I felt this matter deserved a post rather than an addendum on other post. I have not been sewing much lately nor blogging due to the illness and loss of my grandmother.
My grandma passed away peacefully after almost two weeks in the hospital from heart disease. She was 89 and outlasted my grandpa by four years.
My house is right next door to my grandma’s on my family’s ranch and I have been helping to care for her for five years. She had dementia, which was sometimes very difficult to deal with, and these past few years have been quite a harrowing experience for my family and I. If you have dealt with a family member with dementia, then you’re familiar with the disease and how it effects not only the one afflicted with it, but the family who cares for that person. I have some very bad memories of my grandma in her demented state and the only way I’ve been able to care for her was to try to remember my grandma from years ago and try to focus on that. It is somewhat of a relief that she has passed as she is free from the chronic pain of her severe osteoarthritis and from her addled mind. In my family, the Knights (my grandmother’s maiden name) always have “decided” when it’s their time to go. My grandma had been telling me for a few weeks that she wasn’t going to be here anymore and although she looked rather normal and on the road to recovery when I visited her a few hours before her heart gave out, she must have decided that it was time to join my grandpa.
I am at peace with my grandma and pray that she is happy in the afterlife. I remember all that she taught me and will never forget all of the skills she passed on to me. I’m happy that she was able to continue to live in her home and that she led a fulfilling life, doing everything that she wanted to. If my grandma had a bucket list, everything on it would have been checked off. She lived and traveled all of the world and volunteered with many causes including: adult literacy, hunger, senior advocacy and she taught English to Mexican immigrants. She had the greenest of thumbs, was the best baker I ever came across and along with teaching me how to sew, she attempted to teach me every life skill she thought I’d ever need. She was an avid horsewoman and a lover of animals and I’ll always remember the lambs being bottle fed on the porch and the hummingbirds she rescued from her cats until they were able to fly off again. I spent my entire life growing up with my grandma as my parents’ home is just down the driveway and I was always riding my bike over and sleeping over at my grandparents’ house. That’s the grandma that I’d like to remember.
I thought I may not be able to get to my sewing machine for a while as sorting through and cleaning a lifetime of memories in a large house takes a lot of time. Thankfully, my grandma had a housekeeper for the last few months, so the cleaning of my grandparents’ home is more of materials that need to be sorted, donated and arranged rather than cleaned of dirt and grime. I’ve decided that there’s no rush on this and I am taking my time, doing a sort of “triage” on the house and doing first what is most important, like food in the kitchen and medications. This decision has left less stress on myself at a stressful time and more time to focus on other things as I do what needs to be done, little by little.
So, yesterday I got back to my sewing machine and made some zippered pillow covers for my couch out of upholstery fabric. I had been meaning to do this for a year….. but now they’re finally done and I’m so very happy with them. I posted them yesterday on Instagram, if you’d like to check them out. There’s nothing like a simple project to get you back in the groove. I find sewing and doing what I love to aide greatly with grief. After all, our loved ones would not want us to sit around being depressed at their passing — they’d rather see a smile on our face. 🙂