I remember running up to Tom for a big bear hug. “There’s someone I want you to meet,” he said. “Her name’s Meghan, and I just know you two are going to hit it off.”
He couldn’t have been more right.
We spent the whole night talking treatment, toddlers, tattoos, and the dreaded “C” word. But then we talked about our love of writing, specifically children’s books, and our dreams of being published one day. Meanwhile, our husbands connected over the ins-and-outs of being married to amazing women like us. 😉
We spent the weekend at the Team Gina Golf Tournament getting to know each other and traded numbers, setting sushi lunch dates since we both worked in Lake Mary and loved sushi.
One morning, you texted me you had to reschedule our lunch. Your cancer was back—and it was bad.
We still met up for lunch when we could, laughing afterward because we always forgot to take a picture. I begged to be your assistant to help you with a fundraising event for your family, and I begged God at night to keep you here.
One day, you asked me to cut up your wedding dress. “For Jacob,” you said.
When you handed it to me I panicked, but you just laughed in your brilliant way and hugged my neck tight.
You and your love were married on the beach and had dreamed one day to live there, graying hair on your heads and his hand in yours. I wanted that dream for you so much it hurt. When I told you my idea to make the quilt look like a beach scene, your instantaneous excitement was just the confirmation I needed.
Your dress and his suit; the lining of his coat; the buttons on his sleeve and the pleats in your bust; the satin of your skirt and the faint wine drops on the leg of his pant; these are stitched together beneath the rolling waves of an ocean, with sun glinting and soft white caps swirling out to a sunrise–or a sunset–both equally appreciated by your love for all things beautiful.
Big J’s suit coat pocket is secretly sewn on the back so Little J can leave you love notes, or stuff his hand or little trinkets inside.
When folded, it is wrapped in your sequin-embroidered bodice, backed in satin from your skirt. I couldn’t leave it out, but I didn’t want it to make your blanket scratchy. An ivory button from my treasured grandmother’s stash, and ivory satin ribbon, helps keep it secure.
Every stitch holds love, hope, tears, memories, promises, fire, strength, courage, life, and you, rising. You are all of these things to so many — and you always will be.
We are broken, but we know you are whole, and I believe we will see each other again someday.
Next time, we won’t forget to take a picture.