Sunshine

I've always liked using my hands. I've been called a jill of all trades. I wouldn't say i'm specifically into one thing but i like to try many different creative processes. In 2009, when i was a bartender, i was also getting on ladders before work and painting the building, ha!

So, in 2016, i was in soft, warm and cuddly things mommy mode. I decided after my daughter was born, i would make a quilt. I began the process when i was going downhill. It was therapeutic....and happy. I had a pinterest board full of things i just wasn't going to be able to make. There was this dress called sunshine that i wanted to make for my daughter but i instead decided on something she couldn't outgrow. A quilt.

I had no idea what i was doing and only can work a sewing machine at basic level. But i had ideas. I went to a fabric store and searched for all the right shades of yellow and orange sunbeams, blue for the sky. I took a large childrens roll of paper and laid out two rows on my living room area rug. I decided the measurements would be close to 5x7, since thats the space i was working with. I started drawing rays. Then, i proceeded to cut the rays and label each one A,B, C, D, etcetera. I remember standing and looking down and thinking, i like this. This is how you take something large and make it...in small pieces, piece by piece. Something large can seem so overwhelming to tackle but once you break anything into tinier bits, most things are absolutely possible.

I then took the pieces of fabric as my 2 year old pulled and tugged and rolled in the fabric and began to lay the colors out. I decided i could use fabric as my canvas. It was different than when i painted but it was similar in so many ways. Then i pinned everything together. This took months. By the time i was ready to sew, i was really struggling to sit up for any length of time and i would instantly begin spinning out into terrible vertigo like neurological episodes at the sewing machine. I was desperately trying to find answers during this beginning of my demise. Answers, i never really got. I kinda thought this would all be resolved one day soon and a terrible distant memory. Little did i realize that it was the beginning of a new life where things were taken away from me one by one. Cooking, walking, showering, and so many other things. So, it goes without saying, i clearly remember this as some of the last days of my freedom. How ironic i chose to make... a sunshine for the coming and incredibly strong storm that was slowly treading into the perimeters of my life.

It was really satisfying to use the sewing machine to seal the promiscuous seams, permanently, forever attached...these rays would be to one another. They would keep my children warm for years and years to come. All because of single stitches that when used in multitude created a strong force that couldn't be torn apart. I liked this idea. It brought me...satisfaction. Next, i bought the batting and layered the bottom side with avocado green because...well, grass. I love using natures palette. The walls of my house are also nature infused, marigold living room, sky blue and grass green bathroom, blue family room for the sky, sand brown hallway to ground everyone upon entering their day and retreating into their nights. I rarely randomly pick colors. Their is mostly intention.

I pieced it together...slowly...and right before i fell off a cliff in 2017, i finished my sunshine quilt. Not a day too soon or late. It arrived just in time for this new chapter i never saw coming and it covered me as i lay in a coma like state for most of the following 2 years. It brought my small daughter much joy to cuddle in with me during a very uncertain time for her and i .

Its funny how life works like that. There really is always sunshine though...even in the deepest and most incessant of storms. One may not see it for a great many years...but never forget...you will again because its simply the laws of nature.

"Cover me in sunshine
Shower me with good times
Tell me that the world's been spinning since the beginning
And everything will be alright
Cover me in sunshine"

Comments

Hello @Sunshine 44.....First off, that was a beautiful post as @Cloudyskies said.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you, to the countless women who would like to be mothers but it hasn't worked for them, but can still "mother" children in a way that perhaps their own parents can't (personally, I had many mothers) to our own mothers and the memories that many who left too soon have left behind. As has been said before, it's a tough job.....so joyful in the beginning, but as I'm seeing again with my grandchildren, one who is entering her Sr. year of college, it's also a time when so many reserves are still required of you, and I'm the grandparent, so I'm somewhat removed. Her brother has a professional goals, but has concerns in other areas.

All I can do is buck up my daughter and son-in-law and let them know that we've signed up for life, the children are very confused and need us more than ever.....every generation faces this and without a clear goal (like our grandson is in a program that will lead to a few professional degrees) it's just plain hard for them to decide on anything.

