When We Don’t Live Long Enough…
I have been trying to write this post for a week. I can’t put my finger on what it is I want to say.
The family of a recently deceased guild member invited us into her home last week to shop her fabric stash. Two dollars a pound. I keep trying to find words for how this made me feel. I don’t seem to have the words.
Of course, I went. Lots of other quilters went, too. We were all interested in what this estate-sale-for-fabric-lovers had to offer. I was very excited about the sale—but I knew that my excitement was kind of sick, and a little bit twisted, somehow.
What I felt most strongly was this:
By going through the fabric and taking out whatever we wanted, were we violating the quilter, her work and the memory of her in our midst? One friend pointed out the obvious: “She’s gone.” But I couldn’t overcome the feeling that I was somewhere I shouldn’t be to do something I shouldn’t do.
My other emotion had to do with the volume of the fabric collection. There were many exclamations about how much fabric there was, but not from me, because my own stash is alarmingly healthy.
What bothered me was facing the reality that, like this person, I literally cannot live long enough to use up what I have amassed. Maybe it hit me head on that someday, it will be my stash that people come to shop for two dollars a pound.
What makes it worse is that this quilter lived an unusually long life. She was almost 95 when she died, she was healthy until the end, and yet she didn’t have time to use it all. Neither will I.
So here is my takeaway.
- If collecting that fabric made her happy, then fine! Good for her!
- If she felt inspired by her purchases, then fine! I’m happy about that!
- If I can be energized by the fabric I bought that day, then good! It’s getting a second chance to shine!
- And wouldn’t that make her happy? Wouldn’t she be ever so glad that her stash had found another good home? The answer is yes. Yes, she would!