I still need to order an updated picture of my family to hang beside it, but what a sense of completion I feel every time I catch a glimpse of this hanging in my foyer on top of the time-out bench all of my sweet children have counted to 10 on.
I picked this pattern while on hospital bedrest pregnant with Ben. I really had no idea how much work this project involved and similarly I never imagined I would still be in surgery for repair work three years after Ben's traumatic birth.
I do remember vividly my brave, determined decision to stitch Ben there under that tree. Light brown hair, blue eyes, and ALIVE- even when I didn't know for certain what our future held.
This project sat on my lap through hours of waiting in appropriately named waiting rooms. It sat scrunched on my nightstand while I spent way too many hours in bed. I have oft admired birthstone rings, and other various symbols of family-- but until this Sampler I could never say, "This is my family." I knew my family wasn't complete. Stitching Ben in was so symbolic to me. He is here. I am finished. THREE YEARS OF STITCHING.
This project came with me to Germany, France, and Switzerland. I stitched as we drove up the Romantic Road. It moved with me from Oregon to New York.
I remember stitching those first four leaves. It took me all day and was so daunting. (I'll come back and add the link- here.) I endured little stitch by stitch. I'm surprised I finished it. Perhaps I did it more out of spite than enjoyment, although I really do enjoy cross-stitching.
I messed up often, sometimes small sometimes big. I ended up stitching at the bottom the years I stitched and I'm afraid that really takes away from the overall design. But-- I'm finished!! Looking back, three years really isn't that long!
The end of an era.
I'm done getting pregnant.
I'm done having babies.
This is my greatest work and my family will continue to expand in new ways.
Today I added a GRE study guide to my Amazon shopping cart. Interestingly, the Master's program I'm considering is a three year program.
I'm excited to see what my future holds.
I'm excited for the future, and so grateful for my past.
Life is good.