Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Farewell Donna

I received news that a wonderful member of my guild passed away last night. I can not really say we were good friends but we were well acquainted. I only got to know Donna a couple of years ago when I first got my longarm. She was the chairperson of the charity group in my guild and I had contacted her to get some quilts to practice on. She was such a wonderful person and we must have spent a couple of hours on that first phone call. Turns out she was a cancer survivor and had a longarm of her own. She wanted to do the charity quilts to give something back. After talking to Donna for so long and pouring our hearts out about this and that I looked forward to getting to know her better.

It was not but a few months later that she shared that terrible news that the cancer was back. Now having a medical background I well knew that this is pretty grim news and knew well the road that Donna was likely to have to travel down as I had lost two family members to cancer. The guild did a wonderful comfort quilt for Donna which I volunteered to quilt for her. I cried as I worked on it. There were tons of messages written on all the blocks. I also prayed as I worked on it. She cried when it was presented to her. Each time I saw Donna she was a little weaker and sicker. She never complained about her illness, but rather just received the love we all gave to her with grace and joy.

Some of Donna's friends went to her house one day and gathered up all her UFO's to finish for her. I was given on special project and asked to quilt it. I did some fancy McTavishing and some wonderful work in the blocks. I think she gave the quilt to her daughter..............I am hoping it becomes an heirloom or maybe a very special baby quilt.

The last time I saw Donna was at a quilt show last May. She was thin and pale. She was in a wheelchair and her had her oxygen tank attached to the back. She was so delighted to see me and she and her husband stopped to talk to me. We talked about all the beautiful fiber arts on display.

Last night she took her final breath and I am so sorry that I never got to know her better. I will miss her and think of her. I put a photo of the quilt I quilted for her on my professional website some months back. Now every time I open my website I will remember Donna. She gave me lots of quilts to practice on and helped me along my way. I know she did a lot for many but she also touched my life in a way she never knew.


Ferret said...

This soulnds so familiar, I met a fellow longarmer when I started out and she helped me so much. I still hear her talking to me when things get hard. She died from recouring cancer less than a year after I met her, but just after I won her trophy for longarm quilting. It was the last show she made it to and it meant so much that she had seen the quilt in person and approved of it getting the award.

It's funny how some people can do so much for us in suhc a short time, but I do wish they didn't have to and we could have longer with them.

Yvonne said...

What a wonderful tribute....sounds like she was quite the lady. How special that you were able to be a part of doing something so nice for someone who was so kind to you.