Wednesday, April 25, 2012


When you think of gifts, what do you think about? I think about all of the unexpected gifts I've been given, which manifest themselves in the most unlikely (to me) ways. I also think about the wonderful gifts I've been given and the people who have given them to me. I'm much more comfortable being the giver rather than the recipient of gifts. I'm often afraid that I haven't done enough to deserve the gift (I know ... sounds bad, but it's one of my quirks). Maybe that feeling makes me more appreciative. 

Now is the time of year that causes me to think about gifts, because I'd much rather focus on what I've been given rather than on what's been taken. Sometimes the only way to make an event and its consequences positive is to look for gifts.

My sister recently gave me a sampler that she stitched. To me, a stitched piece is always an enormous gift. This sampler is even more special because of the meaning behind it.
It's called An Angel for Rebekah, and it was designed by Kam and Barb at Ewe & Eye & Friends about 16 years ago. I was working for them at the time that my younger daughter died, so they designed it in her memory. She used to go to their shop with me once or twice a week to work on publishing charts and putting kits and charts in their packaging. 

To say that she was entertaining would be an extreme understatement, and she made friends of all ages wherever she went. All of us in my family still tell hundreds of hilarious stories of her adventures and exasperating (for us) moments. She's fresh in our minds because she was a gift to everyone she met, as I'm sure your children are gifts to you. Of course, we consider all of our children in our family gifts, but Bekah is our shared gift. Somehow, that makes things different.

To receive my sister's gift of this sampler is especially overwhelming this year, because Bekah would've been 21 this coming Sunday. I'm even more grateful to have this sampler because I haven't been able to get myself to stitch it. I've stitched other things for her, but this one was more difficult to start. It's just one of those things. My mom stitched Rebekah's sampler several years ago, and I wanted to bring it home with me, but my dad wants to keep it for now. I think that's why Sharri stitched it for me. 

So why am I telling you all of this? Since Sharri brought this finished piece to me, it's been on my mind so much. I think I need to share it, so here you are. I want to make certain that y'all don't think of this as just a horribly sad story. It's sad, but Bekah was wonderful, and what I've learned since she died has been so much more than I could ever explain to anyone (more for the memoir). The most important lesson is to learn as much as you can from the absolute worst things that happen, because those lessons are the only positive things than can come from a truly horrific event. I refuse to be a victim of life, and I am determined to live as full a life as possible. Remembering Rebekah by living a positive life is the least I can do. So that's what I hope you all take from this post. 

I think every day of how incredibly lucky I am. I have children, grandchildren, a great place to live, friends, family, a swain, and so many other wonderful things to appreciate. I can't think of anyone I'd be willing to trade places with. We all have hard lessons and difficult times. As my mom always said, "Life is an endurance test." We'd better make it as good as it can be, right?

So how about some gifts for you who read/comment/follow? I have a couple of things from Mom's stash left to give away to you. All you have to do is express an interest in any or all of the following items, and I'll enter you in a drawing to be held on Sunday evening, April 29. I'll be back to tell about the winners on Monday.

First is Blossom Time by Papillon Creations. This is a chart with some fabric that Mom bought for it. The fabric looks like a 28-count evenweave, but I haven't counted it, so it could be 32-count. Mom chose Gentle Art Sampler Threads in antique rose and grape leaf for this project, so I'll include those. Here's a picture:

Also for your stitching pleasure are Woodland Walk and Christmas Stitches from The Drawn Thread. Woodland Walk is a chart only. Christmas Stitches comes with gold blending filament, Mill Hill beads and three colors of silk floss. I'm hoping that there is enough to complete the project, but I can't guarantee it. These two will be given away together. Here are pictures:

Lastly, I offer you my Napa Valley Sampler chart, along with its kitted fabric (I used a different one) and some of the kitted threads (the ones I didn't use). I won't put a picture here, but you can look at my April 15 post to check it out.

I appreciate all of you who read, comment, follow, and trade emails with me. Even if I don't show it often enough or well enough, I'm grateful that you're here. The community that we have here in blogland is a gift we share. Thank you.

