|photo by Nita Lou Bryant|
This week at Sedbi Design Studio I've mostly been playing hooky, so I don't have much to show.
I did get a good start early in the week on the birthday gifts I'm making for my oldest friend, who lives in Florida. But my second-oldest friend, who lives in Connecticut, arrived mid-week for a visit. So from the very first moment she was available I took time off from sewing to hang out with her.
The night before my friend arrived I'd received some shocking and sad news about the sudden death of a kind and generous spirit, a good writer, and the mother of a son the same age as my daughter. I am talking about Karen Stolz, who--as I understand it from what I was told--died in her sleep on June 15th at age fifty-four. I first met Karen in 2005 when I attended an eight-week novel in progress workshop she taught here in Austin, and we'd stayed in touch ever since. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that she is gone.
Others will write more eloquent and meaningful tributes to her, and a blog that's mostly about sewing is probably not the place for me to attempt to do so, in any case. But I do want to say at least this in this space: a sudden death causes you to stop and think about your own life and how you spend each precious, unpredictable moment of it. It affects the choices you make.
At the beginning of the week my highest priority was sewing these birthday gifts for my Florida friend. (Yes, I could have gotten an earlier start on them--we all know how that goes.) But my Connecticut friend was right here. Right here in the same town, in the very same room with me, where I could see her face and hear her laughter and give her a hug. So instead of attempting to divide my time between my usual schedule (a schedule which includes doing something that I truly love doing--sewing custom-designed handmade gifts), and seeing my Connecticut friend while she was in town, I chose to spend every possible moment that I could with my friend.
My Florida friend will, of course, understand if her birthday gifts arrive a few days late. I am not worried about that. If I am worried about anything it is failing to remember that this is a choice I could be making every single day: to spend time with the people who matter to me whenever I have the chance to do so.
Even if it involves playing hooky from doing something else that's important. Because you never know...
Rest in Peace, Karen Stolz