I feel like I'm re-living those years (of our girls), but things are even harder for this generation of children themselves. Choices? Perhaps too many choices, plus being given too many material goods. Who knows?

Anyway, back to your glorious quilt. Your children (daughter?) will always treasure it and I know how difficult it is to have the positive outlook that you do. If nothing else, we pass this unspoken attitude along to our children...and I know your son and daughter are learning from yours.

I don't sew, but was exposd to quilting via my grandmother. It's a tedious process and yours especially so, since there was no pattern except that of your own making. Lots of stitching and sewing and designing the quilt itself.
So yes, you were literally covered with sunshine, and it somehow beamed energy and your attitude into you. It served its purpose without you even knowing the "why." I know that each moment of each day isn't sunshine, but we must let it in whenever possible. Congratulations! Yours, Lenora.
 
@sunshine44 - Such a beautiful tale, and gorgeous quilt.

I Love how it changed, once you got all the stitches to happen, becoming more beautifully textured. Oh, then you had it to cuddle with! Thinking about how each stitch is a tiny impalement, a tiny "oww" in the fabric. But each stitch, adds strength and beauty, as you pointed out!

I was given a hand made quilt, when I retired. A group of women spent twenty years making it, florals, lots of wildflowers. I saved flowers for a living.

An amazing thing to be gifted, quite frankly.

Did you ever read The Mists of Avalon? In between all the famous or infamous history of humans, we spin, we card, we weave, we stitch.
 
Hello @Sunshine 44.....First off, that was a beautiful post as @Cloudyskies said.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you, to the countless women who would like to be mothers but it hasn't worked for them, but can still "mother" children in a way that perhaps their own parents can't (personally, I had many mothers) to our own mothers and the memories that many who left too soon have left behind. As has been said before, it's a tough job.....so joyful in the beginning, but as I'm seeing again with my grandchildren, one who is entering her Sr. year of college, it's also a time when so many reserves are still required of you, and I'm the grandparent, so I'm somewhat removed. Her brother has a professional goals, but has concerns in other areas.

All I can do is buck up my daughter and son-in-law and let them know that we've signed up for life, the children are very confused and need us more than ever.....every generation faces this and without a clear goal (like our grandson is in a program that will lead to a few professional degrees) it's just plain hard for them to decide on anything.

I feel like I'm re-living those years (of our girls), but things are even harder for this generation of children themselves. Choices? Perhaps too many choices, plus being given too many material goods. Who knows?

Anyway, back to your glorious quilt. Your children (daughter?) will always treasure it and I know how difficult it is to have the positive outlook that you do. If nothing else, we pass this unspoken attitude along to our children...and I know your son and daughter are learning from yours.

I don't sew, but was exposd to quilting via my grandmother. It's a tedious process and yours especially so, since there was no pattern except that of your own making. Lots of stitching and sewing and designing the quilt itself.
So yes, you were literally covered with sunshine, and it somehow beamed energy and your attitude into you. It served its purpose without you even knowing the "why." I know that each moment of each day isn't sunshine, but we must let it in whenever possible. Congratulations! Yours, Lenora.
Beautifully said, Lenora!
 
Thanks, @Cloudyskies.

Funny how things change for each generation. In mine, everyone knew they were expected to leave at 18....OK, I was 17, but was enrolled in kr. a year early b/c my grandparents lived a long way away (I was living with them at the time). No bus, and my other cousin was a year older. Children in rural areas were allowed such things at that time. Laws changed a few years later.

Point being, so there I was at what now seems an incredibly young age. of 17. Go forth, young woman, go forth. My mother (yes, we actually did what our parents wanted) thought nursing would be a good profession. Well, I loved the learning; but hated the reality of the hours, weekends, etc. It was impossible to have a social life. All of my friends had left home also....everyone in our class actually.

During my 17th summer, I met Rod, the man who was later to become my husband. He was on a working tour of the U.S., my mother was also British, and so the story goes. We wrote back and forth, and he faced many losses during that time....his family had changed completely. After he completed university, he decided to leave. His mother had remarried a man who didn't want Rod in his life, and he knew his chances would be better in N. America.

