Monday, August 27, 2018

~A NOTE ABOUT THE GRACIOUSNESS OF OTHERS~

Dear Friends...

It's been a long, long time since I've written on my old Blog.  This is a longer post and I hope you will read it through to the end...

  So much has been going on in my life.  If I'm being honest, I just didn't want to make the effort to actually put my thoughts into written form.  And so, I didn't.  I've been on such a difficult journey since last Christmas Eve and unless you've traveled a similar path of losing a parent or loved one unexpectedly (or not!), I guess, you can't imagine the sorrow and heartbreak of it all.

Especially if you had a mother like I did.

She wasn't perfect.  But, she was wonderful.

I'll just be going about doing everyday things...when out of nowhere a tiny thought or memory will bloom into unrelenting grief.  

The tears flow.  The sorrow has beaten me down.  It's overwhelmed me.

I think of my mother a lot.  She's been gone 8 months now and soon her ashes will be buried next to my late father.  We've chosen a small, historic military cemetery for their resting place and before long my siblings and I will gather together again, on what would have been my mom's 84th birthday.

We will say one more final goodbye...

My momma lived on a meager income.  I've shared that before.  She had no stocks, bonds and very, little savings.  To help make ends-meet she would sometimes ask me to offer her beautiful handwork (crochet) to my customers.  So, in early December of last year I posted a FOR SALE notice to Facebook for the only two Bitty Baby Dolls she had fashioned outfits for in white.  Both were dressed in lovely crocheted dresses with little booties and tiny bonnets to match.  I was so happy when one of my customers (going way back to my early eBay days!) wanted them both for her two young granddaughters.  If I remember correctly they were going to be Christmas presents...

My mom was thrilled.  Overjoyed.  When I gave her the money for the Bitty Baby Dolls she smiled as only she could.  A hundred bucks goes a long way when you shop the dollar store for bargains and peruse the sale aisle at Hobby Lobby for goodies marked down to 80% off.  That's how she afforded to give EVERYONE is her family lovely Christmas and birthday gifts each and every year.

In spite of the wonderful sale for my mom, you can imagine how heartbroken I was when only two weeks later she passed away.  Among her simple possessions and longtime keepsakes, she had a small collection of Bitty Babies (her favorites and most detailed as she would say!).  She had kept four or five back just for herself.

I loved them all...but I couldn't help but think about the two I had just sold for her...and how much I wanted to ask for them back.   Of the ones she had kept, none were dressed in white.  Those had been the most intricate.  The most sought after.  She routinely made them for Christening, Baptismal and Baby Dedication gifts and often sold them through my sister's Parish.  She had promised to make me a special one for my birthday that was coming up in a few weeks...

But...time ran out, I guess.  I never did get my Bitty Baby Doll dressed all in white.

Fast forward to early summer of this year.  Just a few weeks ago.

Every once in awhile one of my buyers (or friends and friends of friends!) will contact me with things they are wanting to unload.  Generally it's fabric, lace and trims that have been well loved by family or friends. Oftentimes it's because they are downsizing, someone passed away, or they are just clearing things out and don't know what to do with the excess.  Most feel their treasured keepsakes and collections are too special to donate to the local thrift store and/or don't want to hassle with resale or selling on Etsy or eBay.  I've been blessed over the years to be the recipient of such wonderful gifts which have come to me by several very generous women.  Because I re-purpose vintage trims, laces and ribbons I guess my name has popped up more times than not...for that I'm beyond grateful.
   
 Sweet note from Catherine...
Lovely old crochet... 
 Beautiful trim...
Love this beaded piece...

In early June one of my Facebook Followers/Bloggers sent me some incredible laces and trims (above).  She was so loving and kind and I have great plans for the special pieces she sent my way.  Her name is Catherine Costanza and her kindness and generosity helped me get through the first summer I've ever spent without my mom...  Thank you, Catherine!  You Bless Me!
 From Maureen...gorgeous...high-end and rare handwork!
 Love this lovely pull-work!
 I use this style a lot!
Beautiful Barkcloth Roses...

