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.