When I returned to work yesterday, Amy asked what treasures I brought home from the quilt bee. I immediately responded, "The bee itself was a treasure, the gift stuff was just gravy."
And that is so true. I treasure every minute of time I spent with my family this weekend. Besides having a crazy amount of fun, it was good for me to be around family. I realized more than once that I haven't been able to properly grieve and remember Grandma because I'm living in a house where people don't remember her the way I do. I think that's why I'm still so sad when I think about her being dead...I'll never get to make new memories to share with the people around me. Sure I can talk to Alyssa and Elizabeth or my friends about her and how much fun it was staying with her when I was a little girl and all the cool things we did, but talking with someone else who can add "I remember that...and when I was a little girl we also did..." And then we'll talk and laugh about her reactions to our silliness or something along those lines and it'll be all good and wonderful.
This trip to Texas was my first since her funeral. I was shocked when we were driving out there to realize that. I got to the bee and felt how strongly she and her memory glues us together. I thought several times about her asking Bonnie before she passed over that we not forget her. Like we could.
While we couldn't call her every day during the bee and share our secrets as they got revealed, while we couldn't call her at the end of the bee and have her talk to the person who won (and that tore me up, I grieved Grandma then), we could celebrate her memory and call upon her spirit to look down upon us and hold us tight while we lived this "love story of our family," as Bonnie Blue called it. When Bonnie Blue said that I teared up because Grandma so enjoyed her "stories," as she called her soap operas, and she so enjoyed love stories and believed very strongly in the power of love. I felt she was somehow speaking through Bonnie Blue at that moment.
I have realized all along how special we are to have our quilt bee and spend time together as a family. I realized what a true treasure it is during the quilt show as everyone was awed by our creativity and spirit of sharing that we have.
And we have Emma Lucille Thornton to thank for that. She has always been at the bee in spirit...and she always will be.