Tuesday, June 9, 2015

For Mary and Terry

My mom met Mary when they were both working at Children's Hospital in Chicago.  They became friends quickly, and soon my parents became equally close with Mary's husband, Terry.  For almost 40 years the two couples would get together socially, talk on the phone, and celebrate milestones.

Last winter, Terry passed away after a long struggle with colon cancer.  Part of his process for saying goodbye was writing a poem for Mary that he wanted included in the program at his funeral.  Afterwards, my mom asked me if I could make embroidered art of the poem.  I'll admit that I was hesitant at first because I had just completed my first commission.  (It's been several months, and I am still getting nightmares about my client calling me on the phone to scream, "I HATE IT!  CHANGE EVERYTHING!")  But even when I wasn't trying to think about it, I began to form ideas in my head of how this piece would look, so I agreed to do it.

These are the last two lines of the poem.  I wrote them out in swirling, flowing lines evocative of the wind imagery in the piece.  The first line is dark blue, with each subsequent line in a lighter shade of blue.  The last word is two strands of white thread with one strand of silver Kreinik.  I'm going to mail this to my mom, who will frame it.  My mom loves the final result and I hope Mary will, too.

Develop a sensitivity to soft breezes
because if the dead do come back,
it'll be my words against your cheek.
Always remember, my love,
that walking through life with you
has been an honor and a pleasure.

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