Mary is my only sister, with three brothers who made our lives a living hell at times. While I was vulnerable in many ways, Mary gave them a smug smile and blasted them out of their turbulent waters with acerbic honest words. I do not have enough words to relate who she is, how she blesses my life and my admiration for her.
Mary and Bill, running away from home (I love this photo.)
Mary is holding her horsey, I am holding my new bride doll (Christmas 1958).
Mary is stubborn, especially when it comes to her children. Maybe it should be said a "Stubborn and Fierce Tiger". Mary was always devoted to excellent teaching and education, and did not accept anything less.
In fact, I always said that when Mary stepped on elementary school grounds, the earth shook. Teachers shivered in fear, stood up straight and tall, and resolved to be better teachers from there on.
Mary is a fighter.
She is generous, in time and giving. Many of her friends have had surgeries and illnesses, some very serious. Mary is always there, giving food for the family and assistance in any way needed. Driving to a doctor's appointments? Helping around the house? Anything else? Mary gives of herself unfailingly.
Mary has a black belt in Taekwondo, along with a red strip to advance her to higher levels. Don't mess with her.
She completes projects she starts. This cannot be said of many people, if not most people.
I won't volunteer her for a gold medal or sainthood, because I have known her for the better part sixty years. This gives me info and insights that all families share about each other.
Recently, my quilting skills plummeted drastically. Migraines, concussion, Bell's Palsy, and other issues have taken away aspects of quilting, including joy. This is incredibly saddening.
So many unfulfilled plans
This fabric was for a project that I had never begun. Mary has an enormous stash (that means, shelves and boxes of fabric), yet was willing to add more to it. God bless her. These beautiful fabrics and plans had hung over my head, piling on guilt upon guilt.
Mary is a superb quilter AND I mean superb. Her eye for colors and design is amazing. And she loves patterns that involve sharp points and precision, as well as applique. Any quilter understands what a pain those can be.
Mary created a magnificent quilt for me using fabric from her stash and the above fabric, excluding the solid teal. She told me that a box was on its way to me and to call her when it arrived. When the box arrived and I lifted the quilt from it, I cried. Hugging it to my chest, I went from our room to the guest room, laying this incredible quilt over each.
This quilt will be displayed on my "art wall". It was a family photos wall, but they can always go somewhere else. This absolutely has to be seen by more than just my eyes.
This gift has me opening up my own stash and perusing what can be made from all that fabric. Already have a baby quilt in the works and I will finish a project started pre-concussion.
Sisters are different from each other for sure. What stands true is that we share our lives past and present, and that we love each other as only sisters can. I am blessed to be a part of Mary's life.*
Minerva, Rosemary, Grandma Marie Cardiff, Mom, and Vada
August 1970 at a cousin's wedding
As in every family, each was radically different from their siblings in every way possible. Despite their many differences, each loved the other passionately. All have passed except for Aunt Vada, who recently suffered a stroke.
*I named our youngest daughter after my sister. Like Aunt Mary, my daughter Mary is a tiger. One cowers when she aims a withering look. Don't mess with her either.