Today I'm sharing the story surrounding my Bloggers' Quilt Festival quilt. It's a long post, but bursting with emotion for me to write. For information on the process of the quilt, come back tomorrow :)
I met my friend Rachael in 2nd grade. I had just moved to Florida and was living an hour away from my school while my family's house was being finished. In elementary school we were best friends: in the same Girl Scout troop, multiple classes together, on a boys soccer team together, and two of the four girls in Gifted.
And then I found out I was moving to Virginia. We shared a "Best Friends" butterfly necklace, and promised we'd stay friends forever. I think we did a pretty good job of staying in touch for 11 year-olds...I'd sleep over at her house when my family visited Florida and we wrote letters occasionally. But I also made new best friends, and loved my time in Virginia.
Then we found out we were moving back to Florida in time for me to enter high school. I had missed those all-important middle school years where strong friendships are formed. I was even more nervous moving back to a place I had lived before.
We were friends again! We slipped right back into our friendship! Now we had a more mature relationship; not spending the night at each other's houses, but talking about life and our undying love for coffee. We were in classes together again, played club soccer and high school soccer together, were high school captains together one season, volunteered with Girl Scouts together, and took a very memorable camping trip one weekend with a million little kids. She was the only person I let interview me after I was robbed at gunpoint at Arby's, and her mom was my character reference for pretty much every job/college I applied to.
I remember freshman year when she started dating James. As only high schoolers who couldn't drive could "date". They actually met when she was in 8th grade and he was in 9th. He went to a school down the road, but I remember how he used to drive over and see her after school while we were waiting for soccer practice to start.
And then she did something that I think makes her one of the smartest and wisest high school girls on the planet. They split up so she could enjoy high school without the pressures of a boyfriend. She didn't date anyone else, but I honestly didn't give James a second thought after that. And then when we went to college he was back in her life and the two of them could enjoy being adults and forming a special bond. I knew then that he was special.
She graduated college a semester early, got offered a teaching job a day after graduation, and now teach high schoolers all about literature and writing, which is a passion of hers. James graduated college and got a great job as a finance manager and then proposed. She has so many friends and has been a bridesmaid so many times and now she gets to be the center of attention. She gets to be the beautiful bride.
And Rachael, you will be beautiful. You're one of the most beautiful people I've ever met. In spirit and character just as much as in physical looks. You take amazing photos [especially in South Africa!], have been all over the world on mission trips, drink as much coffee as me, and never fail to make me laugh when we meet at our favorite brunch place and you get something so healthy while I have a small mountain of bacon. You're the reason I like turkey and tomato sandwiches and are the prime example of a strong, self-assured woman.
Quilts have traditionally been given as wedding presents for centuries. So why mess with a good thing, right?! The quilts of the past were hand-stitched bundles of love and well wishes. The quilt I made wasn't hand-stitched in that way, but every moment spent on this quilt was a moment that I was pouring wishes of love and joy and happiness into your upcoming marriage. I hope this quilt brings you comfort for years to come and serves as a reminder of the joining of your new family.
|Rachael must have a secret for non-puffy eyes after crying. Must get that...|