December 24, 2018

It's Christmas Eve and I'm not where I expected to be.

I arrived back home in NYC last Monday from seven weeks on the road -- Quilt Market, Quilt Festival, teaching, and spending some time with family and friends -- to find two things: 1) my toilet was leaking badly and had to be replaced and 2) my niece had injured her back.

I got to sleep in my own bed for 2 nights. Wednesday morning I ran to the plumbing supply and got a new toilet which my superintendent installed immediately. An hour later I was out the door to catch a bus to my niece's home in Connecticut. We spent the night at the emergency room.

It's the next Monday. A lot has happened in a week. Doctor's visits. An MRI (seeing the images, the neurosurgeon was surprised she had any feeling in her hips and that she could walk at all). Prescriptions. Lots of phone calls to her grad school advisor trying to figure out how to keep her on track to continue her studies to become a nurse anesthetist.

It's not the Christmas we were expecting. But we have received gifts in the form of many acts of kindness over the past few days:

Doctors who squeezed her in for consults early in the morning, or at the end of the day, and even today, on Christmas Eve.

Her roommate who took over walking her two dogs without even being asked.

Grad school colleagues who have helped her study for the exams she missed.

The pharmacist who remembered her and sent a personal get-well even when I was the one picking up her meds.

A caring advisor who is doing everything possible to keep her on track in her program.

These have been our Christmas angels

Of course, it goes without saying that Kate has been spending a lot of time in bed. On her bed is a quilt that I made for her earlier this year. It's not a work of art, it absolutely would not win any awards. I threw the top and the back together in a day from some leftover fabric and had a friend quilt it in a quick, easy allover pattern. The dogs jump on it. It has already been through the wash numerous times. But that's the beauty of it: it's pure comfort.

Sometimes we think that a quilt has to be extraordinarily beautiful, that it must embody weeks and months of time and effort, in order to be special. And yes, these quilts are special in their way.

But the quilts that we can throw on the floor, take on a picnic, let the baby barf on, and yes, curl up on the bed WITH the dogs: these quilts are special precisely because they can do all those things. Like a dear friend who loves us despite our flaws, these "friendly" quilts are there for us for better and for worse. 

May your life be full of angels, and friendly quilts.

Happy holidays ~ RaNae

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