It's a quilt I didn't want to make. Let me rephrase that...I would have HAPPILY made my friend a quilt any day of the week. Seriously. It's just the circumstances of THIS quilt make me wish it wasn't needed. My dear friend was diagnosed with Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) last year. As I understand it, it is typically a non-fatal, but non-curable form of cancer that involves the skin and can also involve lymph nodes, the blood, and other organs. While my friend will mostly likely survive for a long time, she has had to go through radiation and continues to deal with treatment for her disease. All with three small kiddos at home. She will have CTCL for the rest of her life.
I am so glad I was able to make her a quilt, especially since I cannot be there to help her and comfort her in person. I feel terrible about the friend I've been to her these last few years. We were besties when our husbands were stationed at Fort Drum, NY. We met when the guys were in the same unit. We were at a function, in line for food and we started chatting...only to discover we went to the same college! She graduated a year before me and, though we knew a lot of the same people, we never met. But we became fast friends. We had our first kiddos 11 days apart...her husband deployed shortly after their daughter was born and my hubs had left 16 days before our son was born. For the next 10+ months the four of us did everything together...and then after the guys got back we stayed super-close.
Both guys decided to leave the Army for other endeavors and we promised we'd visit/call/stay close. And we did...for a long while. They moved to South Dakota and we moved to Florida. We had our second kids. We stayed close. They moved to Michigan and we moved to New Hampshire. We had our third kids. We stayed close...we did visit and call. Then we just didn't as much. I'm probably more to blame than her...much more. I hate talking on the phone. Sometimes she'd call and I wouldn't call her back for a week. I'd get tired of me, too. Anyway, over the last couple of years we've just been "Christmas Card Friends". The sad thing is, that's how I found out she has cancer...her Christmas letter. It makes me feel like a jerk, to be honest. So I knew I had to do something, even if we aren't as close as we once were. The least I could do was make a quilt for the girl who I leaned on as we were figuring out how to raise kids without the men around. I remember clearly the day we went to Red Lobster and the kids sat in high chairs for the first time. Then there was the day we ordered their first kid's meal to share. Good times!
So, hopefully this quilt will bring her a little comfort and joy. Hopefully she'll forgive the kind of friend I've been and know that I've loved her all along, even though life is busy. Hopefully she'll understand that she was never far from my thoughts and that I still consider her a good friend.