Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lack of Perfection

I finally finished my quilt last night. It isn't perfect. Squares don't match at corners. Stitches are wrong. Binding isn't even. Has so many flaws. Since my sewing machine died a few months ago, I decided to stagger ties throughout different squares.

It has taken me five years to finish this quilt. I'd sew squares together and put it all away. Pull it out months later and do some more sewing. Life would get in the way and I'd forget about it. Store it away again. Illness would prevent me from holding a needle. Store it away. Would be so sick I couldn't get out of bed. Lupus flares would last for weeks. Would forget about the quilt altogether.

While packing for my move to KY, I just stuffed the quilt into my vintage cotton picking basket and piled other things on top. Had forgotten all about it until a week or so ago when I went through the basket to clean it out. There was the quilt - pins and all. Still waiting for the binding to be put on.

I didn't know how to put on a binding so I searched the internet for a tutorial on how to do one. Picked up a new ironing board at an estate sale, pulled out my iron, some fabric, and made a binding for this quilt. It was time to finish what I had started five years before.

I struggled. Hard. My hands swollen with pain from lupus flares. Hard to hold a needle, but I did it. I knew I couldn't "quilt" the quilt, so ties would have to do. At any rate, I finished the quilt.

Flaws and all, I am happy with it. There entwined in every square, in every thread, in every hour spent are memories of painful memories, sickness, loss. All of them have come together to create a quilt. It is warm and comfortable.

Today at my Bible study, a discussion was started about what we could pass down to our families that would show our faith. So many talked about their children and grandchildren. I sat silent. I don't have any children. I don't have any family at all. I don't know what will happen to my belonging when I die. It made me sad because I was the only person who sat silently.

I don't have anyone to pass belonging on to when I die, but it doesn't matter. After all, they are just things. What we do now is what matters. We're like the quilt I made - full of flaws. We don't match at the corners, imperfect, showing mix matched threads. But we all have a purpose in life. Just because I don't have a family doesn't mean I am any less special than those ladies who have grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

It is hard enough sometimes for me to accept my position in life. How I wish other people wouldn't add to that burden. There are far too many people walking around with magnifying glasses passing judgement on every flaw we have.

Perhaps we should stand at a distance and see the whole person instead of looking for the nit picking flaws.


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