Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May's Give-Away and Remembering Kelly

It's so hard to believe it's been almost a year since our daughter, Kelly passed away--May 14, 2010.  The year has been full of memories, some regrets, but mostly inspiration knowing the life that Kelly led.  Incredible friends that I've have the pleasure getting to know and seeing my daughter through their eyes and their stories.  And, of course, this wonderful world of blogging that Kelly introduced me to and asked that I continue, even through the sadness that she knew I would have.  More friends, who without knowing me face to face, have come to mean so much to me with their love and support.

This month, I wanted to honor Kelly's love of gardening with the apron I sewed.   It was a love she developed after moving into her first home with her husband, Matt, shortly after they were married in 2006.  Spending time in the garden was Kelly's ideal day.  This is a verse, one of Kelly's favorites, that I read often...
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.
The thoughts grow freely as the flowers 
and the dreams are so beautiful. ~Abram L. Urban

Added to the May Give-Away apron is a necklace I've created with Kelly's favorite flowers, hydrangeas.  Admittedly, I went to four quilt stores, looking for blue hydrangea fabric, but had no luck in finding some.  Kelly carried blue hydrangeas in her wedding bouquet and the bushes she planted at her home were blue.  They are one of my favorites also and I think Kelly would have approved of this apron and necklace.
I'm issuing a challenge for this month's Give-Away.  To be eligible for the drawing, I want to hear how someone in your life has inspired you as Kelly inspired me.  (If you don't want to post your comment on the blog, please feel free to email me directly.)  This challenge comes in the wake of a yearly memorial gift that was set up at the University of Kentucky in Kelly's name, to be awarded to a student who, in their writing, exhibits qualities that Kelly exuded. 

Thank you all for your support this past year.  I'm traveling tomorrow to participate in some classes at King Arthur Flour in Vermont, then, I'm going to meet one of Kelly's inspirations.  Nicole had a blog by the name Gardenmama and was responsible for creating The Wellness Tree that gave Kelly so much hope and support through her treatment.  It is one of the last things on "the bucket list" that Kelly asked me to complete for her.  The timing is perfect and I can't help but believe Kelly had a hand in this meeting.  

I look forward to hearing from you all.  Love always, XOXO


  1. a lovely way to remember your dear friend, thank you for sharing your love with us. i'm sure she is looking down smiling upon you. i have been touched by so many people, i think highly of them all, both here and up there looking down. love, angelina

  2. My Dear friend

    Just popping out to Tennis with the kids. I will email you tonight but wanted to let you know that I have learnt so much from you this year. You are one wonderful Mother, Granny and inspiration to all of us who have shared your year.
    Please send my dearest love to Nicole. Her absence has been missed by me. I know that your meeting will be something she has longed for too. Wish I could be there.

    Love you my wonderful friend
    To your Kelly~!

  3. Oh Susan - no need to enter me in the contest - I just wanted to tell you my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time.

  4. What a beautiful apron & necklace and a beautiful tribute to Kelly. I totally understand about loosing a child as I lost a sone in 2008. He loved his two girls & wife ... he was devoted to them. Knowing him as a child it didn't surprise me that he would be so good with his girls because as a child himself he was sweet, generous to a fault.
    Susan take time to relax and reflect.
    stamping sue

  5. It seems Heavenly Father takes some of the best.What a beautiful daughter you have. I too lost a daughter to cancer last Oct. I've spent the last six months staying with her little family and helping us all to heal. My Becky was like your brave Kelly. smiles to the end, I was so proud of her. bless you for going forward, it's all we can do.

  6. Going forward is "all we can do." It helps make some sense out of losing Kelly, who gave so much joy and love to the people she loved. My prayers are with you Linda and your family. XOXO

  7. i was introduced to kelly's story through nicole. i immediately wanted to do my part in helping kelly by sending her warm and positive thoughts from across the ocean. i was so touched by kelly as a mother, especially with tate and ari being the same age. thinking of you and your family. xx.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story of Kelly. My heart goes out to you and I feel that the connection is still there in our hearts. Keep it alive by thinking wonderful thoughts of her.
    That's how I keep alive the people I have lost.
    It's like having a visit from them.
    GB and take care.

