All I have left of nine months of painstaking work when I had a baby and three rebellious homeschooled youngsters is this out of focus photo.
What is it?
It's an Easter basket cover.
When I married into the Eastern Christian church, I experienced a whole new set of rich Easter traditions and foods. After weeks of strict Lenten fasting, a variety of certain foods (with special recipes to accompany them) were prepared on Holy Saturday, gathered into a decorated basket, and brought to church at midnight (along with a white candle) for resurrection services, to be blessed after services.
Draped over many of these baskets were hand-embroidered cloths. Some of these were very old, family heirlooms.
I wanted to make such a cloth.
Because I suffered from severe all-day sickness with my pregnancies, my sister taught me to crosstitch to pass the time. I made one item for the house and many gifts. But with each passing Easter, what I really wanted to make was this cloth. However, the work and time required to effect it was complicated and beyond my abilities.
After my fourth child was born, I decided the cloth wasn't going to make itself. It took nine months, but I finished it by Holy Week and brought it to a local seamstress to hem. I got it back on Holy Saturday 1991, the eleventh hour, so to speak.
It's gone. We lost it in the move.
The loss bites.
This year marked the third year of no cloth.
Year one we were at my mother's and figured it was packed somewere.
Year two, we had gone through every box, and it was nowhere.
Year three, well, what can I say?
Yes, I know the celebration is more important than textile and colorful thread. But a lot of love for meaning behind the "Christ is Risen!" and for my family, for whom I intended this to be a keepsake, went into every stitch.
It will be hard to replace.