He emigrated from the U.K. to Canada and I eventually finished my R.N. nurse education (funded by borrowed money that we repaid), and I moved to Canada. (The U.S. had become involved in Vietnam, at that time no new immigrants were allowed in and we were in a recession. Canada provided him with passage to the country, a job and it was a good choice. We lived there for 12 years altogether, mainly in Toronto. Loved it, while also feeling homesick. I changed careers twice and both were completely different and I learned a lot....plus I worked in the evenings for Rod. That loan, you know!)

Then it was on from there....life was unknown in many respects. We had zero money, but a future in mind. We married that year in PA. I met Rod parents (well, step-father) the evening before.

I could make much-needed visits to my family in PA and we did so each month. I later left my much hated job and we moved west to another province altogether. Saskatchewan....and an incredibly small town, but a large power dam was being built and that's where Rod's job was. I was learning the oil business....and well, here we are 55 years later. (Later ran a real estate law firm in Toronto). Still in love, but remember that each stage of life brings so many changes. So many. Over the years we traveled to many countries....we're so glad we did it at that time. However, anything can be found in books and even foreign movies, travelogues. It's waiting.

I'm a child of both America (my father and his family) and of the U.K. I feel privileged and we spent as much time in the U.K. (Bath) as possible. We had two weeks vacation (if you were lucky), and the work place was much different. My mother was from London and had been in WWII landing the planes as they returned from their bombing missions. So many losses.

So I understand Sunshine as we go through our many, many phases of life. Yes, some are cloudy, no, we wouldn't have chosen them....but as I reflect all of my life has been a chance for growth....if taken. We enter dark recesses and often have to find a reason for changing and to keep on living. I took the recesses as a chance to enter what was unknown territory....myself and my illness. (Neurological surgery, combined with what was later diagnosed as CFS/FM.) I'm not Pollyanna....it was long, hard, heartbreaking and a very lonely place to be. However, I re-entered life having learned other things, understanding true suffering even though there are other people who have suffered many hardships in life. I am a reader, and am constantly amazed at the suffering that occurs not just with us, but unimaginable torture, etc.

We learn to hold on tight, to let others in even though we don't share the pain, my friends (including a lot from my youth) have all faced pain and hardships of some sort or another. It's as if we speak with one voice now.

No, this isn't how I thought I'd spend my life; but I want younger people to know that progress has been made and I expect even faster research to contribute to such in the future. I have been so fortunate in the choices of most of my doctors. Sunshine's quilt gives each of us hope. Yours, Lenora.
 
Rufous and Lenora,

I immensely enjoy your beautiful, poignant and thoughtful responses. Thank you so much for taking the time to share a part of your life and feelings with me. It truly means so much.

@Rufous McKinney i have not seen that show but am curious now.

@lenora There are so many responses i have to your tales of life, but my energy doesn't match my desire today, ha! One of the things that stood out, was how you said "its as if we speak with one voice now" speaking of the trials and tribulations you and friends have gone through....wow, THAT is powerful.

Have a beautiful afternoon ladies.
I am happy some rays of sunshine reached you guys.
:star:
 
So I understand Sunshine as we go through our many, many phases of life.
there really are just so many of these chapters and phases. Everything feels so different. Sometimes everything feels very much the same.

My daughter is expecting a second child, at 39. In one moment, some entirely different chapter seems to be in draft, pencil. Not inked, yet.

Things can shift in a moment. We sure know that to be true, don't we?

During my 17th summer, I met Rod, the man who was later to become my husband.
Thats all amazing, Lenora. And all these years later, you've had a lovely yet challenging life, definately you signed up for a major roller coaster E ticket.

I met my future husband at 20. He sat at my table and bothered me while I was studying for a chemistry test. Almost a whole year went by before I ran into him again.

And I kept running into him. It also turned out I had purchased a small box at an antique store, and it was his store and I remember buying it, long before we met. The box sent to my brother, who no longer has it.
 
Good Morning @Sunshine,

I hope you're still not totally exhausted by your post. However, it's possible....and don't think that you have been forgotten. You haven't and good wishes are being sent your way. Yours, Lenora.
 

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