An Amazing Gift

My Dad, brother and sister came out to visit me on December 23rd and brought a Jeep loaded to the roof with Christmas gifts. It was so kind of them to do that and brave freezing rain on the highway. They took back the gifts from us too but the Jeep wasn't quite so full on the way back. ;)

One gift though, was not a Christmas gift. This gift was a Juki sewing machine. This machine was given to me by a dear quilting friend named Lou who is very ill with cancer and can no longer sew on her machines. This gift comes under such sad circumstances but I am very honoured to be chosen to receive it. Lou is a bit older than my Mom and she and I used to go to Quilt Guild meetings when I was in my early 20's before I had children. She has been a family friend since I was in high school.

Those of you who read my blog know that my 14 year old Kenmore machine has seen better days. Here is a photo on one of her sadder days. The light bulb burned out so I duck taped a flashlight to the machine.
I have since bought a new light bulb for her and my Dad and Mom are coming to visit me again soon so Dad says he will bring his tools and service it for me.

Going back to the Juki; this would be a fantastic gift to receive on any day but compared to the Kenmore it really blows me away. I was so amazed when I first received it that I thought there must be a mistake. My Mom did not come out on the day trip because my 90 year-old Grandma is also ill in the hospital and happens to be on the same floor as Lou. I called my Mom who has visited Lou in the hospital and asked "Is she sure she wants to give this to me?" And Mom said "yes, she knows you will use it for many years." And I still couldn't believe it.Then I asked "why doesn't she set it up in the dining room if she cannot get downstairs to her sewing studio?" And then my Mom explained that Lou is very ill and is dying. She had breast cancer and it has become bone cancer. I am so sad about this. I wrote Lou a letter and told her that I was so honoured to receive this gift but that I would give it back without a second of hesitation if I knew it would make her well again.

All that she asks of me is that I consider sewing Quilts of Valour on the machine as she had hoped to do. If course I will sew Quilts of Valour. Being a Canadian soldier's wife this cause is dear to my heart. So last night I set up the machine and taught myself how to thread it and sewed the little pin cushion you see in the top photo. I have already chosen a quilt pattern and a soldier to sew for. So I will let you all know how I do with that soon.

In the meantime, I must go dry the tears from my face as writing this post has me crying again. My friend Lou is such a wonderful, generous person and her quilts are as beautiful as her soul.