Friday, February 8, 2019

The Bonus Year

      I think we are all familiar with the term "Bonus Triangles" which means the saving and using of pieces cut off stitch and flip blocks. In my case, I had a Bonus Year. Last February 7th, 2018, I experienced a severe, heart stopping, heart attack. Out of the blue. No normal heart attack symptons- just a stabbing pain in the throat. 
     Women many times do not have the normal symptoms. A high percentage of women never survive their first heart attack. I found that out when I signed up for cardiac rehab and asked why were so few women attending. Three times a week I do a hard workout for over an hour. Takes a chunk out of my day and I don't like it, but I am still here and stronger. 
     Please, if anything strikes you out of the blue and seems very strong and uncharacteristic, get help. I had no chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, arm pain, or dizziness, etc. Just that knife edge pain. My town paramedics rescued me and Dr. Vijay Iyer from Gates Vascular Institute saved me via stents. I was spared by God for this past year. 
     When I was in the hospital, my then 7 year old grandson made me a card. He knows how much I love my vintage machines and quilting. This was the inside of the card, the side opposite his writing:
      You can see the whole card and the post with fabric that Vicki sent me not knowing the quilt on the card here
      Anyways, a year later, I had not started on the quilt because I was afraid to mess up, not knowing how to start, blah, blah, blah. Yesterday, I pinned all the fabric on the wall, added more hand dyes, and started with a loose plan. I was certain that if I started to draw it out on graph paper, I would lose momentum and have it look rather frozen. It doesn't have to be any particular size or fit, so I started cutting 2" strips. If sewed straight, it did not seem like a kid's design, so I had to figure out how to cut things a bit wonkier. Hard for me. I think I finally have it going well. Ethan drew four stars on it and I am debating how to handle that. I have to include them!
Laying it out
Getting it sewn
     The last photo to share is my hand. People have been posting hands lately. This photo shows the two incision marks that still show now from the two times I had to have the stents placed (4 days apart). 

     I look at it a lot and give thanks for the bonus year. Now if I could just get some serious quilting and painting progress going gangbusters, it would be even better.
     

14 comments:

Sarah said...

That quilt in progress is absolutely precious--and a fitting tribute to the bonus year. Best wishes for continued health and healing.

Debbie said...

What a touching memory. I often wonder about the extra time some of us are granted. I am glad you have made use of it and progresses so well. The world is a lovelier place because of you. Your grandson is such a special keeper. The quilt he designed for you to tackle is a fabulous picture and story. Thanks for sharing.

Quiltdivajulie said...

After my stroke (27 years ago)I have given thanks thousands of times for the miracle of coming back as well as I have (no high heels - only sensible shoes, no bungee jumping or deep sea diving or parachute jumping, no more running and slower walking - but NO wheelchair or walker and 80% or more normal for most everything else). Bonus year(s) are blessings that we should NEVER take for granted. I love that you're making the quilt from that very special card . . .

The Joyful Quilter said...

It appears that you are doing Ethan's design proud!! It's going to be an awesome quilt. Yay for bonus year number one!!!

Gene Black said...

I am glad you are still here. Life is fragile and uncertain. I feel that I have been spared so many times that I could have 'died right there' but didn't by God's grace.

Forget the "fear of failure" and create that quilt. Your spirit will guide you to do greater things than you know.

Quilting Babcia said...

Those of us who know bonus days and years cheer you on to many more! That sweet card is a precious reminder of your grandson's love, and how delighted he will be to see your quilted reminder of that love! May you be blessed with many more years of love and quilting!

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I am so thankful you were spared and got help in time. I think you will be up to speed again in no time now that the first anniversary has passed. The little quilt is great and you just need to relax and enjoy and not fret about any part of it.

Elizabeth said...

That quilt is perfect. Just like you

Deanna said...

So glad you are here. I had a much less dramatic, but similar, experience with near-death pneumonia 4-1/2 years ago. Every day is a gift. Can't wait to see where the quilt goes.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

I'm glad you're still here, too! Like the song says - "We talk about forever, but we've only got today." I agree with Wanda - relax and enjoy - don't fret about any part of it - it will be wonderful and Ethan will be thrilled - ;))

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Now for a bonus decade! That will be a special quilt.

Shasta Matova said...

Congratulations on your bonus year, with many more to come. How wonderful to commemorate with a quilt made from a card. That is going to be a great quilt - your grandson is a great quilt designer!

Vicki W said...

That quilt is going to look great! What a great way to celebrate your bonus year!

Mystic Quilter said...

A thought provoking post Linda. I'm sure you do give thanks for the past year, thank you for sharing with us what we should do is we experience any of the symptoms you mention.
I'm so pleased that you're now able to start on your journey interpreting the treasured car from your grandson, and yes, you definitely have to have those stars!!