Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cherish those Traditions - And the People Behind Them

So this week the mother of one of my best friends died. She was 83 and he was the youngest of ten children. It really called to mind the importance of family and made me face the fact that we don't get to be with our loved ones forever. Peggy Wheeler was a great woman whom I only had the opportunity to meet a few times. I will always remember she was a great cook. She was a true matriarch of that family. It was so obvious that family meant everything to them - which has made it difficult this week for many people mourning her passing. Peggy reminded me of my grandmother - Maggie. She had that feisty attitude, she was proud and strong. My grandma was like that too. Well, that's how I remember her anyway. She told me on more than one occasion as a child I was "cruisin' for a bruisin'" and she always had things her way. She smoked til the day she died. But she was also sweet, accepting - sometimes too much so, sometimes family members seemed to do no wrong.

Grandma was very loving and she loved animals. Most of all I remember her telling me I was "special things" She told me I was her let me assure you (especially those of you in my family) that I think she probably told this to more than one person. Every Christmas she would ask me "What'd I get you?" I knew she gave mom and dad money to buy my present so it really was a valid question - but it's still one of my favorite inside jokes in my family. She told me I had a handsome husband - she'd lean over and whisper in my your married to that handsome fellow right? She had a hard time remembering things near the end of her life. I didn't get to see her right before she died and I'm kind of glad because I get to remember her from all the other moments and not the sick ones, the Alzheimer's ones. I remember her just as she looks in the picture below.

I wanted to share a picture of grandma - Maggie - which btw is not what I called her - I always called her Grandma Woods (even after she was remarried). It's one of her last and is with a cat she loved that belonged to my aunt Ruth. I love this picture. Grandma - I miss you and I want you to know that I loved you and I will work very hard to make Maggie's Blankets into something you would be proud of.

If you want to learn more about Maggie's Blankets, please email me at I'm collecting donations of yarn scraps to create blankets for the needy. I won't be official starting my "campaign" until end of May because I'm so busy at work getting ready for the big International Quilt Market Trade Show in Pittsburgh, PA. Check out my previous posts for more details.


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