Thursday, August 27, 2009

In memory of Mary Lynn King

In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter, for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. Kahlil Gibran
She loved to create. Had a passion for fabric and textures and fashion and sewing. She quilted, made jewellery and clothes and shared her love of beauty with everyone she met. She was a daughter, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a friend. She was Mary Lynn King. And though she no longer walks amongst us her presence lives on the hearts of those who knew and loved her for the amazingly kind, loving, caring and generous woman she was. She will be missed. She will always be remembered.

Yesterday was the celebration of Lynn's life. I wasn't a close friend. More of an acquaintance through my friend J.D. I wanted to go to support my friend and also Lynn's sister, Heather, whom I love dearly as a woman with a gentle, kind and caring heart. And, I wanted to go to honour Lynn, a woman who whenever I spent time with her, always left me feeling refreshed, like I'd just awoken to dew sparkling on roses, glistening in the morning light streaming through the leaves of a leafy, green tree.

Because I couldn't drive myself to the funeral parlour, J.D. offered to come and pick me up. "I have to be there an hour early," she said. "The quilt guild ladies are decorating the hall with some of Lynn's work."

And that's when the magic happened. Lynn was a founding member of the Guild, a group of fifteen plus women who regularly get together to sew and share and laugh and create. They've been at it for eight years and in the process of stitching together their quilts, have woven together a beautiful tapestry of friendship and caring and love.

I sat on a chair in the back of the hall watching as J.D., Lynn's sister and two other of Lynn's good friends draped quilts and jackets and jewellery across a table and coat racks at the front of the hall. In the middle of the display a dramatic arrangement of purple calla lilies and summer blooms arced around the stunning vessel Lynn's son had chosen for his mother's remains.

I sat and I watched in awe as love unfolded into the room like dry ice wafting across a stage, lifting up into the air and filling every atom with its sweet warming nature. With every piece of fabric put on display, with each careful placement of fabric, with each story told, love expanded and embraced the women busily creating the story of Lynn through their display of her talents. As they worked, they chatted and shed a tear or two and shared laughter and hugs and smiles. They draped and hung and smoothed out a seam, a fold, a piece of jewellery. Their hands lovingly held each piece, their fingers caressed each item, their voices warm and loving as they told stories of "Remember when..." Lynn found this piece of fabric? This silver amulet. Gave me this bracelet. Made me this jacket. Let out a seam. Took in a stitch.

And when they were done, the room was alive with colour and fabric and glistening beads sparkling amidst Lynn's creations.

What an amazing tribute to a woman who shared freely and generously of her passions, her friendship, her zest for life. What a beautiful statement of the threads of Lynn's life woven together into the warm tapestry of friendship that had surrounded her throughout her days, and which she had carefully and lovingly stitched together through everything she did.

It was a beautiful ceremony. Filled with stories that celebrated a woman who touched the hearts and lifted the spirits of everyone she met. It was a celebration of a woman for whom life was never about getting through the day, but rather, always about filling each moment with beauty, creating joy and laughter and memories out of every occasion and every thing she touched.

You will be missed Lynn. You will always be remembered. In the thousands of stitches on display yesterday, your memory is woven into the tapestry of love you created in the hearts of everyone who knew you.

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