When you say something out loud then you know it's true.
I received an email a few days ago that the dear, sweet, obstinate, opinionated, sometimes cantankerous, and always, always, delightful lady that insisted I come to her quilting group many years ago, had passed away.
That email puzzled me to no end and many times I looked at it, trying to figure it out.
Today I told my husband the news, and then I cried; and I knew when I said it out loud it must be so.
Colleen knew me from the needlearts guild and kept telling me I should come to the Tuesday night quilting group; the Wednesday night group was more formal (they had matching napkins at tea-time) and dressed up a little, but the Tuesday group were just busy quilters, trying new things, excited for new books and patterns - it was the heyday of the quilting revival -
Come on a Tuesday, anytime after 7...
Finally, I went, and I never looked back, until the day I left the Yukon.
What a wonderful gift she gave me.... this quilting thing I do.
I could tell you so many hilarious stories about Colleen... my favourite though, was her penchant for going on quilting excursions. She would sign up for this or that course with this or that famous quilter, pick up, pack up and head off into the land of plentiful fabric (which was anywhere south of Teslin, Y.T.)
and embark on creative journeys that made each of us green with envy.
And she would come back some weeks later with nothing to show for her efforts.... nothing at all...
Colleen really didn't want to make anything anymore - she had decided she was too old for all that nonsense - she just loved the classroom environment. So she would spend the day (or days) helping anyone who wanted help - un-picking mis-sewn seams and so on, always dodging the quilting project... until the day she met up with Philomena Durcan (of Celtic Flowers fame)
All of Colleen's usual excuses were water off Philomena's back... she was able to fend off every one and even provided Colleen with her own, hand-dyed-by-herself- fabrics that were simply amazing because Colleen had-forgot-hers-at-home...
and Colleen came home with an applique-in-progress
she flung her purchases on the floor for all of us to peruse, and under the stack of lovely fabrics and books,
I spied something that looked suspiciously like a work-in-progress...
I pulled out it out from under, lifted it up for all to see and asked
"and what pray tell is this?"
She was almost sheepish in her mumblings and I asked again..
"Is this from your class?"
a mumbled "yes" and I burst out laughing
"What happened?" I asked
"She made me" was Colleen's reply, "that woman - she made me do that", and all twelve of us howled with laughter...
Philomena Durcan wouldn't have any of Colleen's excuses and provided her with everything she needed to take part in the class.
Colleen had met her match.
What a wonderful soul she was... such spirit and spunk... the kind of person that shared her opinions... and was always ready for yours
"I pray that risen from the dead,
I may in glory stand.
A halo perhaps, upon my head,
But a needle in my hand."
- Eugene Field
She would want that needle so bad...