Monday, March 12, 2012

Two Cakes in One

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So far this year, each one of my WIPocalypse posts have featured a finish, which is pretty fantastic. First it was Margaret Cottam, then last month it was the bonus block from Anniversaries of the Heart and this month it's another Anniversaries of the Heart block. I'm a little overdue for my WIPocalypse post this month, but I wanted to wait because I was so close to having another little finish - and this one is important.

You may remember that I decided to go ahead and start the June block instead of moving on to the March block next because I wanted my dad to be able to see it finished? The June block is actually called "Happy Birthday" and I made a some changes to it. I wanted this block to represent both my dad and his mother - they both have June birthdays only two days apart. I decided to put each of their names on the block, over one, instead of initials as charted. I also changed the color on the names so that they were a bit easier to read. And then instead of splitting up the year on either side of the house, I stitched the year each of them was born over one as well.

So, on the left side of the block - it says Margaret and the year 1915. This is my dad's mother.

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She died long before I was born. In fact, I think my mother only met her once before she died of cancer in 1965. The photo above is from 1937. She must have been an amazing woman, and to hear my dad talk about her, she was. He sent me an email once with the subject line "My mom is braver than your mom" and the photo below attached.

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She must have been something. (Although to be fair, there just isn't any photographic evidence of my mom being chased by a wild bison.)

The right side of the block has my dad's name, John, and the year he was born - 1944. As soon as I saw this block I knew I wanted to change the wording inside the cartouche from "Happy Birthday Dear Friend" to something more meaningful.

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My dad told me once that he and his mom would celebrate their birthdays together - she would make a big cake for the bottom layer and a smaller cake for the top layer. One for each of them. And she would whisper to him "two cakes in one" because it was their little secret. Here's my dad in 1948 with his mother's carving knife and their cakes.

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And here's my dad in the Air Force.

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Unfortunately, I didn't get my dad's block finished in time for him to see it. He died on February 24th. I did my best, but I just wasn't fast enough. But, I'm glad it's finished and I took it to show my mom yesterday and she told me he would have loved it. I think it's a good remembrance of him and his mom even if those lazy daisy stitches seemed neverending!

And speaking of the lazy daisies, on the morning of the day he died, I noticed my mom's neighbor's trees were all in bloom so I took my mom out to show them to her.

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Coincidentally, the block has little pink trees on either side. So, it will always remind me of that little moment of beauty and the peace of that morning.

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I miss you.

I am grateful for a legacy.

47 comments:

Giovanna said...

Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry about your dad! You've stitched a wonderful, moving tribute to him and your grandmother (being photographed while sitting on a croc promptly landed on my bucket list, incidentally...)

Big hugs, take care.

My Life In Stitches said...

What a lovely way to honer your Dad and grandmother. the colors of this piece are lovely. darlene

Siobhán said...

I'm doing the ugly cry right now. Michelle, what a special block to honor two such special people. Beautiful post, too. Big hugs, gf. xoxoxo

BrendaS said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Michelle. You did a beautiful tribute for your Dad in that block.

The Scarlett House said...

Oh my gosh, Michelle. What a touching post. It was wonderful the way it all ties together. Thanks for sharing the photos, LOVED them. What a handsome man, your Dad!
Hope each day gets a little better, my friend...

MoonBeam said...

Oh, gosh, what a touching post. How many tears did you shed while writing it? I have some just on the brink of spilling over.

Beautiful stitching and a beautiful remembrance.

Bobbi

MoonBeam said...
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Margaret said...

Michelle, what a lovely post. I just know your dad is looking down at you and smiling right now. This is one special block indeed.

Sylvia said...

Its perfect, Michelle. What a special and lovely tribute, not only to your dad, but also to your grandmother. I love the connection to the trees. Two cakes in one, how special! They will be celebrating their birthdays together again.

Beth said...

Michelle - what a wonderful family heirloom you've created and so many great stories to go with it. As an avid genealogist, I can't help but encourage you to document some of the stories that go with the "block" you personalize - it will make it that much more meaningful to future generations.

Teresa S. said...

A beautiful and touching post about your dad and grandma. A wonderful block in your anniversaries of the heart. It will truly be that.

Natasha said...

What a beautiful way to honor those that have passed!!

**HUGS** to you!

Beth Pearce said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Fathers are just so special. My Dad passed 45 years ago, but I can still see his smile! Your block is just perfect to honor him and his mom - congratulations.

Laurie in Iowa said...

You've made me cry GF... what a beautiful post. I know your Dad has a great big smile knowing how much his little girl loves him.
I loved seeing the photos of your grandmother, your dad and the beautiful blooming tree.

Suburban Stitcher said...

your stitching is beautiful. i'm so sorry about your dad. even though he didn't see the picture, it will be a wonderful reminder of his life. i was making a quilt for my grandmother to use during her chemo treatments, but she passed before she was able to receive it. it is now used and loved in our home...and is a beautiful reminder of my grandma. hugs and prayers during this time.

Mouse said...

