How am I going? It’s been a really hard path to walk.

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

 

Lost Quilts – Gold Coast Quilters I need your help

My mum gave two (or more) nearly finished quilts to somebody on the Gold Coast (we think in Mudgeeraba) to do the machine quilting or binding?  She gave them to this person sometime before June 2012.  We have no record or phone number of who she gave these quilts to and this person has not phoned to let us know they are finished.  We would really like to find these quilts as they were made specially for family members.  

Could you please help us locate the quilts, if you know of machine quilters or person that binds them on the Gold Coast that has 1 or 2 quilts waiting for ‘Caryl’ we would be so grateful if you could put us in touch with them .  It would mean so much to have these back.  Please email me [email protected] if you have any information.

I have received a few emails asking how I have been going with the process of helping to sort through my parents house after the passing of mum.  If you are new to the blog, you can read further about the first step of decluttering mums home.    

Firstly I would like to say thank you for all the messages to see how I am, you are all so wonderful.  

Of course loosing my mum has been the hardest and most emotional time of my life.  I have regrets, I wish I spent more time with her, wish we didn’t have our fight at Christmas, wish I told her I loved her more, wish she could watch her grandkids grow up, wish I didn’t have a cold the day before she had her seizure so I could of given her a better hug and kiss, wish that she taught me how to quilt, I always thought we had time for that later, in the future.  We didn’t have the perfect mother daughter relationship, but without a doubt we loved each other and I know she was really proud of me.

Mum had a lot of boxes with items she had collected over the years, opening the boxes and seeing what she has collected and kept really made us realise that she struggled to throw anything away.  However because mum had so much, I feel it’s made the process of loosing her so much harder.  I was helping Dad each week to go through the boxes, those following nights I couldn’t sleep, it was emotionally draining.  I wish that I was able to learn why she kept so much and she felt like she couldn’t throw it away.   I felt like I let her down as I didn’t help her.

I did hit breaking point when it came to the day of sorting through mums quilting room.  Prior to this day I couldn’t bring myself to open a drawer or look into a cupboard in her quilting room.  I would not of normally gone through her things if she was with us, that’s rude, I felt like I was intruding.  All morning I took my time just standing around and just being in the room.  I then made the terrifying start and looked through a few drawers, I found a drawer she had labelled quilts for Miss 7 and Mr 9 (my son and youngest daughter), I lost it as these were materials she had purchased to make them quilts, these are quilts for them that she will not start or complete.  I couldn’t hold myself together and Dad found me on the floor crying.  

Previous to this day Dad found me in many ‘moments’, and without words exchanged just gave me a hug, he knew how I was feeling.  But this day, boy it was hard.  Quilting was mum’s passion, she was only a few months shy of her 20 year membership with the local Gold Coast Quilter Guild which she joined with her mum.  Possibly when the kids got older and I was over my scrapbooking phase I could have joined her too, she always hinted at it.  Later that afternoon Mum’s friends came to help us make a start on sorting through the room, looking at all her sewing machines, she had quite the collection a good 5 or 6, possibly more.  One of the friends so kindly pointed to a sewing machine, she looked at me and said ‘your mum brought this for Miss 9’ she wanted the girls to have a sewing machine each (mum brought a sewing machine for the girls last year as a joint christmas gift).  This was so kind of mum, I just wanted to hug her.  

Her friends then searched through mum’s items looking for things the girls could have and finding all different treasures mum had gathered. However, I found it really hard watching them look through, picking things up and commenting about each of them as I had a very hard time doing it myself.  I broke down and got really upset.  My emotions were not understood by those in the room and I asked for a pause to be put on going through mum’s quilt room.  It was too soon, I couldn’t do it.  I felt by going through mum’s most precious items and sorting through them and removing them from the room was like hitting reality she has really gone.  I just wanted more time to spend in it, untouched.  I wanted time to find the scissors that mum used each day, I wanted her tape measure and pin cushions see what projects she was working on.  Mum had a lot of brand new items that would fill a sewing kit, but I just wanted her things.  The following week, I was able to spend some time alone in her room, I was talking to her as though she could hear me and slowly, calmly looked at all the things she had been working on over the past 20 years.  I unfortunately couldn’t find her scissors or other items she used daily and still couldn’t bring myself to look through most of her stuff.

Up until this point I had been regularly helping Dad.  However, after this episode and emotional heartache I couldn’t bring myself to sort through, throw out or help prepare mum’s room for a garage sale.  I had to emotionally step back, which has been really really hard, I cry often at the thought that other people are helping do this.

Dad has had two garage sales and one quilting sale.  The sales went really well, however we were not able to get everything out onto the tables, there is more still to sort through.  The items that didn’t sell have been donated to charity.

Apart from the huge emotions of sorting through Dad’s house there have been others.  I have had some wonderful support from friends that have called frequently to ask how I am, trying to get me out for coffee or dinner.  I have become a bit of a hermit, there was a stage that I couldn’t bring myself to go out.  I have lived on the Gold Coast all my life and I feel that wherever I go, I have been there with mum, it’s a constant reminder.  I know there will come a time that this will be happy and fond memories, however now I can’t help but cry.

I do however have family and friends that have surprised me with their reactions to what I am going through.  Perhaps they can’t deal with my tears or that they have not gone through the same thing so have no idea how I am feeling.  But can I please say, if you have a loved one that has lost somebody, please just be there for them, don’t wait for an invite, just knock on their door,  make them a coffee, sit and watch TV with them and it’s OK to ask how they are going because all they want to know is that you care.  Like it says below, it gives your loved one the strength they need at this point in time.

image credit

So… long story short, I am getting there, this process has been longer than one would expect because of the many boxes we had to sort through, but together with my hubby, kids, Dad and brothers we will get through it.  

On a brighter note, mum had nearly finished a quilt for Miss 9.  One of mum’s friends kindly completed the quilt for us.  This is such a pretty quilt and so perfect for Miss 9, she is beyond happy and feels so very special to have a quilt that was made by her Nanny, something that I am sure she will treasure forever.  When I was growing up mum would always have a matching pillow on my bed, so I am going to try to make a pillow to match as I know this is what Mum would have done.

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