Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grandpa’s Quilt

DSC_0392 copy My Grandpa Ed has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). It’s an awful disease that robs you of every voluntary movement you can imagine—limb movement, speaking, swallowing, etc. Ironically, it rarely affects your brain. My Grandpa  Ed is a citrus/avocado rancher in Southern California. He likes to tell us about how his Dad sold some of their ranch land to build Disneyland and how they planted the trees  there too. Supposedly my Grandpa was offered a life time pass to Disneyland but he turned it down.  That’s Grandpa—no fluffy entertainment for him. He was always too busy grafting trees and catching rattlesnakes on the ranch to worry about spending time with mouse ears. As a child I always remember him saying in his very deep voice, “I’m a mountain man!” Seeing as I live 500 miles away, there isn’t much I can do to help him in his ailing condition. But my amazing family and extended family have really pulled through since my Grandma’s death 3 weeks ago—staying nights with him, feeding him homemade pureed soups, driving him to doctor appointments, cleaning his home, you name it.
So my sister Patty and I decided to do the one thing we could do—show Grandpa we love him by making him a quilt. Despite Patty’s busy full-time work schedule (she lives near me), she made quite a few squares in just 2 days! Then together we layered the backing, batting, and quilt top. We stretched, we pinned and got it all ready for the quilting process. I finished it off with my hands and tears working overtime, and tomorrow the post office will take it away. I hope this mountain man knows how much he’s meant to all of us—even if he has ‘just’ been our step Grandpa. As an adoptive mom, trust me, I know that blood doesn’t make a family—relationships and love do.

granpas quilt 007 copy granpas quilt 011 copy

15 comments:

Nancey said...

A beautiful gift. Love the embroidered message.

Andi said...

Seriously beautiful!!!

thefoxkids said...

Oh Cynthia I am so sorry your family is going through this.. I know how hard it is to be far away when family is suffering! the Quilt is BEAUTIFUL!!! and I love the message!
big hugs
KyLeyne

thefoxkids said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Cyhthia,

Even though I helped, you had the "hard" part of quilting this. Thank you, you did a beautiful job!

I love, love, love what you said. "As an adoptive mom, trust me, I know that blood doesn’t make a family—relationships and love do." It's ironic because I said the same thing to Trevor the other night. I am not an adoptive mom, but I have dear and sweet nieces and a nephew who are, and know with 200% certainty that blood does not make a family.

I love you, sister dear!

Love,
Patty

Joseph Alves said...

Nice quilt Cynthia. I'm sure granpa will love it. You're right, blood doesn't make family. No one calls him anything but grandpa. Funny thing is once I took this crazy girl up to grandpas to go fishing and when she met grandpa she said "so that's where Joe gets his good looks". Grandpa turned red of course and quickly denied any part of that....

Carolyn said...

Cynthia,
Grandpa will LOVE this so much!! What a thoughtful thing for you guys to do, and it turned out so beautiful. I know it will make him feel so loved and happy.

Carolyn#2

Anonymous said...

Beautiful quilt. I need to spend more time on your blog so that I can see more of your projects. By the way, I think we have the same hair cut. It's been too long. We need to have lunch.

Michelle Clark

Michael said...

Dear daughters,

You have put a lump in my throat! What a touching gesture! I love you guys!

Dad

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Cynthia and Patty for making this for Ed. I know he appreciates things like this more than some would know. I bet it will be over his lap almost 24/7!

You are so right about family. While I loved my dad dearly I also love Ed and do consider him a Step Dad as he gave me a place to live for about 7 years and helped me get my first car. I made payment back to him every week for the money he spotted me. Underneath his tough Mountain Man exterior is a man who really learned to love our family. My children have great memories to retain of him for their lifetime as Grandpa. The first time he gave my kids horsey rides I was shocked to see him loosen up!

When I stayed the night with him at the hospital this last week he kept trying to get his sweat pants, I had thought he wanted to split the hospital but now I think he just wanted to wear them and be more comfortable in them over those horrible gowns that are so drafty! My guess is also since the boys (Mike Jr., Jordan and Sam) went and picked them out for him they as well have some special meaning to him.

Uncle Jeff

Cassandra said...

That is so awesome Cynthia! What a great idea, he always has a blanket on his lap. I can't wait to see it in person :)

Cassandra said...

And ditto on the adoptive mom thing...I'm in the same boat, even though I haven't had her since birth. I feel like family is who is there in your life, raising you up, teaching you what you need to know and giving you love. In his own way grandpa gave us all his love. I know he loves each of us as his own, he's never made a distinction of "step" and neither have we :)

Melissa L. said...

What an incredibly sweet and heartfelt (and beautiful!) gift, and all the sweeter because the two of you poured your hearts into it together. He's so lucky to have you both to love him! I'm sorry your family I going through such a rough time - here's wishes of sunshine and laughter :)

Melissa

Win said...

That is such a wonderful idea...it turned out beautifully!!

Anonymous said...

Cynthia, although we've never met in person, I've seen many photos of you and your beautiful family, and heard many wonderful things about you through your sweet sister, Patty, that it's as if we HAVE met.

Patty told me about the quilt you and she were working on, and I was so excited to see the photos! It is absolutely beautiful--and, I know your Grandpa will feel the love that went into it! Such a heartfelt and beautiful gift!

When you said that 'blood doesn’t make a family, and that relationships and love do'...that is the absolute truth! I experienced that very thing growing up as a foster child.

Thank you for sharing your Gift to Grandpa with all of us!

Patty's friend,
Sage

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