Wednesday, March 9, 2016

a project for Remembering

If you have lost someone you loved, or when you do as we all must do, you will know what I mean by savoring.  You savor before they die or while and after the things you can do for that person, each a little offering of love.  The last time I changed her diaper I stroked her silky, still legs.  Oh, more!  Each snap on her sleeper after we pressed her footprints, all mine.  The way her father held her jealously during those final hours.  I understood.

for Remembering Eleni

After Eleni passed I treasured each task left to me as her mother, most especially any task in her nursery.  On a quiet Saturday I shut myself in her room slowly unpacking her dresser, choosing these clothes to save forever and others to pass along to some other child.  Soon I had a pile of clothes too stained to keep, but too precious to throw away.  They are ones that remind me of particular times.  They are each a memory.

for Remembering Eleni

I am glad that a project came to me quickly then.  I composed the clothes in neat rows and captured some needed colors from the other piles to fill the gaps.  I'd been wanting a new pillow cover for a living room throw pillow anyways.  What a nice way to keep some memories of her nearby.

for Remembering Eleni

I'll be patterning this pillow project after my "Joy" pillow from years past.  I'll applique a rectangle of each piece of clothing on a plain background in a 4 x 5 grid layout.  Some of the rectangles will become reverse applique letters; some will remain whole.

for Remembering Eleni

These knits won't fray when raw edge appliqued like quilting cottons do.  I'm also cutting with my pinked rotary blade, for a decorative and more durable edge.  My husband and I are setting off this weekend for a 15th anniversary getaway.  I want to prep this all today so I can take it along, a compact hand sewing project.  Ah, yes, the makings of a good trip!

 for Remembering Eleni

But I find it slow going, cutting up these clothes.  I stare at the doggie pajamas I bought midway through our pregnancy, when all was perfectly well.  How could that be?  The green polka dot shirt she wore only once - the last time I took her home from the hospital - takes me back to that moment of shy hope coupled with foreboding.  Of course all the stories come back, as they should.

This is a project for remembering.

37 comments:

  1. What a beautiful project, Rachel. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm sending you so much love. I hope that this weekend brings you tremendous joy and comfort as you rest and play with your lover. Savor every moment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A beautiful project, I hope it will help you heal a little bit. Enjoy your weekend together and savor each stitch. Hugs)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, you are so tender and brave. This idea is so brilliant. I still stand in awe of your courage.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love that you make something you will use and see everyday and will be remind of Eleni. Lots of love to you and enjoy your getaway and Happy Anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh, Rachel, so beautifully written. I treasured slowly reading it so as to try and get a glimpse of what you and your husband must be going through. praying you have a wonderful weekend, and the bond you have is strengthened in may ways. xo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ever practical Rachel - what a lovely project and I'm sure there will be more. Have a fantastic weekend and take care:))

    ReplyDelete
  7. how bitter sweet...
    all the love and hope - and so much heartbreak
    Tiny Eleni - never forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my goodness...you and your family are in my prayers..this includes grandparents as well...I wish you sweet memories and a peaceful calm heart. Thank you for sharing...I feel you are helping people in ways you cannot imagine. Blessings...sue.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a good memory project for you to do and have forever. Prayers for good memories always. And happy anniversary to you and your husband.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a precious project this will be...*tears*

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for sharing Eleni with us today, Rachel. Your angel took a bit of all of our hearts. It brings such bittersweet joy, keeping her memory alive.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have kept the smallest scraps, and find even now a piece, even a single one, finds it's way into family quilts, and somehow I feel as if he's watching over the people they are for.It was so hard to cut in the beginning, then it almost became necessary. Big Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh My, Rachel. Your courage. I admire it.
    I am so happy to know you.
    Enjoy this week-end away with your sweet hubbs.
    I do not think we will ever forget Eleni. She is a gem, plopped right into our hearts

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a sweet project to honor and treasure her. I can't wait to see it. Have a wonderful time with your husband and your pieces! Happy Anniversary.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So meaningful, so painful, so necessary. You are following your heart and that is the right thing to do. So good for you and your husband to get away together. Love to you both.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm sure I am not the only one who waited for a quiet time to sit and read through this, happy for another glimpse of sweet Eleni. Thank you Rachel.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's a wonderful way to remember Eleni and to let her be at your side all the time. Thank you for sharing this with us! It's always a special moment for me to read about your feelings and plans and I am always happy about it, because I think, it's a good way to 'work' with the situation. Not everyone can do this, but I think it helps so much.
    greetings from Germany, Rike

    ReplyDelete
  18. You are such a beautiful person. I can not stop to think on your Eleni and your big lost. I like your way to go through this pain of heart. I dont know you personal, but your pain touch me every time I read your blog. God bless your beautiful family! Zuzana

    ReplyDelete
  19. Special project for your precious daughter. Special memories to hold close!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Prayers of comfort for your aching heart. Such a loving tribute for your little one.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Enjoy your time with your husband, you are so strong and what you wrote brought tears to my eyes, Eleni in my eyes is an angel who will always be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a lovely therapeutic project of remembrance. x

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for sharing. You are a beautiful person. Praying you have a peace-filled weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The most special project anyone could do. This work will be a treasure. Beautiful idea. My thoughts are with you. We will all remember Angelic Eleni.Sending love.

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's so important that you are doing this Rachel. Now is the right time too. I put off facing the reminders of a loved one's loss for too long and now find it too difficult to face. What you wrote about savoring each think you could do and the little offerings of love for Eleni really touched my heart. You express yourself very beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  26. So beautiful. Love to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My favourite way to sit on a lounge is cuddling a pillow, I hope yours is too xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a wonderful thing to do. Praying for peace and healing for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Rachel, thank you for your blog and for being so brave and honest. I love this beautiful project to remember Eleni and hope that the making and using of the pillow will be a source of comfort & happy memories for you all. My thoughts are with you all X

    ReplyDelete
  30. It will be beautiful and so meaningful.
    Enjoy your weekend together!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Perfect!! Happy Anniversary xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  32. You write so beautifully and clearly of loss and love and healing. I'm sewing a quilt with my dear mother-in-law's shirts. It was hard to make the first cut but is now bringing more joy.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've been following along throughout the Eleni story and am so sorry for your loss. I love memory quilts. I'm working on one now, actually. I haven't made one yet for someone I knew the story behind each piece of fabric. It takes so long when you don't know the story, so I can only imagine the process you are going though now. Enjoy the sweet memories and the time spent making this one!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I totally understand this. After a complicated pregnancy, I recently gave birth to our baby boy. He was just too young to survive at just 20 weeks. I had just two onesies given to me for him that he never got to wear. But along with some coordinating scraps, ive been sewing them into a pillow to keep in his memory. I wish you plenty of healing as you savor the making of this project. And many good memories of Eleni sewn in.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I admire your courage and strength to share your story.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails