Thursday, January 15, 2009

~THINK BEFORE SPEAKING~


If you were a die-hard "Country Decorating Lover" like I was back in the late 80’s, when Christmas came you decorated with earthy colors like pine or hunter green and maybe a dark berry red or cranberry. Sometimes I’d toss in just a hint of navy, but just for fun. Never, ever did I use colors called “Kelly Green” or “Christmas Red”…never, ever, ever!

For several years the daughter of a friend brought to me her hand cross stitched Christmas Motifs to make into Pillows. She’d work all year stitching away and I looked forward to her visits each November. Her work was impeccable and I dearly loved her designs and style.

One year she arrived bearing yet another pile of stitchery, her usual lot of ten or twelve expertly worked Santa’s. During this visit she also laid down another piece of handwork, this one a huge cross stitch Christmas Sampler. It was done on pure white and stitched in the brightest colors of the Season…Kelly Green and Christmas Red. I silently gasped!

Not one to really question one's style, I took her note of instructions and a few days later I began combining her handwork with the fabrics she had chosen. I saved the Sampler for last. Although I deeply appreciated the hours of work that went into the sentimental saying and whimsical motifs, I was not looking forward to making it into a Pillow. Especially since the fabric that was picked was also Kelly Green with tiny white polka dots. I truly thought I might faint.

My friend’s daughter arrived by the end of the next week and I showed her into my sewing room where her Pillows were safely housed. As we walked down the hallway I chatted mindlessly about her designs and the joy of seeing her work year after year. What I said next was one truly one of the most unkind statements I’ve ever spoken in my entire life…

I was in the middle of questioning the “odd” piece of stitchery and I must have been talking so fast that the two of us failed to notice another woman come into the room. When I was told the work had been done by her cousin I carelessly blurted out “Who in their right mind would have gone to all that work and spend all those hours stitching something so horrible? What a waste of time! This is the most gosh-awful thing I’ve ever seen! I hate it!” I went on to say “I KNEW it wasn’t your work!”

Just then I looked up to see the shock on the face of the other woman. She looked stunned and a bit saddened… “My Mom is very ill and I was hoping she would just love it!" she said. "I worked on that piece for over two years...especially for her...!"

Of course I apologized, stumbled all over myself, tried to make light of my careless and insensitive words…but it was useless…they were already out. The women then paid me and left. I wanted to die…maybe cut out my tongue…anything to stop the burning pain I felt inside my heart.

I never saw either of them again.

Thumper’s wise Mother (you know, from the childhood movie, Bambi), said it best when her son continued to tease the new babe about his looks…

“Thumper!” she said “If you can’t say something nice don’t say nothin’ at all!”

Blessings… Rebecca

4 comments:

A Romantic Porch said...

Rebecca, that story is so touching...a lesson learned the hard way. Blessings to you. Thank you for your kind words left on my blog. xo rachel

~tea~ said...

Sweet ~r~,
Well said, I think we've all done this before..Life lessons learned along the way.. mmm..Maybe silence is golden.. Thank God, for a forgiving Father in heaven.. If we could all be so forgiving..What a much different world we would live in.. You always have something to say that pulls on my heart strings..Thanks for the reminder..Only love and hugs for you.. ~t~xo

jenx67 said...

Stories likes this make me laugh very nervously. =0

~~Deby said...

oh...I have too often been sorry for me and my opinion or me and my mouth..I am so thankful for those in my life that love me *despite* me....can you tell I am browsing your blog this rainy afternoon in the puget sound...

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