The quilt was just as I left it, even had a threaded needle working around one of the hearts that decorate it. It was a little musty, but a good airing on a bright, windy May day helped that substantially. Spray fabric freshener took care of the rest.
I spread it out on my bed, the only place that could accommodate it without the cat rolling in it, or everybody walking on it. Other than being a little wrinkled, it was still in good shape. It's hard for bugs and moisture to penetrate those Rubbermaid containers!
Spring can really hang you up the most, as the song goes. It just brings to mind all sorts of good resolutions, I think more than New Years Day. It's the loss of the snow, the blooming of the perennials, the sudden warmth, the smell of the soil as it loosens and dampens. Suddenly, a person is losing weight and planting herbs and OH MY GOODNESS let's finish this quilt!
That was my intention that beautiful May day, to finish the quilt. I would get it ready for Christmas. I would send it to Madame's ersatz sister-in-law's address, as I have no permanent address for Madame. And even if she took a pair of little pointy embroidery scissors to it and yanked out every thread; even if she took a huge pair of pinking shears to it and cut it into scraps; even if she ripped it apart with her bare hands, destroying my hard work over a 13 year period, on and off; even then, I could at least express that while I don't agree with her, I love her, more than she will ever realize.
Spring can really hang you up.
The quilt is back in a container, this one bigger to accommodate the size of it, so it doesn't wrinkle so much. I did get the back on it, so none of the batting is exposed. I finished that heart I'd stopped awhile back, and several others, and am on a new heart, when I can resume it.
The kids looked at it. Belle said, "It's a very pretty quilt" and left it at that. Baby was more adamant. "Why are you working on a quilt this nice for somebody who seems to hate your guts?" The Mister held his tongue, for like Belle, he avoids unnecessary confrontation, only when it is necessary, and then stand back.
I worked on the quilt, here and there, as I had time. I have a little more time now; not much, but some more time. The kids are older. May and part of June were idyllic, very restful, no running to meet deadlines for classes of various varieties. I once spent a good part of a Monday while the Mister taught a seminar, double-checking the construction, making sure nothing was loose or sloppy, then stitching around the hearts, all by hand.
That was a couple weeks ago. That was before I found out Madame had finally married her live-in boyfriend. That part was OK. If it had only been the marriage,I would have continued working on the quilt, and in fact started a new one for the happy couple. Despite my better judgment, I actually hold no grudges (at present) against my new son-in-law. I don't know him, how can I?
It was, in my searches to check on Madame and guard these children against any action, that I discovered she is now "friends" with my ex-husband and his sister, her biological father and aunt. If he had been more of a father to her, instead of the man declared unfit by a court, I might actually be happy for both of them. If his sister had not been the woman who suggested I have abortions of both my elder children as a sound financial move, and who trashed me to a good friend, I might again be happy for them.
But when I think of the times I made personal sacrifices for Madame and her brother, sometimes based on basic physical needs, because Biodad hadn't paid child support but drove a new car and had a new house- Nope, can't do it. When I think of the phone call where he suggested phone sex only a year or so after the marriage to his present wife, with my then boyfriend in the room- Nope, can't bring myself that far. When I think of the lies he spread about me, not only to his family, but to our biological son- Nope, can't do it. When I think of the nasty letter his sister wrote my husband, threatening criminal action which she claimed was based on a phone call to the Cook County State Attorney's Office (Well, she claimed the "Chicago district attorney"), that I later found to be completely false and caused the CCSAO to investigate his own office- Nope, can't do that one, either.
Maybe Madame is lonely for extended family of her own and trying to create some, maybe for her child, without having to go through the hassle of the amends necessary for her to be trusted enough here. I don't know. I know she has a very short memory about the man who went to all her basketball games in middle school, the man who paid for Catholic school, the man who insisted we buy her 3 cars over time, the man who was there for her, the Mister. I don't see how she could choose poor grade horse meat when she has Filet Mignon here. Nothing I can do, I just don't know.
I'm working on Belle's quilt right now, the one I started from her receiving blankets and bibs. She's growing up, not just physically, but emotionally. We have our little moments, but by and large, she is, once again, not nearly as hard to raise as Madame was. Baby's quilt in the same format is there, as well.
But Madame's quilt sits in a container in the garage, and will for some time.