Memories—fabric— stitching—healing. Those words came to mind after reading a touching letter from Louise Brogan. Louise gave us permission to post her story. I need say no more.
Letter from Louise Brogan
After losing my 21-year old son tragically in an accident, I have found profound healing through quilting. Through Nancy’s Landscape Quilting techniques that I have learned throughout the years, I have created many art quilts and found quilting to be extremely meditative in my ongoing process of healing.
One of my most successful pieces is a landscape quilt I completed that illustrates a dream I had about my son that came to me a few days after he passed. I used Nancy’s Landscape Quilting methods, and I am beyond pleased with the results. I can’t thank her enough for her guidance throughout the years.
My thread painting is titled, This Is Where I’ll Be. Written below is my dream that gave me the inspiration for the piece.
This Is Where I’ll Be
A Surrealistic Portrayal of a Dream by Louise Brogan
My dream began with my walking through the woods, the woods that I had spent countless afternoons in, throughout both my children’s lives. The county land preserves were just across the street from our home: acres of woods, trails, and creeks filled with fish and turtles—a wonderland for little boys!
In my dream, I was alone mourning my son who had died suddenly just a few days before. I recalled each tree that he climbed, each fort he built from twigs and branches, and the creek he was constantly drawn to where he would try to catch tiny fish and follow turtle trails over to their nests that revealed dozens of little turtle eggs. I began crying, missing my boy, hanging on to my memories.
Then, a rustling in the trees down the path caught my attention. I strained to look down the path and couldn’t believe what I saw, Richie! I yelled out! It was Richie when he was a young child! How could this be?! He wouldn’t look up and was very busy playing near the creek. He seemed unaware of my presence. I was astounded and couldn’t believe my eyes. Richie, how could this be? How can you be here? Didn’t you die? He just kept playing, as if he wasn’t hearing me. So busy catching fish, reaching for an old broken row-boat and trying to untie its rope from a tree, something he had always tried doing as a child but I would never allow him near the boat. I just watched and watched in delight and awe.
After what seemed like an hour, he turned to me and looked right into my eyes and said, Mommy look, I untied the boat, don’t worry, I can’t get hurt anymore. I’m okay now. Then he ran ahead down a path. I ran after him. Wait, Richie!
And again, he seemed unaware that I was there. He was collecting sticks, climbing over fallen stumps, balancing on a fallen tree log; again, he ran down a path to a more dense part of the woods. I tried to keep up with him, calling out to him all the time. Wait, Richie, Wait! I couldn’t keep up with him. Way up ahead, he turned around to me again, happy as could be, and called out, Don’t worry mommy, I’m okay now, this is where I’ll be! Off he went, further down the path. Wait Richie! I wasn’t ready to let him go, but he was so far ahead of me down the path; and as he ran deeper into the woods, I could no longer keep sight of him through the brush and the trees.
He was gone, just as quickly as he appeared. Was it really just a dream?
Closing thought . . .
As the artist, I am gaining my own personal, meditative experience, as I get lost in the process of creating.
A Special Thank You
Louise is a remarkable person and artist. My sincere thanks to her for sharing her story and quilt.
She also shared photos of some of her other quilts. The first is a self-portrait. What a talented artist! And what inspiration!
Learn the Landscape Quilting process.
Natalie Sewell and I show you step-by-step in our 3-part series titled Landscape Quilting Workshop.
On a related note, Physician Michele David prescribed quilting as part of a healing process, not for a patient, but for herself. Michele is my Nancy’s Corner guest on Sewing With Nancy via Skype from Boston. She has overcome a debilitating illness with the therapeutic process of working with color, fabric, and thread. Click here to watch my interview with Michele David.
Bye for now,