I've been a lucky soul in this lifetime. I was privileged to know all four of my Grandparents, and most of my Uncles & Aunties. My fab four passed on several decades ago now, and there are a few remaining elders. I don't do much to stay in touch; some phone calls, cards and occasionally they get one of my small practice quilts in the form of mug rugs or pot holders.
One of my Aunties lives in Webster, South Dakota. When I call her (and say who I am), there is this pause of maybe 10-15 seconds, where time stands still and then she repeats my name, and I am a child again, standing at her door, suddenly to be swept inside with all her warm love around me, holding me close. I have come home to her heart.
I made another mug rug. It measures about 7" round. I was unsure of the pattern found in a recent Quilting Celebrations, but gave it a go. It was its roundness that I feared! Even the binding was easier than I thought, though I pinned the heck out of it.
This is the backside batik, which so looks like a tree. Some time ago, I posted a PayItForward offer on Facebook asking folks to nominate an elder they would like to honor. In my offer, I said that I would make something and send it to their person (family or friend) as a gift from them. No one took me up on it. Then I thought about the elders in my own family. My Aunties (Helen, Mary, Carrie, Diane & Jane) and the Uncles (Jim, Richard & Bob). All of them still live on their own in their late 80's now.
As I said, I was a lucky soul to have them all in my life. If I took the time, I could easily remember the laughter and joy I felt in their presence. They helped make me confident in who I am, taught me something special about life and family, and being human. As a family, we didn't take a lot of photos, but the few I do have are such treasures to me.
And like most people as we age, I imagine that all of them have downsized their homes and would rather not have to dust something new, so sending them mini quilts like the one I made and sent to my Auntie Carrie, needs to be something she can actually use. A 7" mug rug can hold that glass of water next to her bed at night. It can hold a vase of flowers on her table.
When next I call, I imagine she will thank me & in her gratitude make me feel the warmth & unconditional acceptance I did every time I stood at her door. She is one of those folks whose love touched me and whose lives were the example for me to pay it forward.