Saturday, February 4, 2012

Focusing on the Details

Today I pinned the t-shirt quilt of my uncle's clothes.
The last time I saw him was in July 2010, less than a month before he died suddenly. 
We were visiting family and my mom was making a point to tell everyone about my new quilting hobby.
Everyone was crowded around a laptop, looking at pictures from this blog, and he looked at me and said pointedly "I like quilts." I asked him if that was supposed to be a hint.
I asked him what kind of quilt he would like and he said "I like hunting and deer and trees and motorcycles." I told him he'd have to wait and see, privately shuddering and the idea of making a deer themed quilt. (Although that nice Paint-by-number line did come to mind.)
I was going to make him two quilts for Christmas. A "tacky" deer and camo one for his hunting cabin and a nice Carpenter's Star for his home. I'd already been browsing for fabrics after I got home from that trip, although I hadn't bought any yet. I was thinking about the designs, planning them out in my head.
He was a young man. He was funny and warm and alive -- and now he isn't. Sometimes focusing on the details seems to make it a little easier to deal with.
When I don't look at the whole picture at once it doesn't hurt as bad.
These were his clothes. He was a big man; I was able to do all the background pieces from one camo shirt and still had some left over.
I think it's important with a t-shirt quilt that it doesn't look like just any other quilt made with fabric bought off the shelf. These were clothes; they were worn by a real person. There are buttons and zippers and tags.
He always made me hug with "both arms" before he would let me go.
He was big and tough -- but he loved cats.
He rode his Harley from Mississippi to Texas to see me when I graduated high school.
He killed himself on August 17, 2010 and we miss him every day.

Suicide is real, we need to talk about it. Please spread the word. There are resources, there is help. You aren't alone.  Suicide Prevention Hotline Directory

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