You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Sample of Love

Back in 1967 when I entered Junior High School, like all 7th grade girls I was required to take Home Economics which at the time consisted of one semester of sewing and one semester of cooking. I couldn't have been happier.  My mother and grandmother both did amazing needlework and I was eager to learn too. Our first project was a cross stitch  "Country Sampler" which read
"Bless This House O Lord We Pray"
and under the watchful and often critical eye of our teacher Miss Bradstreet we learned the fine art of hand embroidery.  Even before my needle hit the fabric I knew that I would make this special sampler for my grandmother and would give it to her for Christmas. I did just that. The gift was received with much love, admiration and appreciation of all the hard work that had gone into it. She loved it and treasured it for many years, displaying it proudly in her home until the day she died nearly 20 years ago.  At that time my mother took down from the wall and gave it to me; she knew I would want it.  Of course I had every intention of cleaning and reframing it "another day".  But by now you know "another day" never came. Instead it stayed packed away out of sight and out of mind. A few weeks ago in search of something else, I  came across the handstitched little sampler. I was surprised  and dismayed to see  how discolored and worn out it had become. It made me sad to see the once cheerful sampler that had brightened my grandmother's home look so dreary. I knew then that this was to be my next project.
 

I carefully cleaned it the best I could using a bar of the old fashioned Fels Napa Laundry Soap and it did wonders. As I gently hand washed the old fabric I recalled my "12 year old self " laboring over the tiny stitches a lifetime ago trying my best to make this gift beautiful.  Only now, through the adult lens can I see how crude and uneven the stitches are. How the back is sloppy, knotted and frayed. Funny how I never saw these imperfections. I had never thought it was poorly made.


My grandmother saw the true beauty though, and to her it
WAS
 perfect.

 

                            






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