Not all the events of this spring have been happy ones. I need to just say before I get to the point of my post that I'm gradually realizing (I guess I'm a slow learner) life is full of challenges. I'm learning to embrace unexpected issues and to expect them as part of "normal" life. I think I feel less side-tracked when I understand that there will always be some difficulty or unexpected issue that crops up. It's not effective for me to expect everything to settle down after an issue has been resolved, because there will inevitably be another one somewhere down the road. So if I expect challenges and embrace them as part of normal life, I'm less surprised when they arrive. I don't think that's a fatalistic perspective--just a small dose of reality to help keep everything balanced and in perspective and maybe to help me remember to celebrate little victories, too.
The reason I mention this is because last fall my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. This came as a tremendous shock to everyone in our family, since my mom had just finished treatment for breast cancer not six months earlier. But today is my sister's final round of chemo, and she should be feeling better in a week or so. She's handled all the extra attention gracefully, and I'm very proud of her for the ways that she's been both weak and strong through this entire process.
My sister and her family are surrounded by a loving community who have helped to take very excellent care of them during the past six months, and one of her dear friends organized a quilting bee to show her support. We each sewed a quilt block, and a couple of weeks ago a group of us got together to do a little quilting and to celebrate and support my sister. I think I counted ten women who assembled, and as we quilted we got to know each other, since we come from several different parts of my sister's life. These are strong women who each have experienced their own challenges and victories and have each contributed to my sister's treatment in different ways. It was an honor to meet them and to see how they each play a part in my sister's life. (I'm really restraining myself from using the quilt as a metaphor, here...)
Everyone signed a patch for the back of the quilt. I had the honor of signing for my sisters, my mother, and my grandmother, all of whom contributed blocks but live too far away to attend the party.
Here she is with it, almost finished. (I think she and the quilt both look fantastic, by the way.)
And I need to close this post with a little reminder: have you checked or been checked recently?
Please don't forget.