Then...even earlier last year, another friend, this one named Maureen Reid, gifted me with breathtaking fabrics and vintage linens (above) as she had gotten out of the retail/resale business.  She has returned to England with her ailing hubby and my thoughts and prayers are always with her.  Maureen was and is a gifted artisan and I've been fortunate to love and admire her work now for many, many years.  Thank you for blessing me, friend.  I adore you.  
Huge Box of EVERYTHING from Kim!

 In late July one of my dearest (and longtime) customers contacted me to let me know she was clearing linens and laces out in her home and asked me if I would be interested in her collection.  I replied with a resounding YES and on Saturday a huge box was deposited upon my doorstep.  I was eager and excited to open the thing up, because given the fabulous taste of Kim Osborn, I just knew
beautiful treasures awaited me.
 The box was jammed full of everything you can imagine!
 Lace doilies, vintage clothing, table runners, embroidered linens...
 Cut-work lace, vintage trims, incredible crochet...
It's been a long time since I've seen this much QUALITY lace and linen pieces all in one place. 
 Love this...
 Beautiful old camisole...
 Lovely tablecloth...
 Antique bloomers....
Love to use this crochet trim on Aprons!
 Stacks and stacks of beautiful things...
 And more...
 More...
 More...

Haven't seen these in many a moon!

Something happens once in awhile that stirs within your spirit feelings so overwhelming and amazing that you just must share.  For what I'm going to show you next brought me to my knees.

Literally.
 Kim was the one who had purchased the Bitty Babies from my momma.  As much as I wanted to ask to buy them back from her, I just couldn't bring myself to make such a request.  I could only envision her giving them to her little granddaughters and how sad they would be to have to give them up.

I just couldn't ask her to return them.  

And so I prayed.  I asked God if it was possible to ever have the Dollies back that  I would do better about being a more generous and giving person myself.  I knew if Kim could let them go, she would.  And so...I let the matter rest.

Eight months later my prayer was answered.  Kim sent me the note below.
A precious friend...

If you don't know this about me, well...let me just tell you...I can be VERY emotional.  I love deep and I trust hard and falling to my knees in gratefulness has become a weekly occurrence in my life of late.  But NOTHING could have prepared me for the shock and disbelief I felt when I opened up the box tied up with the little white bow.  

Quite simply...I was overcome.

I'm sure Kim had no idea when she packed those Bitty Babies into the box of old linens and trims that I would be moved directly into the presence of The Most High.  Without her knowing...God used her inner beauty and grace to shine light into some very dark days.

I'm forever grateful.  Thank you, Kim...  You will never know how much you have touched my heart.  You will just never know.  I will remember your kindness to me all my days.

When my momma died my siblings and I calmly and lovingly shared all her keepsakes and belongings.  Selfishly, I wanted everything.  We all did...

I wanted the brush with her hair still caught amongst the bristles...I wanted her jewelry and her Bible...photos, letters and precious momentos...

Sharing is hard.  And choosing what to choose is even harder.

We all loved her so much.

Through my mother's death I've learned a great deal about her life.  Her faith.  Her talents. I know today she intercedes to the Father for me.  I feel her presence every day...  But, as much as I have learned about her...I think I've learned more about myself.

There are people out there like Catherine, Maureen and Kim (and many more before them!) that have far bigger hearts than I do and sometimes gazing upon your own imperfect refection is beyond difficult.  I've been reminded that when I hear that still-small-voice inside me that says
"Do It!" 
"Share It!" 
"Give It!"
that it's God asking me to be his hands and feet...

Maybe like Catherine, Maureen and Kim...a little at a time...I can do my part to bring joy, happiness and love into someone else's life.  I'm sure I can't change the world.  Or even my state or town.  But, maybe I can bring a tiny bit of hope and grace into the heart of the lonely, discouraged, overwhelmed and oppressed~

I hope so.

I've missed you all so much.

Love to you...

Rebecca 

13 comments:

Kay G. said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear mother. Lovely that you got those beautiful dolls back with their gorgeous clothes, that is truly some of the best news that I have heard about in a long time. God bless. xx

Anne Holcomb said...

