This card was passed out at the memorial service.
It’s an odd thing to say that a eulogy was inspirational. Yet for Milly, how could it be anything less? And, it’s unusual to laugh out loud at the words the minister says about someone who is deceased. But again, when it comes to Milly…
It happened like this:
Milly’s funeral, a memorial service, was held in an old New England church – 250 years old to be exact – in pouring rain and humidity that felt like I was sitting in the rain. My husband and I arrived quite early, only to discover everyone else had the same idea. The church was packed. Sardines in a sauna. The minister was a young man who didn’t know Milly well. He began by telling the congregation of his first meeting with Milly.
“Where’s my quilt?” Milly asked me. I’ve had plenty of odd questions, but that one took the cake. Here I was, new to the church, and this woman comes right up to me and asks about her quilt. What quilt?
Everyone is laughing! And the minister continues.
You see, Milly had made a huge quilt for the 250th anniversary of the church. I had no idea, but Milly told me all about it. And, where was it? After months of searching, the quilt was found tucked away in a box during renovations. We found her quilt four days after she died. It now hangs again.
I look around and see the faces of many quilters and friends. Milly is at peace. Be sad if you must, but she would want you to celebrate her life. She is at peace.
Peace! Of course. No wonder the Peace Quilts we made together are wonderful. That was Milly. Yup!
A church that was full of quilters knew the story he told. I didn’t. After all, my time with Milly was only in the last ten years. I looked around and thought of all the experiences and quilting she, and they, must have had. I felt like a little girl at Thanksgiving listening to all the stories the grown-ups told. And so, I listened.
Milly’s son gave the eulogy. He pointed out two quilts displayed in front of the alter alongside all the flowers. One was the first quilt he had as a child. The other was a recent one.
Mom made it this year, and I asked her if I could have it. I’ve never asked her for a quilt. She was so happy. So now I have two, one from the beginning of my life, and one from the end of hers.
When Mom first became sick and was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, I spent that night with her. She told me story after story, things I’d never known. She was happy. Afterwards, she had no recollection of that night nor the stories she had told.
I had witnessed her soul.
My mother can be described in one word. Love.
Yes, she can.
I’m crying. But tears of peace
I love those words… ‘tears of peace’. 💕
Thank you, FR.
Perfect! Just perfect. Thanks for sharing.
It was ‘so Milly’. Thank you, Darlene.
Thank you, Dan!
That was the perfect ending to a wonderful life lived so well. RIP, lovely Milly.
Best wishes, Pete.
Hear, Hear! Thank you, Pete.
this sounds absolutely perfect for a milly sendoff
It was in true Milly style! Thank you, Beth.
These last two posts about Milly have had me reaching for the tissues and so weepy! I’m so very glad I got to meet Milly through you and her quilts, Jennie. 🥰
btw- have you thought of making this series into a book? I would buy it!!
Deborah, I have also had tissues close at hand. Reading these again was another wave of emotions for me – from joy to tears. I’m so glad you have been along this journey! You’re the fourth blogger who has asked about making this into a book. It’s something I definitely need to think about. 😀
There is no greater gift that we can give someone is a sense of peace.
Thank you, John.
A home made quilt will never be just ‘a quilt’ in my eyes ever again. Thanks to Milly, I will look at it as a work of art and a labor of love.
Beautifully said, Don. I’m sure Milly is smiling.
What a lovely celebration of Milly! She was truly a remarkable woman as are you Jennie. I think you both were destined to come into each other’s lives.☺️
I think we were meant to be together. Thank you, Kim!
Oh what LOVE… 💞
So Bittersweet. That minister was right on! Celebrate life and Milly had a great one. I loved that lightbulb moment, She is at Peace, you were meant to meet and spend that time together creating memories with the children. Loved this journey with you, Milly and your students.
Yes, he was right on! That lightbulb moment was something else! I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Carla. Many thanks!
How nice to be remembered by so many people with fond memories. I really appreciate you sharing this whole beautiful story, Jennie. Thanks to Milly for sharing her talents with the world. It’s a wonder to think how many of Milly’s quilts are hanging somewhere or being used.
I know! The packed church said it all. It was humbling to realize I was just a small part of her long life. I do wonder how many of her quilts are still being loved and used. I’m glad you enjoyed the whole ten-year story, Pete. What a great ride! Thank you for being there.
And of course Milly got back just as much love as she gave.
This story never gets old…
I feel the same way! 🥰
So glad you’ve told us about Milly.
Thank you, Anneli!
That is delightful. I would like my memorial to be inspirational and happy, not dour. I don’t understand the tears, Jennie. The dead are going to a better place (if you believe that, which I do) so why cry? For ourselves? I really don’t get it which makes me an odd duck at funerals!
I want my memorial to be the same way, too. Yes, I believe the dead are going to a better place. I think the tears are not for the dead, but for those left behind who will dearly miss the dead – ourselves. So, you are not an odd duck at funerals. Thank you, Jacqui!
Thanks, Jennie. When I do cry, it is usually for myself which feels selfish. So, I see what you’re saying.
Milly’s celebration of life service is the perfect “it happened like this” story.
I think you are right! Thank you, Liz.
You’re welcome, Jennie.
So touching, Jennie. What a kind and generous soul. A loss, but what a beautiful legacy she leaves behind.
Yes, she was. To me, her legacy feels like the Olympic torch. Thank you, Diana.
Gosh! Sorry, i am shocked, Jennie! I thought its only a cold, she had caught. I am so sorry for you all, loosing your famous artist. May she rest in peace. xx Michael
Thank you so much, Michael. ❤️
Thank you as well, Jennie! Thank you for introducing Milly and her wonderful work. xx Michael❤️
Beautiful memories stitched in the quilt. A memorial service or funeral can have laughter too. We are human. If that is what people recall about Jennie, why not? A quilt is a wonderful memorial and tribute to Jennie. I am touched and honored to have read this post about her. May she continue to delight those who enter that church and inspire them to leave such a legacy. Thank you for the post. 🙂
My pleasure. Enjoy the week. “”__””
“I had witnessed her soul.” OK, that got me. Thank you for sharing this, Jennie.
That one struck me, too! Thank you, Mitch!
Millie had a beautiful life, Jennie.
She did, indeed!
Goosebumps and tears. ❤
For me, too. 💕
Hey I really liked what you’ve written here. BTW my name is jenny too but I’m from India and I’m new in blogging.
Thank you, Jenny.
Thanks 👍 follow me on wordpress and read my blogs
‘…I had witnessed her soul…’
Words to treasure.