Saturday, August 30, 2014

Working Towards Normal


 (why this pix?  no reason other than I love it and it conveys "dropping in" in my book.)

So much has happened in my life in the past few years that I have forgotten what "Normal" is for myself and my family.  My mother was diagnosed with end stage Pancreatic Cancer back in Jan. 2013 and she passed away in May that year.  In October I had an accident and broke my left ankle (one of those bad breaks that required surgery and metal plates/screws....nasty and life changing) and then my very dear friend Mary Jane started becoming more and more aware that the blood disorder she had was becoming more serious (Myeloid  Leukemia) and she has recently passed.  If all of that wasn't enough, just before she passed I had to have surgery to remove the metal from my left ankle.  Clearly..."normal" has long since been lost and today was the first day that I got out of bed and thought to myself....what would be fun and enjoyable to do this morning. 

It didn't take long to find some fun...

These placements arrived in the mail yesterday from Joanne at Splitting Stitches Blog.   If you have not had a chance to see the very cool placemats you can click HERE.  Joanne had made a huge stack of placemats and took them to the Dartmouth Hospital Children's Rheumatoid Arthritis Camp for the children to color/paint.  When you read her post (HERE) you'll easily see how much children enjoy painting their own placemats. 

My co-workers jumped right into the Fabric Markers and began to color in their placemats.
Oldest Co-Worker with a bit-o-tude :)
Talk about an uplifting morning....we all had a ball.  The best part of Joanne's Placemats is that anyone can color/paint them and enjoy them not matter how young or old they may be.

While we were painting I started thinking about the class I took from Patt Blair at the Empty Spools Seminar last March.  Had I had one of these to practice on before I started my Elephant....I may have been a wee bit more relaxed.  Live and learn :)

Now that I've shared what getting back to "Normal" is for us....what is "Normal" for you and your clan?

Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Returning from PA


Mary Jane Wheatley Ehlich in 1955

Mary Jane's memorial service was perfect!  Her oldest son, Mark gave the eulogy.....his mother would have been beaming with pride.  Mark read from 1st Corinthians. 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Mark was brave....I could not have done what he did and his words seemed divinely chosen.  

Mary Jane was indeed patient, kind, humble AND generous in sharing her own gifts with others.  This world is a different place because she was here....the  gifts she shared with all of us will ripple throughout time.  I thank God for Mary Jane and will be forever changed because she was my dear sweet friend.

I have no idea how on earth I'll ever manage without her, but somehow I will have to.  I can hear her words in my mind and I know what she'd say to me so I'll have to rely on those thoughts until I have the great fortune of making my own transition. (Right now she'd say, "Dry your eyes Gal, you have things to do.")

Mary Jane the reason I started I Have A Notion, Inc. (IHAN) and I used to refer to her as the East Coast Head of Operations.  She always got a kick out of that title.   I guess it would be fitting to now call her IHAN's Chief Guardian Angel In Charge :)

Driving back to OH I saw a sunflower field and my van stopped almost on a dime.  It was a huge field and those beautiful flowers filled my heart with such joy and comfort.  I stood on the side of the freeway crying for what seemed like an hour knowing I'll now have to refer to my memories and there won't be any more phone calls or visits with her on this earth.  The flowers I sent for MJ's memorial service specifically included sunflowers...because Mary Jane was tall and bright just like these beautiful sunflowers.  I have been so immensely blessed it is beyond description.

The photo at the top of this post was one that MJ's boys had pulled from a family photo album.  I had not seen this this photo nor any photos of Mary Jane as a young woman.  Talk about a real beauty....just like those sunflowers :)

If you would like to read her obituary you can find it HERE.

Thank you for the cards and e-mails as I have found great comfort in them.  I'll be getting back to the focus of my blog very soon.....until then.....

Mary Jane Wheatley Ehlich, 77, of Covington, died Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at her home.
She was the devoted wife of William (Bill) J. Ehlich for 59 wonderful years. She was born Jan. 10, 1937, in Blossburg, the daughter of the late Edward and Ruth Brent Wheatley.
Mary Jane lived in Covington till she met her husband who was in town on leave from the Navy.
They moved to Detroit, Mich., Louisville, Ky., and Charlotte, N.C., where she had a highly successful career with Squires Construction Company. After retirement they moved back to her family homestead where they took pleasure rekindling old friendships and making many new. Restoring and adding to the family home was also such a joy. Mary Jane's love, second only to her family was quilting. She was an award winning hand-quilter who mastered the art of needle turn appliqué. She was a member of the Charlotte Quilters Guild before returning to Covington and co-founding the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild in Wellsboro. Mary Jane shared her talents and gifts willingly and mentored the Tuesday Quilters who have developed formidable appliqué skills under her tutelage. Her legacy includes a prodigious collection of heirloom quilts that will be treasured for generations to come. She and Bill also enjoyed traveling with the Lions Club which took them to many faraway places.
In addition to her husband, survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law, Mark Ehlich and his wife, Susan of Locust, N.C., Scott Ehlich and his wife, Diana of Forest, Va.; grandchildren include William Ehlich and Matthew Gladdan, Ashly Eudy and her husband, Josh, and two great-grandchildren, August and Zain. Also surviving is one brother, George Wheatley of Covington; niece Patsy Evans and husband, Brad.
The family will receive friends on Sunday Aug. 24, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Wilston Funeral Home 130 S. Main St., Mansfield. A memorial service will follow there at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, a memorial in Mary Jane's memory may be made to Blossburg Ambulance, 524 Main St., Blossburg, Pa. 16912 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tiogapublishing/obituary.aspx?pid=172202698#sthash.kif8FB8N.dpuf
Great Smiles of Joy and Gratitude!
Kelly


Thursday, August 21, 2014

My New Guardian Angel

My very dear, sweet, strong, kind, generous, loving and truly mind blowing quilter and treasured friend/mentor Mary Jane Ehlich has left her human experience as of 8/20/14.   I am so very joyful to say I believe she is my guardian angel (not to say I'm the only one :) and that the bond that connects us can never be broken.

I will post more about Mary Jane and her Award Winning Quilts, but for now, I grieve and I will be going to PA for her Memorial Service. 

Kelly


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