Monday, August 2, 2010

Missing Lee

I’ve been a very sad quilter for the last week because a dear friend of mine passed away after an 18-year long battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I’ve just returned from her “Celebration of Life” and feel revived with the spirit of love and friendship but still ache for what she went through especially the past 2 years after enduring an experimental treatment at Stanford which, sadly, destroyed her lungs. When her lungs collapsed 2 weeks ago, she refused further treatment, called everyone to say good-bye and left this earth.

Her call to me was to ask “an enormous favor”. Oh, anything Lee, ANYthing at all. Her request was for me to finish 2 quilts she’d started for her daughter and her niece. Lee had only made a few quilts and she was very precise and thoughtful in her process so I hope I can complete them as she would have wanted. These black, white and red heart blocks meant for her niece Caitlin are a quilt-as-you-go method and I’m honored to finish them for her.

Lee lived to see her daughter from college traveling to Oregon only last month to attend the ceremony. She met the boyfriend and his parents and was very happy with her daughter’s choice. I know this meant the world to her. Lee was always cheerful, having that sort of smile that made her eyes squint and twinkle. She was so intelligent and well-read and she was a wonderful cook inviting friends to her immaculate home often. Lee was 61.

I’m so lucky to have had Lee call me ‘friend’ for the past 8 years. Our circle of friends is a tight one and although our light will burn a little less brightly, we will continue to watch and discuss movies together and don our purple dresses and red hats while keeping Lee in our hearts forever.