This is a pattern that I finished for my Aunty Pip. This is a bit of a long family story, so stick with me.
From the start.
My auntys and my Mum (sisters) have never really been close and to be honest I have only meet either of my auntys a handful of times, I could count them on one hand if I was old enough at the time to remember ever having seen them. My mum, though always trying to make amends with them, hadn’t heard from either of her sisters in years and years. I don’t actually know the story of why they got so estranged, and I’m not sure my Mum is completely clear on why either, though she suggests it has something to do with their guilt over them wanting to put their Dad in a rest home when he got sick when my Mum and Dad decided to take care of him for years while he was sick in our family home.
Anyway. After years of not seeing or hearing from one another my Mum gets a phone call a couple of years ago. “Pip is really sick, she might not live much longer.” …
Ok so Mum decided enough is enough with Pip (her younger sister) and she ended up visiting her in Christchurch (a four hour drive one way from Nelson) nearly every single weekend. To be honest they built up a very good relationship in that short time (though I still only met Aunty Pip once in this time and that was at my Wedding.) Mum also considered at one stage when the illness got very bad to have Aunty Pip come live with her and Dad in Nelson, but no Aunty Pip couldn’t bear to be away from her son.
Anyway, That’s the back story. One day over christmas my Mum came up to visit me, and while showing her all my cross stitches I’d been working on she said that Aunty Pip had this started cross stitch that because of her bad eyesight she couldn’t see to finish, mainly because of the dark fabric, and could I finish it for her? Yes of course I would, basically because I love cross stitch, but also because I knew Mum wanted to do something to show Pip how much she cares. So a few weeks later I had in my hand the very small beginnings of this cross stitch. A lot of which was incorrectly started, and the threads of which were in an absolute mess!
I decided because there wasn’t very much started I would not unpick any of aunty Pip’s mistakes but instead work around them, and work them in. I didn’t want the work to be My work and not Aunty Pip and my work.
Aware of Pip’s severe illness I worked on this pattern very quickly getting it completed in only a few short weeks and sending it down to my mum before christmas rolled around.
My mum got the design framed and gave it to Aunty Pip (who was sure she wouldn’t get to see the design finished before she died) in January of this year.
Aunty Pip was absolutely stoked and couldn’t believe it was actually done. And it looked beautiful all framed and complete.
My Aunty sadly died about a month after recieving the completed cross stitch and at the funeral the cross stitch was mentioned several times with people coming up and hugging me and thanking me so much for the work. It was even suggested that I get it back. I politely refused though saying that it was so important to Aunty pip and that her kids should get it.
The story was told that when Aunty Pip’s friend went round to pick out burial clothes for Aunty Pip that she saw the framed cross stitch sitting against Aunty Pips mirror in her bedroom and that she just Cried thinking that after more than 5 years of wishing to be able to do this cross stitch and not being able to that finally it was finished. But nobody knew how it was possible. It wasn’t until my Mum made mention of it in her Eulogy to Aunty Pip that it was revealed.
I feel so glad that I was able to allow Aunty Pip to see it finished before she died and to feel fulfilled that even though she hadn;t finished it, that what she had started was complete.