I had a sentimental moment the other day ~ an inexplicable outbreak of tears while listening to my favorite radio station, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. Some of you are NPR fans familiar with programs like "This American Life" and "Prairie Home Companion." It would be perfectly understandable for Ira Glass or Garrison Keillor to evoke an emotional response. But I was listening to "Car Talk" ~ a call in show dealing with auto maintenance (I have no interest in cars or maintaining them, but the show is pretty amusing).
A woman called in, asking for advice on upgrading her van. Hosts Tom and Ray inquired about the size of her family and what features she wanted in a new vehicle. She had a 19 year old daughter who was away at college and a 17 year old son in high school. When the hosts replied that she could get by with a smaller van because her daughter was gone and wouldn't be coming back home and that her son wasn't far behind, I just lost it.
Hearing my sobs, my husband brought me kleenex and asked what the heck was wrong. I was so choked up that I could barely answer. I kind of gasped that I was having an emotional moment about the boys (he kind of rolled his eyes and made a quick exit).
For the past couple years, I've been mentally preparing myself for the "empty nest." We've raised our sons to be independent and have encouraged their decisions to pursue their passions, to attend college far from home, to travel abroad, to spend time with girlfriends and their families. We don't want to hold them back. The best thing they can do for us is learn to take care of themselves. It's time. I understand that ~ intellectually. Emotionally, however, I need some convincing.
Perhaps my health scare has made me more sensitive and needy. Maybe my hormones are out of whack or I need a stronger antidepressant. It's possible that random acts of violence in schools and on college campuses (including a murder at my son's university just this week) have heightened my sense of helplessness and vulnerability. Please, all you empty nesters out there ~ tell me this gets easier!
This is the last of my heart quilts, made to teach hand applique. It incorporates lots of techniques for preparing the hearts: plastic templates, freezer paper, fusible web, basting around cardstock templates, cutting directly from fabric. It also uses different methods for stitching hearts: needleturn, buttonhole stitch, reverse applique. The quilting is done with perle cotton.