Note—-this is a repost from a last year post, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. This month, will be teaming up with a textile designer to create 2 more mastectomy pillows to be given away to someone for themselves, or to give to a loved one in need. Be thinking about who in your life could benefit from this. Check back October 21st for details. In the meantime, #checkyourself.
Nothing conjures up satisfying memories and nostalgic comfort more than a soft worn piece of fabric.
Sometime during the high school years, my best friend, Jill and I, used to be, should I say, slightly mischievous. I like this word, although “pain in the ass” and “annoying” were occasional words regulated to us by worn out parents.
We especially loved to get Jill’s mom all revved up. Maybe it was because she was so buttoned up and straight-laced, maybe because she didn’t have the same teenage humor we had at the time; whatever the reason, it sure was fun.
Not long after Jill’s mom purchased an expensive designer bedspread, the kind back then that you only bought once in your marriage, we had some real fun with her. Jill’s mom was literally obsessed with this bedspread. No one could lie down on it, jump on it, eat on it, you get the picture. So naturally, we would love to take a long sleeve of saltines into her parents’ sanctuary, until Mrs. Cunningham would eventually dash in and shoo us out. I swear she could hear that telltale crunch from the kitchen. After erupting in giggles, we would beg forgiveness, and she would throw her hands up with an exasperated sigh.
Years later, well into our own marriages, Jill had the difficult and emotional task of moving her ailing parents into an assisted living facility. Of course, as she planned the estate sale, she came across “the bedspread”. Amidst tears and laughter, she couldn’t resist giving it to my mom to bring to me on her next trip to Greenville. Childhood memories wrapped up in fabric. I laughed so hard when it arrived. Of course, after I had my trip down memory lane, I put it away in the attic, and pretty much forgot about it.
Until a few months later, Jill had to undergo a mastectomy. I wanted to do something for her, to help in some way, but she was 5 hours away. Dinners wouldn’t work, and flowers would wither. How could I help one of my best friends through this difficult journey?
Then it hit me, the bedspread. The bedspread was with me for a reason. I thought about just sending it to her, but it was so big and bulky. The light bulb finally went off. What did I do day in and day out? Make attractive pillows out of beautiful fabrics for peoples homes! This fabric was beautiful, maybe not by today’s design standards, but it was beautifully full of memories. A mastectomy pillow, a soft landing to rest her pain on. Memories that would bring her comfort while she recovered from a wrenching surgery, and hope as she struggled to beat her cancer.