This was one of the best Father’s Days that I’ve ever celebrated with my husband. Probably because I planned a gift far ahead of time that had a lot of personal meaning instead of hoping that a Hallmark card and something from our local stores could capture what his relationship with my daughters and I mean to me. This year, with the help of my cousin, Monique, I made him the Father’s Day Quilt pictured above from garments that span the course of our life together.
The Honest Diner sweatshirt was from one of our favorite Long Island diners that we frequented the summer we started dating. The “Just Married” shirt was a gift from some Swiss friends, hence the cows. Most of the other panels come from maternity clothes many of which Dennis picked out. I’m the first to admit that my husband has better taste than I do and five months into my first pregnancy when I was feeling like a beached whale, he suggested a change in my wardrobe might help and took me shopping at Liz Lange, a New York City maternity boutique. He was right. Walking around in leather maternity pants made my disappearing waste line a little easier to take. Dennis showed his flare when he proposed as well, turning what I thought was a business trip into an engagement vacation. That boat on the left is where he asked me to marry him. As Mo showed me how to sew its panel to the others while our kids played in her basement, I was struck by how appropriate it was that my married life got started on a boat. My engagement to Dennis seemed to forecast big adventures to come. We’ve had plenty as a couple but our engagement also incited a personal journey into my family’s history.
Dennis is Irish-American and Catholic. Years before, when my grandfather first told me about his interracial grandparents, Tempy Burton and Col. W. R. Stuart, he said that the Colonel was Irish and that the colonel’s wife was a devout Catholic. It seemed like my family had come full circle. So soon after I got engaged, I went to New Orleans to visit my grandmother, Lillie Mae, and learn more about the Colonel, Tempy and their daughter Josephine. 15 years later, I know that the Colonel was Scottish not Irish and that his wife, Elizabeth was devout but as a Methodist not a Catholic. I also know a lot more about all of my ancestors as well as myself. I’m glad to be on this present adventure with Dennis and our girls as well as the parallel journey into my family’s past. I hope that you’re enjoying your life’s adventure too, wherever it takes you.
Happy Father’s Day!
P.S. Check out my cousin, Monique’s blog, Tempy’s Treasure which highlights her talent for turning people’s memories into heirlooms.