Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To Shirley

Sorry everyone, no photos tonight.
Last night I took my Mom to the ER at 10pm. She had a "small" heart attack.....how do they grade those things anyway????
She had a cardiac cath today, and they are putting a stent in tomorrow. So I have been at the hospital all day, and I couldn't comprehend the camera.
It got me to thinking about my old friend. Shirley, who died a year ago.
I was looking back at some old emails she had written me, and I came across this one that I wrote for her.
For some reason, it resonated with me tonight, so I thought I would share it with you.

She was only 5 years younger than my mother. She was diagnosed with cancer in her spine in March, and was gone in 6 weeks. Having my mother in ICU brings it all right back. Shirley was my friend, but she could have been my mother. Mom is well, my mother, but she is also my friend.

Here it is:

I don't drink, but I am having a drink right now, Bailey's on the
> rocks, in tribute to my friend, Shirley Simms, who passed away this
> afternoon.
> She could be quite outspoken, and even cranky, but she taught me a lot
> about weaving, and even some about life. Even towards the end, she
> was joking about not being able to be on "dancing with the stars", and
> saying that she didn't have time for this "crap"....cause she planned
> on going to Nashville to be a county music star.....even in the pain
> she was in, she joked.
> I met Shirley on Rugtalk...several years ago.....we started emailing
> back and forth.....eventually we talked on the phone...and she coached
> me....(along with Chris Gustin, and if I am good at weaving rag rugs,
> it is because of them.)
> Finally I went to KY when we were visiting family in Tenn....and we
> actually met.....I spent time with her there...and then a year later,
> she came to NY and spent a week with me and my family, and she came to
> weave with me at the studio....she entertained everyone at Knit Night,
> and she had too much to drink at the Artists' Pot Luck dinner I
> hosted.....she got stuck in the Cambridge loom when she was threading
> it, and we had to haul her butt out of it......
> She shared her life with me, her worries, her sorrows,her hopes and
> dreams...she shared her loss of her son, Buddy, when he died in the
> fire.....she shared her recipes,her love of food, her knowledge of
> knitting and weaving, she sent me books and yarn and hats and
> fabric....she kept me laughing with her antics and her stories...she
> was one of a kind. She told me to call her Flossie.....that's what
> her friends called her....and said she got that name because she
> flossed her teeth excessively....I shoulda known.
> Right before she went in the hospital, she sent me a beautiful antique
> quilt.....an absolutely stunning thing.....and I called her, and said,
> my God, this is an awfully nice gift.......is it for my birthday? And
> she said, no...it is just because you are you..........
> I think she knew then that she wasn't going to make it.....I think
> that the quilt was her parting gift.
> I hope she is with Buddy now, and they are both weaving rugs, and
> there is no pain for either of them.
>
> thanks all for listening.
> Hilary
> who is shedding a tear or two in rainy NY
> Crazy as a Loom

9 comments:

Country Girl said...

What a beautiful post. Beautiful!
I hope your mother will be allright. Good to catch it in time and not have a full blown one.

Your memories of Shirley are incredible. When you told the part about her giving you the quilt, I thought "that's what I would do". I would begin giving away the things that I loved. To the people I loved.

Thinking of you in Maryland.

T said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend.

Sending tons of good thoughts for your mom!

Anonymous said...

Sending prayers and healing thoughts to your mom. I hope she comes home soon.

They say there are the people in your life who are family and there are friends, and then there are those who are the people "of your tribe" those like Shirley who we make a connection and a bond that is almost unexplainable except to say they are members of your tribe, whom you connect with as though they have been lost members you've finally found again. I am sorry for your loss of your friend Shirley. One can hear in your writing she was a tribe sister to you. Your tears honor her memory and your friendship.
Jaimie

Sharon said...

I've made friendships throughout my life but the ones that are still with me are the ones I made through fiber connections. We seem to be woven together - forgive the pun.

Hard times with your mom, I can tell your from experience. I don't think there's anything that can prepare us daughters in advance.

Hilary said...

Thinking and sending my best thoughts for your mother.

I'm sorry for the pain you feel for the loss of your friend, Shirley. It sounds like she was an incredible person and wonderful friend.

Hilary said...

Wow, you are all amazing.
You have touched me with your kind words, and brought tears to my eyes.
Thank you for being there.
I needed that this morning.

Eulalia (Lali) said...

I hope the best for your mother, and for you and your family.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Sending much love your way from Roanoke, Virginia. Hoping for the best outcome for your mother.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

need_a_latte_mom said...

Praying for health and strength for you and your mother.
God bless.

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