's my little way of keeping her in view, I guess.

I hesitated to write about Bekah here, because losing a child is such a profoundly difficult subject to discuss, even after 13 years. And once the subject is open, some discussion has to happen. While we constantly feel her absence in our family, I think we do a pretty good job of continuing to live in a way that would make her happy and proud of us. Living life as victims with bitterness and despair wouldn't honor her or celebrate her life. We all talk about her and have pictures of her everywhere, not because we need reminders, but because we have great memories of her that we want to share.

I could write a book on this subject, but I'll end by saying that losing Bekah has taught me (is still teaching me) an incredible number of lessons I wish I didn't have to learn in this way. My self-appointed job is to learn and live the lessons as gracefully as possible, so that something good can come from something that feels so wrong.

29 comments:

Loraine said...

Oh Doris, reading about your sweet daughter has brought tears to my eyes. What a difficult thing you must have been through, I cannot even imagine.
I think it's lovely you chose to stitch Rebekah's name in your sampler. It turned out beautiful.
Thanks for sharing, even though it must be so hard.
You are an inspiration.

Rae said...

My heart goes out to you. What a tribute you are to your daughter. It sounds like you have chosen to take the wise path.

VALIE said...

Doris -
Not sure words help, or anything. But my heart goes out to you. Bekah is a lovely name, she must have been a lovely child, and you are right to live in a way that is a tribute to this loveliness. Samplers are wonderful projects to include memories/moments/wishes - you did right, and thank you for sharing, because now Bekah lives in our thoughts too.

Siobhan said...

(((((((((((((((((Doris)))))))))))))
There are no words. Just know that I will be thinking of you this week, as I am sure it is bittersweet for you. Lots of hugs and prayers. Your sampler is beautiful. Hugs and prayers.

stitchinfiend said...

My heart went out to you and your writing really touched me. What a beautiful way to keep Rebekah's memory alive by using her initials in your stitching. ((((((hugs)))))

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

Dear Loraine, my heart goes out to you. I will keep Bekah in my thoughts this week and when my Matthew turns 18 on May 9th, I will say a little prayer for Bekah, and for you, too. Hugs to you and prayers for your family.

tintocktap said...

Love the little sampler and all the shades of purple! I loved hearing about your Bekah too and how she is still part of your daily life.

Hazel said...

Oh my! I am so very sorry for your loss and hearing your story has made me cry. I guess it hits close to home as I have a dd who is 6. Precious children and memories. Your work is beautiful. x

Erica said...

I think it is wonderful for you to share this with us! Such a hard life-shaping event like that does tend to define your life, but how wonderful that you are able to remember her the way you do.
I think that is a lesson that can help all of us.

Deb said...

Oh my gosh Doris - my heart goes out to you! I can understand why you stitch her into the things that you do - I know that I would be the same way - as a way to show that she has never left your heart! Your BBD sampler is beautiful btw, the colors you chose are so nice.

Pam said...

I don't know the heartache of losing a child, but I think that you've chosen a beautiful way to commemorate her this year. You sound like you've lived your life in celebration of the life she lived, rather than wallow in what could have been. It's beautiful.

Yoyo said...

I am so glad you shared your pain with us, I think each time you share like this it helps you to move from pain toward gladness. And I know that 13 years are not enough to have moved all the way along that path. I think it's wonderful that you put a little bit of Bekah in your stitching. Your BBD Sampler has created another lovely memory of your dear child... moved away, silent, but never gone.

Sandy said...

Doris,
My thoughts and prayers are with you this week. I can't imagine losing a child. I do know what it is like to lose a brother. Mine died in 1997 from a rare form of cancer. On the holidays when we are all together we light a candle. That way his light still shines with us. I know stitching does heal all wounds. I stitched Margaret & Margaret's In My Father's House as a memorial to him. Your sampler for Bekah is beautiful and you will treasure it always.

Brigitte said...

This little sampler is such a big work of love. Reading what is behind the name brought tears to my eyes. It touched me to the bottom of my heart how you commemorate her life and your love on this sampler and on so many of your stitched pieces. This sampler is so very special.

Barbeeque4 said...

What a beautiful tribute and wonderful way you still keep her as a part of your lives.

Anna van Schurman said...

Well said. Well done.

Jennifer said...

Doris, reading this post just makes my heart hurt. I think this sampler is beautiful. I hope it brings peace to you. I lost a child in 1985, Aaron, and even though its been many years and feel like I'm the only one that thinks of him, I do some little commemorative things that help my heart feel at peace. I haven't yet stitched his name in anything, I wanted to, but didn't know which one I would do this in but now, I think, I'm going to stitch his little name in a sampler one day. Its just part of you that you will never ever forget.
Jennifer
http://www.feathersinthenest.blogspot.com

Barb said...

I read your post late last night, just after I had sent my sampler photo to the Blackbird ladies. My daughter's name is on mine, she is almost 18. I got teary eyed reading your post. When I was thinking about whose name I wanted to stitch, besides my mother's, my daughter's was foremost in my mind. Thank you for sharing such an important part of your life.

Ranae said...

Beautiful version of the BBD to tribute your daughter. Such a touching story, sorry for your loss
(((hugs)))

Ellen said...

This sampler is a beautiful tribute to Rebekah. Thank you for sharing even though it must be so hard.

Hugs

Tanya said...

What a beautiful tribute to your daughter! Words can't express how I am feeling right now, my mother had a very tragic death and I miss her every day. She was 34 years young. I don't want to imagine losing a child. Hugs to you!

Linda K's Creativity Works said...

I just love all of your stitching...it sure is beautiful.

I added you to my List Of Stitching Blogs on my Site and I added me as one of your followers too.

Congratulations on your Finish.

Take care & Happy Stitching

Von said...

Your little sampler stitched in Rebekah's honor is a beautiful way to remember your little girl. I'm so sorry that you had to endure such a tragedy, but I'm sure that through sharing your pain, you have eased the pain of another who may have felt she was alone. Hugs to you.

mainely stitching said...

Thank you for putting it so well. I'll hang on to the concept of living a life that all my children would be proud of.

Anonymous said...

Dear Doris, I love your new Bekah sampler, what a great birthday memory. Love & Prayers. Mom

Coni said...

Oh, dearest Doris. I am sending you love and hope for peace in your heart. Thank you for sharing your story...

Robin said...

Doris, reading this just makes my heart break. I can't imagine what you've been thru. My Ali is 17 and I'm in a car driving to Orlando from Birmingham, AL to get her b/c she has the flu. DH can't drive fast enough but losing a child is something I cannot imagine. you will be in my prayers and I pray God will bless you in many ways.
Robin

Carol R said...

Thank you for sharing this poignant story with us Doris - my heart goes out to you. I could not imagine losing a child. You have chosen a wonderful way to keep Rebekah's memory alive.

Lelia said...

Thx for sharing - This is a beautiful sampler!