Every time she came to visit, she brought me fat quarters that she happened to find. Now, she wasn't a quilter and didn't just "happen to find" them. I knew better. It made me smile and I never said anything other than thank you. And I made her a quilt. But my favorite memory is when I was in the hospital after having my second son. I could hear them coming down the hall, giggling between themselves and telling the sweet nurses how excited they were to be seeing me and that no, I wasn't expecting them, it was a surprise. They came bursting through the door and the room came alive instantly, like magic. There was a gift bag with at least 25 outfits inside, because she couldn't decide and just bought them all. I still have them. Once we had oohed and aaahed over the outfits, I noticed a suitcase on wheels and had to ask if they were staying, since they had traveled a long way to get to us. Turned out it was a Bloody Mary bar smuggled in in a suitcase so the nurses wouldn't know. They set it up and we toasted that new little bundle of blue! Until the nurses came in and busted up the party. We laughed for years after and I will never forget the kindness that surrounded her always. She spent so much time caring for others, she forgot about herself. Stage 4 ovarian cancer, they said. I can beat it, she said. A few weeks ago, I called to set up a lunch date. What's your hurry, she said, I'm in remission and we've got time. I emailed her instead to catch her up on my job, the quilt shop, my boys, who she called her boys, and the Bloody Mary bar. Turns out she wasn't in remission, but protecting my heart. She passed away yesterday.
hen I told the boys last night that Ellen has passed away, my youngest asked why I called her just Ellen. Not following, I asked him to explain. He thought her name all these years was Robin Ellen. Rob and Ellen always visited and sent birthday and Christmas presents, but to him, the two became one, and that's how he knew them. Instead of Rob and Ellen, he knew her as Robin Ellen. Rob never came without Ellen and Ellen never came without Rob and if you say it fast, he's right.
got a message at work yesterday letting me know and as I stared out my window with tears running down my face, there was a robin sitting on the window box outside my office window. Now I understand why.
o, buy the fat quarters, make the lunch date, hug your friends and do something nice for someone. That's what Ellen would do. Thanks for the memories, my friend. xoxoxox