Sunday, March 10, 2013

Order and Chaos, Life and Death


I am constantly reminded of the chaos factor when I attempt to have an orderly life. I used to be such a list maker in an effort to keep my life in order that I would plan my activities to a segmented portion of each day, and never understood why things didn't work out the way I had planned (i.e., get that project finished BEFORE the event it was honoring), until someone much smarter introduced me to the chaos factor.

The last couple of months have fine-tuned my perspective on life, however, and although for the most part I gave up making lists long ago, I did have that thought that I really couldn't set out to do what I wanted until EVERYTHING was in its place and there was ORDER all around me. I also feel like I need huge chunks of uninterrupted time in order to do what I want. And when I say EVERYTHING I mean having all the tools I might need at my disposal, and that everyone else's needs have been attended to, all before I dig in. No more.

I have been lucky and blessed in my life to have not just one BFF, but several. They are wonderful girls (ok, women) that are rich in spirit and beauty and spunk, and I love them all so much. One of those besties, Katrina, experienced the loss of her mother last month, and another bestie passed away Wednesday.

When Katrina's mother passed away, I was away from home at a quilting retreat with another bestie. Feeling awful that I wasn't there with Katrina and holding her hand while she suffered her loss, I called my fabulous DH. He and my sister-in-law Robin immediately started cooking and took several meals to Katrina and her family. It doesn't sound like much and I certainly do not consider this a grand gesture, but I am a girl from and raised in the South, and that is what my people do. I still felt awful that I wasn't in person to do the cooking and delivering, but bless Katrina, she completely understood.

The bestie at the quilting retreat with me, Sharon, had learned in November that her cancer was back. She was still recuperating from her last round of chemo when we left for our retreat on February 1, and was moving very slowly. She didn't get to stitch much but she was able to enjoy the camaraderie of our group and told me on the way home that being there was the best medicine for her. She was leaving less than a week later for another quilting retreat in Myrtle Beach and I expressed my concern for her traveling while under the weather, but she was determined. The day following her return from that retreat was her next scheduled round of chemo, but it didn't happen. Her liver had started shutting down and it was time to get her affairs in order. Her doctor told her on February 21 she had 3-4 weeks left. That Sunday, I finished a quilt I had started last year for her and took it to her along with a cake I had made in the decorating class the day before, because I wanted her to have some pretty every day for the rest of her life. I took dinner to the family the following Friday. We held on to each other for a while and she told me, "Thank you for being my friend." I told her the privilege was all mine. She was buried yesterday.

The events that have happened in the last two months have made me very aware of the limited time we have. I'm no longer waiting for my studio (or my life) to be in order, or waiting until I can get my hands on the perfect tools, before I attack a project. I'm not going to obsess over the UFOs sitting in boxes, although I do plan to get at least a few of them done. I will no longer worry about all the other responsibilities I have when a loved one is in need. It's time to live life.

I love my besties. 

Happy quilting, and happy life,
Shari