Monday, August 06, 2012
Life and death and craft
We went to a funeral on Saturday. As always, going to a funeral brings up some big questions that I usually have trouble answering. Who am I? Am I living the best life I can? Am I making a difference? What am I leaving behind?
The mass itself was a quietly joyful celebration, farewelling one who was glad to move on to the next stage. We moved through the hymns, the readings, the homily, and then our friend's daughter stood up to deliver the eulogy. She spoke affectionately of her father, and recounted the many small things that he did that all combined to make him a terrific father, husband, man. And that answered quite a few of the questions for me.
This living business isn't really about accumulating material wealth, or status, or power. It's about doing acts of love, and it's the small, regular ones, performed without any fanfare, that really reflect who you are as a person. It's the reading the wee ones a bedtime story every single night, even when you are tired and full of the can't-be-bothereds. It's making your best friend her favourite soup when she arrives unannounced for lunch. It's smiling at a stranger who looks like they need a bit of cheer. It's donating money to a charity, or giving blood, or volunteering for some essential but unfashionable cause - done because it's the right thing to do, and for that reason only. No reward expected.
Sometimes I lose sight of all that. I feel I should be more. More what, exactly, I'm never quite sure of, but I just feel that I should be more impressive, more respected, more consumeristically awe-inspiring. Which is stupid, because I really am where I should be, right now. I am the mother to a wonderful daughter. I have a terrific, top-notch husband. So what if we don't fly to Thailand twice a year to top up our tans. So what if we don't have a huge, fancy house on the perfect street, with a shiny latest model car out the front. So what if we don't eat out much, or own the latest gadgets because the budget doesn't quite stretch that far. We have each other, and we have plenty of love, and we have more than enough to share in the big scheme of things, so we do. And that is what it really should be all about. I just need to ignore the outside influences, powered by millions of dollars of marketing fees, that try to tell me otherwise. Because at the end of the day, I'm pretty sure that nobody at my funeral will be thinking that I was a fabulous person because I always had the latest Apple iPhone.
So the next day, with all these big thoughts swirling through this old noggin of mine, I gathered my girl and together we sewed ourselves some new pyjamas pants. And as we sewed, and chatted, and taught, and learnt, I thought to myself that if I could be summed with "She was a mother who sewed jimmie jams with her daughter", then I would be happy with that. Because it's not just about pyjamas, is it? It's about spending time with my dearest girl, letting her know that she is beloved, and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than by teaching her, stitch by stitch, what I know. And that I'm honoured that she wants to spend her day that way too.
Whew! Enough of the heavy stuff. Bring on the pjs dancing!
Pattern used for my pants: Butterick 5432
Pattern used for Grumble's pants: Simplicity 5338
Fabric: Amy Butler and Lesley Grainger flannel from GJ's Discount Fabrics.