I am sure that he has seen it finished and approves :)... looks absolutely gorgeous and how nice the trees were out in full bloom for you all ....
and your grandmother was a brave lady... love mouse xxxx

lynda said...

Well...more tears here! You have stitched a beautiful tribute to both your dad and your grandmother. I'm sure they are both smiling down from Heaven...

barbara said...

LOVE this post!!!

woolwoman said...

Michelle - I had a sinking feeling where this post was going as I started reading - very sad news indeed - I'm very sorry for your loss - the post was a moving tribute to your dad, mom and your grandmother too. Thanks for sharing with us - hugs mel

Deb said...

I'm so sorry about your dad Michelle. You've made me sniffley. And even though he didn't see the block, you now always have a remembrance of him. What an honor for him.

Dona said...

Gosh, Michelle, what a moving and beautiful post. It's really amazing. And a perfect tribute to your dad and grandmother - they both sound like such special people. I loved seeing their photos and the photo of the pretty two cakes in one.

They both would be so honored.

Melissa said...

Michelle-what a beautiful tribute to your dad and grandmother. I know your dad can see it and is smiling and I know that he is so very proud of you.

Dee L said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. What beautiful thoughts of your grandmother and father. I miss my dad so much.

P.J. said...

I am all choked up here. What a beautiful tribute! You hit all the soft a sweet spots on that one lady. May your memories bring you joy.

Littlebit said...

Oh, Michelle..what a beautiful tribute to your dad..I have chills and watery eyes. I am so sorry for your loss.

Cindy in Virginia said...

Michelle, I'm heartbroken for you, losing your dad. I love your block, and promise you he would have,too. Such a coincidence, I am working on the Happy Birthday block right now, as well, dreading those millions of lazy daisies. My block won't be nearly as poignant as yours. You are in my prayers.

Nancy said...

So sorry for the loss of your dad. What a lovely block to pay tribute to your dad and his mother!

Kathy A. said...

Oh Dear Michelle. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. Your post shows just how much you love him. Heaven has a new angel now.
Sending hugs.

Nicole said...

What a beautiful post Michelle. I know your dad and grandma are smiling down on you. Lots and lots of hugs!

Catherine said...

Michelle, so sorry about your dad. You sure do have sme fantastic family photos and stories to help you remember. This is an amazing block for you ~ congrats on a beautiful memory finish!

Anne said...

Oh Michelle, what a beautiful post. I have tears welling up in my eyes. I love those pictures of your Dad and his mom. What a lovely way to add them both to that June block. I'm sure he would have loved it like your mom says.

Hugs

Anne

Katrina said...

What a sweet, sweet tribute to your dad!!! I am so sorry about your father's death. Big hugs and prayers!!!!

Loraine said...

Michelle, I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine what your life has been like the past few months. Your sampler is very inspiring. What a wonderful tribute to your dad, and grandmother. The hero shot of your dad getting into a T-38 is awesome. I have one of my dad, and husband doing the same thing. Did your dad fly in the Air Force long?
Also, your Grandmother is one brave woman! I think that is the biggest croc I've ever seen. You are so lucky to have the picture.
You have inspired me to do this sampler some day. What a great way to remember the special people in your life.
Hugs to you!

Mary said...

Michelle, what a touching tribute to your dad and grandmother, posted at at time when I'm sure it was painful to do so. Thank you so much for sharing your photos, your stitching and your memories and may there be comfort for you in it.

David said...

I have loved reading this beautiful story and how it has now been stitched onto linen... I am sorry for your loss but what a great way yoou have chosen to remember him. My prayers from across the big blue are with you and your family.

Wanda said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad and grandmother! I am so sorry for your loss. Wanda

marly said...

Yours was the most touching post I have read. How perfectly you fit the over one, and the verse for them is truly special. You have my sympathy for your loss.

valerie said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad and his mom Michelle. It brought me to tears and this finish is so special. I absolutely love it and I know he's looking down on you so proud. I am so sorry for your loss. *hugs*

Veronica said...

Very touching post, Michelle. What a wonderful tribute to two special people. It is a lovely block and the changes you've made makes it that much more meaningful.

Hugs,
Veronica.

Joy said...

Michelle, this post certainly left me misty. Words certainly fail to convey to you just how beautiful your tribute is to your father and your grandmother. I wish you peace and comfort, my friend.

Sherry said...

What a wonderful tribute! I just love these designs and how everyone personalizes them!

Penny said...

Typing through the tears. My heart breaks for you over the loss of your dad. What a beautiful tribute you have stitched. Wonderful pictures.

DebbieSFL said...

Michelle, I am sorry for your loss, but what a lovely tribute to your Dad and his mom.

Anonymous said...

that was a beautiful post, Michelle! thanks so much for sharing the story. And I am so very sorry about your dad. Debra in NC

Joy said...

Your stitching is lovely and what a beautiful tribute to your dad...sad he didn't see it finished. I'm sure he knows.

Mindi said...

Beautiful block, and I love reading the story behind the personal touches and changes you made to the block.

Valentina said...

Dear Michelle, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I send you lots of hugs!