  9. What a wonderful legacy your daughter has left with her love of life...Gardening is one of my
    most favorite hobbies! In my family, there were
    three children, my brother (14 years older than
    me), my sister (10 years older than me and me.
    My brother was a juvenile diabetic from the age of 4. I watched as my mom and dad watched over him, but they never forgot my sister and my needs!
    Donny was a veterinarian for 33 years before he
    passed away at the age of 57 from a stroke. He was well loved as an animal doctor and wouldn't charge customers, if they couldn't afford it. The animals mattered the most to him.
    Many thanks, Cindi

  10. Susan:

    The apron and necklace are a tribute to Kelly as is your well-written and touching blog entry. I felt Kelly in the stands yesterday at Rupp Arena; her spirit was very close.

    She was always so proud of you. Do not forget that you were here original inspiration.

    Much love,


  11. Hello dear friend,

    I knew that it was getting close to that time of year...and I know that your clock will always be set to that day in May, but your Kelly, with her love of life (and you) left behind a legacy for so many.

    I am thankful that she tuned you into blogging. It has led us to each other and to so many other wonderful friends with the same passions and loves.

    Susan, I'll be looking forward to reading about your adventure at King Arthur. They're the best.

    Sending love, a hug, and thoughts your way,


  12. Your post about your daughter Kelly is such an inspiration for me. I could feel the love you have for her flowing from the page of the screen as I read the post.

    God bless you, and keep you. I too have a clock that is set to a day in May.


  13. Alzheimer's and Mimi

    Every moment that I spent with Mimi that summer and fall before she died was a treasure.

    She never stopped smiling until she was put into the hospital for the very last time. I cannot tell you how much she meant to me before Alzheimer's and after Alzheimer's.

    I read everything I could get my hands before I ever went to stay with her. Yes, Alzheimer's changed her personality, but she was still Mimi. She was just different.

    Mimi taught me how to change a diaper when I had my first child. She stayed with me for a week, teaching me how to take care of a newborn, and I cried when she left. Her daughter Cheryl, flew in just as she left, thank goodness. I was scared and clueless.

    Throughout the years, Mimi was priceless, never intrusive. I loved her with all my heart. She never let me really do anything big to help her, because "I worked", she said.

    So when Papa said I could come help him take care of her, I felt a deep sense of gratitude, honor and joy. There was nothing I would not do for her.

    I discovered that Mimi, who had formerly preferred neutral colors, loved reds, and rich colors. One day Papa took his car in to be serviced and came home with a bright red new car. Mimi was just beside herself! She went out to the garage and kept touching it, saying "This is my car! I love it! I want to ride in this car!". And off they went for a spin.

    Of course, Mimi was unable to cook as she used to, so they ate many meals out. Her favorite meal was a juicy hamburger with fries. She couldn't get enough hamburgers!

    One day my husband and Papa had to go to a funeral one day, and our car was parked in front of the house. About two hours before dinner, Mimi started to pace, and I found her at the front door of their home. I told her that Papa would be home soon. A little while later, while I was in the kitchen, I heard a click and I found Mimi standing on the porch. I asked her what she was doing, and she pointed at our car and told me that I needed to take for a hamburger. I told that I didn't have a driver's license. She looked at me and said, "Awe, come on. You can do it." I said, "Mimi, I'll get in trouble". "No you won't. Come on". I coaxed her back into the house with a promise of a Dr. Pepper.

    Mimi had a winning personality.... very persuasive, and so sweet that it was very hard to deny her anything. Yup, hamburgers, French fries, Dr. Peppers and ice cream. She certainly loved those things. But then... so did I.

    Thank goodness the guys returned home shortly after that, and we all went for hamburgers. I told Papa that she had walked out the front door and he promised to put an inside deadbolt key-lock to prevent her from wandering away. But that.... is another story.


  14. Kelly and I went to La Reina together. I was so glad to reconnect with her before she passed. I lost my sweet sister in law to cancer just 8 days before Kelly lost her battle. I will always remember Kelly as having such for her laughter. I hold a lot of special memories of her. Your contest is a beautiful tribute, but really I just wanted to tell you I am praying for your family and for all who knew and loved her.

  15. Susan, I know that today is a hard day for you, but I hope that it is one of reflection, remembering your beautiful daughter and the wonderful life that she led. She left her legacy in Ari and I know how much joy he brings to you. She has touched many people. I know that she is listening to all the prayers that we say for her. She will live in your memory forever! Take Care..

  16. Just wanted to say I am thinking of you today! Your posts about your daughter are beautiful!

  17. Thinking of you, Erin and Kelly today...such a beautiful tribute you have created in her memory.