No words can convey my shock, my sadness, or my surprise at this day. One of my dear customers, who had decided last fall that this would be her year to take a grand prize ribbon at the fair, came into the shop today. I asked if she'd come through the flood alright and immediately I knew better. As it turns out, her ground-floor apartment was a total loss, but sadder still was the loss of her life's tokens. Family photographs and her grandmothers' quilts were ruined, as it wasn't just rain water, but backed up sewage that first invaded her home. The photo quilt she'd began as her county fair entry was gone,as were the precious wedding photos of her parents and both sets of grandparents. The memory quilt was lost to the flood.
Or was it? We'd scanned in the photos to Picasa and there they still were, on the computer. She had tears in her eyes this morning when she realized that she still had access to those old family photographs. True, it'll be quite some time before she'll be settled into a new apartment (a hot commodity, with all that's been condemned), and she's currently without sewing machine, but the emotion in her voice was strong and her eyes glittered beneath the tears... the memory quilt will come to be, and it has some new memories tagging along. As I gathered up her purchase into a bag, she flashed such a beaming smile at me. The normalcy of picking out fat quarters and rebuilding her stash made her feel good, like anything was possible, that her world will return to a pattern she recognizes. Today I was privileged to offer her a listening ear, and some encouragement. Today, hope looked like a bag of cloth, a spool of thread, and a smile.
Perhaps all that we can ever really have is hope.