This is one of the most touching words I’ve read in a long time. What a blessing to receive the little beautiful dolls back. You and your mother had such a wonderful relationship. I know receiving those dolls meant so much to you. Thank you for sharing. Anne

White Lace and Promises said...

I have tears now. I understand your heavy heart. It took me moving close to my babies to find joy and healing. I still miss my mama so much. I pray that you’ll feel my hugs and prayers. It will get better but grief has no time limit. Take as much as you need.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Rebecca,
What a wonderful post about pure LOVE!
Your dear Mom, her talented hands that always tried to create something that could be sold for making ends meet...
You inherited so much from her and from your Grandmother, no doubt they both intercede to our Creator for you. The very same I feel so often about my Mom, my older sister whom I never met, my Grandmothers, my Great-Uncle Priest and advisor to several Bishops, my writer Uncle here in the USA whom I adopted and on and on. So much love and warmth comes back to us once we let the raw grief take a backstage and anew learn to rejoice and love. With one more very special Angel on the other side, we are much stronger!
It feels great for being loved and it is not always by blood, sometimes strangers can indeed move us deeply. Shared love, learning how to accept it and trying hard to pass it along to others, is a new learned blessing.
Hope you are brimming with new ideas for all the superb, museum quality lace work you got gifted with!
Big hugs,
Mariette

Linda said...

What a beautiful story of love! All the way around...your mom, your specisl friends, and you! Giving is an act of God...John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son....”
I think this post is a picture of how much God loves you Rebecca! I love you too beautiful friend! Thanks for sharing this...as it reminds me once again that we should share God’s love with acts of kindness !

Susie said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful. From start to finish, it was all about love.

Junkchiccottage said...

Oh I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful mom. I loved reading your post and tears were flowing as I read the special story about the Bitty dolls. God does work in mysterious ways. I think your mom was in his ear to let those dolls come back to you.
Time does not have a way of letting the pain of the loss go away but it does have a way of making our futures a little less painful as the time continues. I wish that for you and your family as you are all missing your sweet mom. I hope someday you will put all these treasured linens to work on new creations from your heart. I will be the first in line to buy!
Hugs,
Prayers,
Kris

Bobbi and Gracie said...

Awww how beautiful! There are still wonderful people in the world and this is proof of that. So sorry about your loss. My mom has been gone for a very long time and still, I feel I want to call her to talk about silly little nothings.... God bless!

Mississippi Miss said...

What a testimony of love, hope, and faith! The only thing I could think of when I finished reading your post was, "AMEN!" It was beautiful and touched my heart at a really deep level. I would love to meet you some day just to give you a big hug. We are in MS, not too far away. Maybe, if God arranges it, our paths may cross in the future.
In the mean time, may God richly bless you and your husband, and may His arms hold you through your grief. Remember, he keeps your tears in a bottle. They are precious to Him.

Debbie Fischer

Rose L said...

Such an amazing thing to happen! Mysterious ways...a blessing! And all the lovely pieces are going to get you back to creating and giving!

Theresa said...

I read every word and OMG that you have those little dollies back, what an incredible blessing! Today would have been my Mama's 94th birthday, so this post touched my heart! My Mama passed away at 63. I love all of these pretty pieces and can't wait to see what you create with them! Have a blessed day dear Rebecca, BIG HUGS coming your way!

Shelia said...

Dear Rebecca, you have me crying. What a beautiful story of God's love and grace to you! I too understand the loss of a dear mother. I don't have any siblings so I inherited her meager little things. I'm so blessed to read how God cares about every thing in our lives - even little sweet dolls! Bless you my sweet friend and I pray for God to give you peace and that you'll remember all of the precious moments of your little mother.
Blessings,
Shelia

Terra said...

How generous and perfect your friend returned the two precious dolls to you, that have so much meaning for you as they are connected to your mom. God is good to arrange gifts such as these. I am mourning too, almost 2 years since the death of my hubby. The group Griefshare was a help to me, look online, there are probably sessions near you.

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