A Quilter’s funeral

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I went to my best friend’s funeral today and my eyes are sore from crying. I helped in setting up the viewing and I am really proud that we got it right for Jen.  This is a bowl full of her hexagon collection.  The note describes how Jen loved her hexagons and to ask her friends and family to take one or more so that they would have a memory of her. She once gave me a bucket full of hexies and called it a “bucket full of smiles.”  The bowl is sitting on her first hexagon quilt, called “Odyssey;” 100s of 1/2inch hexies sewing to make a galaxy; Jen’s own pattern.  The quilting was perfect.

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Here is the whole table with her basket.  She brought that basket everywhere and she had so many projects ready to work on; hexies, spinning wool, knitting etc.

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This is her urn and more of her; her motivation quilt that I made her which included messages from her friends and family.  Her husband made the urn out of a maple tree that he and Jen found in the yard.  It is of course in the shape of a hexagon with a big smile engraved on one side and flowers on another. So beautiful and heartfelt.

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My Jen, Jen, Jen: the friend who was present and there for me in all my endeavours. I will miss her and I know that she will always be close to me, pushing me to live authentically.

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Ode to my best friend

Ode to Jennifer Giberson.  To one person, she was his life partner (Dany). To another she was his mother (Sam Uel).  To yet another, she was her mother-in-law (Émilie B-c). To others she was a sister and to parents, a daughter.   To others, she was a daughter in-law, a sister-in-law, an aunt and  a godmother.  To many others she was a colleague and yet to many more she was a friend, a most generous friend with time and genuine interest to give.   To me, she was my best friend and  she lost her battle with cancer.  She fought and boy did she fight hard.  Each day since June 6th when she was given a final diagnosis of no more treatment, she opened her eyes each morning and relished the new day.  Even if that new day included pain, it also included all the little things life is; 

– the birds on the patio, where she loved to sit as long as she could, to the point of falling asleep

–  the numerous amount of visitors who came by to keep her company and reminisce with her,

–  the portable hexagon project that kept advancing little by little because stitching was her therapy

– the rare spinning on the spindle when her arm could take it

– just looking at the wool in her basket, oh those colourful skeins, so vibrant, just like Jen.

– enjoying the site of her bulletin board, full of cards, pictures, and momentos

– the act of getting dressed EVERY DAY set as a priority

– Burger King  and Pizza Maximum

– her portable oooooooooooooms quilt, which she read and re read 

– the always smiling face for whoever, walked in the room, doctors, nurses and of course those many visitors

– the chattering or as we always called it, yakking

– wearing a red dress 

– taking a ride in the antique car

– little picnics with visitors

– the many stickers and texts 

– surprise visits from son

– red jello and strawberry milkshakes

The list goes on and on and really, how she lived these last two months is not as different to how she lived her life before she got sick.  Life was around her and in the present.  One of the many things that I take away from Jen is that life is is to be experienced and to be grateful  for.  Jennifer’s absolute optimism was her greatest strength.   Being positive because positivity was  like gas for her. It got her so far.   Being kind is also high on the Jen list; so many things that I take from her.   She gave us a lesson in dying ; an important lesson.

I miss her already. RIP my dear friend.  Jen, my angel,  is on my shoulder now, ready to push and prod me when I need it.  Thank you.

For those who don’t know how much Jen liked fiber, here is her blog: https://jensplayground.wordpress.com
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Jen was my greatest quilting buddy and my most “fibery” friend.

I am linking to The Needle and Thread Network