Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Weep--Art Quilt

I Weep, Art Quilt, 9" x 12"

© 2011 Fannie Narte

"I Weep" was inspired by comments left on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative's "Share Your Comments About Alzheimer's" page. 

A sentence in the first paragraph of the page says: "Your words give courage, strength, and purpose to all who read them."  Those comments do offer courage, strength and purpose to the reader.  For me, it also offers understanding and a continuous flow of inspiration for the making of my priority quilts.

In particular, the following comment provided the inspiration for "I Weep":

"When my mother-in-law was admitted to a rest home and we were trying to make sense of Alzheimer's and the effect on her, one thing said to us sticks in my mind. A young therapist said to us, 'Do you know that panicky feeling when you can't find your car at a parking lot? Well that is how they feel every day when they wake up.'"~Judy Leathers


Some time ago, while heading to my car in the parking lot of a large shopping mall, I saw an older woman, she looked to be in her 60's or early 70's, standing among a sea of cars with car her keys in her hand, scanning the lot.  She looked confused.  I approached her and offered my help.  She said, "I don't know where my car is.  I thought it was here."

"What color is your car?"  "It's silver," she said.  We were surrounded by hundreds of silver cars.

"What is the make of your car?"  "It's a small car," she said.  Is it a Honda?"  "No," she said.

"Did you come to the mall alone?"  "Yes."  I recommended that we call a family member, but she couldn't remember their phone number.

Our discussion continued with my questions and her vague answers until we learned what her car looked like.  My husband searched in the north side of the parking lot while I accompanied her looking for her car in the surrounding area.

While we walked around the parking lot, she expressed her fears of being lost, and how she parked next to the tree and was lucky to have found a spot close to the entrance of the store.  She again told me about parking next to the tree and how lucky she was to have found a spot close to the entrance of the store, and repeated that again and again. While listening to her, I wondered if we were looking in the right place.  Instead of looking for her car, I thought I would ask her questions about what store she entered after parking her car.  Then I asked her about the things she saw when she entered the store.  Because of her answers and my knowledge of the particular store she mentioned, we found her car on the other side of the parking lot, next to a tree near the other entrance to the same store. 

She hugged me.  She wept.  "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you."  She wept.

I stood there in the parking lot and waited for her to back her car out and watched her slowly drive away.  She rolled down her window and waved good-bye.  She was still crying.  I waved back.  I was weeping, processing the 45 minutes that I just experienced with a stranger that had become my friend.  That woman could have been my mom, or my aunt, or . . . someday, that could be me.

"I weep."

This quilt will be donated to the AAQI.


WoolenSails said...

What a beautiful quilt and a touching story, though I would be afraid to let her drive home alone;) It is hard when you get that age and get to the point where you cannot do things for yourself.


quiltcrazygaljennalouise said...

Fannie - What a moving story. Bless you and your husband for helping and caring so much. I have missed my blogging friends. This quilt brings a lot of meaning to me. These past few months we have had health stuggles with my Mom. "I weep" reminds me of how I felt when she was diagnosed with cancer. She is now cancer free and doing well...I did weep and those tears brought me comfort. Bless you Fannie for all you do for others. I have missed you!

Fannie said...

Thanks, Debbie and Jenna Louise!

Lisa Fulmer said...

You are featured on the C&T Publishing blog today - thanks for being a member of our Creative Troupe!

Jacq said...

What a touching story. I know that this happens all too often. What a blessing that you were there to help her. My mother will be 92 very soon and she is having more and more problems with here vision and some confusion. Your quilt is beautiful and I think really catches the feeling of sadness and confusion that Alzheimer's brings.

Monique said...

My mother found your blog and sent me the link...not only do I love your art, I love your spirit and the attention you give to living. So glad that I wandered into this beautiful space. Blessings.