When Frannie told me she would be my adopted mother five years ago and I accepted neither one of us knew the roads we would travel together. Never did I guess we would share a bunk bed in Fortuna, California at Dixie McBride's Quilter's Escape. I had the top bunk. This is when Fran learned that I like to carry little rocks in my pockets. Ummm...because one rolled out of my pocket and fell onto her in the bunk down below. NO harm....just surprise.
I had known Fran for many years before she decided to adopt me so I guess we both had some inkling that we cared for one another. Yet most people know that once you commit to a decision things happen. We have walked each other through many things in the last five years. Illness, personal difficulties, all the dramas that most human lives have. There have been joyful laughter filled times playing canasta crammed in the tiny cabin we share with our other friends when we travel as a pack to escape everyday life and quilt with abandon.
When I offered an art quilt retreat series at my place Frannie amazed everyone in her joyful leap from meticulous traditional quilter into full bloom as the fine artist she is. What I experienced was her unwavering support of me in my own metamorphosis as a teacher. In fact Fran has been the most steadfast mother anyone could ever want.
These last few days as we waited expectantly for Travis to arrive with our trailer in his cross country journey, as we have run into technical difficulties with our copper room build, Fran has never faultered in her generosity, calm, humor and ability to let my stressed terseness roll off her back. Isn't it true that a mother is usually the one that children go to with their meltdowns? It is a measure of the grace with which Fran lives life that she loves deeply, hugely, solidly from the depths and forgets the less than perfect. I am blessed to have a mother that I can talk to in less than perfect and sometimes brusque ways and she loves with warmth anyway.
You would laugh to see Fran and I butt heads. I mean this quite literally. I have heard it said that what bothers me most about another is often a mirror back in to myself. When Fran and I put our foreheads against one another and push it is truly amusing. My goats do this. I suspect it has to do with establishing dominance. Something about testing who is the alpha. You would never know Fran is in her 8th decade of life when we butt heads. I have to tell you that I must push pretty darn hard in order to take the lead form this competent leader among women. Anyone witnessing this from the outside might think our process to be a little harsh. But we both know that this is the surface, not the deep down depths of our love for one another. For the two of us walking in love can be and often is walking in friction. Friction creates smoothness out of roughness just as iron sharpens iron.
There were many issues to be addressed this last day of our build for the Sacred Threads show and Fran, who came to Washington DC to be love, support and a person who climbed a ladder to hold up the plywood ceiling, was everything I could hope for and more in a mother. Thank you Frannie. I love you.