Valentines week begins today. Spread the love.
Today’s guest blog is written by actor/writer/producer Stacey Bernstein.
I met Stacey when we worked together at Global Television in the newsroom. I include her story this week, when love is in the zeitgeist. There are all kinds of love. This one touched me. I hope you love it as much as I did.
by Stacey Bernstein
Thirty years ago my Mom started this needlepoint project after she left my Dad. I always said my mother, a talented interior designer, could knit a building; she was an incredible crafts person. She could refinish furniture, reupholster furniture, draw, cook...she was a wonder woman to me and everything became more beautiful with her expert eye, skill and magical touch. A decision to return to school and balancing work left her little time to continue with this massive project of which she only got a sixth of it done.
About ten years ago, when I downsized Mom from one apartment to another, I found the needlepoint tapestry in a drawer and was wowed by the potential: there was no design on the canvas. It was something she was copying from a book. I loved it instantly and I begged her to finish it but she felt she just didn’t have the the time to work on it anymore. She gave me her blessing to take it and if I could ever find someone who could continue the work then she would be most happy to pass it on.
Miraculously, through a friend, I met someone who knew someone and so the story goes that a mother and daughter, master needle pointers named Luypka and Irina Vasileva from Bulgaria, complete strangers to me at the time, loved what I was trying to do and agreed to help me complete this. Out of love (and a friendship that formed very quickly), they took on this big project three years ago; it was completed in November 2017.
My mother knew it was in good hands, and saw intermittent photos of the developing process, but never lived to see it finished.
Because it wasn’t done on a loom or any kind of framing, it developed somewhat of a lopsided shape but looks as if it’s forward moving. I’m going to have it blocked further and mounted. The colours in the design make me joyful.
The twist was that years ago, my Mom finished needle-pointing five dining room seats left incomplete by a cousin who died before she could see them completed for her daughter. After mailing them with care, my Mom was upset because she never heard back from our cousin’s daughter after she forwarded the completed project.
I told her at the time that instead of feeling unappreciated, she should instead feel good that she completed them out of love and the best of intentions for our cousin— somehow the universe has a way of reciprocating. And it did. Every time I look at this magnificent tapestry I know it was conceived out of love and completed with love. I’m so grateful and I think Mom would be too.
Note from Anne: Stacey lost her mom seven months ago and told me she bawled my eyes out writing this post as she misses her mom every day: “My mom was the coolest lady I ever knew. If I can be half the person she was I’ll count myself lucky. The photo of her above is after we had a fun day shopping in Buffalo. It’s how I like to remember her.”
Happy Valentines to you, my friend. Thanks for contributing. Readers, do you have a love story to share? I’m waiting. firstname.lastname@example.org