'Til next time, appreciate gifts that come your way, be kind to each other, make some fun. 


staci said...

A beautiful sampler and a beautiful story behind're an inspiration Doris for finding the silver lining. Your daughter was truly a gift and I know that she's watching over you :)

Melissa said...

Doris, I had no idea that this happened to your daughter. This was a lovely post and you're so right!

It sounds like the force of Rebakah's life is still alive and well and a joy. It was lovely that your sister stitched that sampler for you.

Sending you a big Hug!

Giovanna said...

That is so incredibly moving... thank you so much for wanting to share it.

mbroider said...

This is a wonderful post.. I am very bitter at the moment. And your post meant/means a lot to me.


Margaret said...

Doris, I didn't know about your daughter. She sounds like such a special person. What a lovely gift that your sister made -- and how special that the piece was designed for her as well. Thank you for sharing the story.

I would love a chance to win the Napa Valley chart. I love EEF. (And how neat that you and Rebakah worked for them too!)

Chris said...

What a wonderful story about your precious daughter and your sister's wonderful gift.
What a great post to start my morning with.

Anonymous said...

Since you once posted about Rebekah, I have thought about you and her here and then. I wasn't aware that the EEF sampler had been designed as a tribute. I want to stitch it now, and I will. So that her memory lives on across the ocean too !

Anonymous said...

Since you once posted about Rebekah, I have thought about you and her here and then. I wasn't aware that the EEF sampler had been designed as a tribute. I want to stitch it now, and I will. So that her memory lives on across the ocean too !

Jennifer said...

Hi Doris, It is b/c of you that I got into this wonderful blogland. Even if I don't blog much I have learned so much from others by reading their blogs. This one in particular is always inspiring to me as a mom of a daughter with cerebral palsy as I have told you in the past. Rebekah's sampler is the most beautiful thing. What a wonderful gift from your sister . Thank you for sharing your story about your daughter , such a special gift.I feel the same way about living life to the fullest even when you have dealt with some very hard times. Thank you.xoxo

Vera said...

What a beautiful and moving post. A wonderful story in spite of the sadness and what a wonderful gift from your sister. I, too (like Margaret) would love the Napa chart -- I was just out in St. Helena in March for a meeting. Vera

Deb said...

Oh my goodness Doris, I had no idea about your daughter. Such a wonderful post and it just pulled at my heartstrings. I have had that pattern in my stash for like forever. I knew that it was a sampler in memory of someone but you can imagine the chills I got when I realized that I "knew" the people involved.

Rebakah sounds like she was just the most wonderful child. It's a wonderful gift from your sister!

Katrina said...

OH Doris, I can't imagine losing a child!!!! Thank you for sharing part of your life. And what a sweet thing for your sister to do. It's a beautiful sampler.

BTW, I had to google swain, my favorite definition was a male lover or admirer ;-).

Edgar said...

What a great post and a lovely sampler - thank you so much for sharing it with us!!!!

Throw me in for the Napa Sampler - I have been there many times and love the area and had never seen this one until you posted it.

Kellie said...

Doris, I didn't know about your daughter. Thank you for sharing her legacy with us. She sounds like she was a wonderful precious child, a gift. It was so sweet that your sister stitched her sampler for you. Your words that you live a positive life to honor her are so moving... and such a good reminder to appreciate the "gifts" we are given.

I will be thinking of you and your family this Sunday.

I would love to have my name entered for the EEF chart. I think it is so neat that you used to work for them and have good memories of taking Rebekah to work there with you.

Hugs to you.

Susan said...

Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us how precious every day is.

Please don't enter me into the drawing.

Anna van Schurman said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely story of your beautiful daughter.

Ellen said...

Glad to see you back in blogland! Thank you for sharing your good memories of Rebekah!

Would love to have my name entered for the EEF chart, thank you for the chance!


Brigitte said...

What a great and inspiring post about gifts and about your beautiful daughter.

discount jerseys said...

Congratulations to Edgar. Your knitting looks wonderful to me

Giftlady said...

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