My father called me today. My father never calls. He is phone-a-phobic, in addition to not really being one for small talk, though I suppose the two go hand-in-hand. I should have known something was up except for the fact that it is also my birthday, and I naively assumed he called to wish me a happy birthday. He has picked up the phone for that in the past so it was not totally out of the realm of possibility to imagine that was why he called. He was calling to let me know that my godmother, Carmen, had passed away Monday night. She was 90 years old and lived a very full life. She was living in Seattle these last years to be close to her youngest son and his kids. She was very much loved. From the sounds of it, she had been ill lately, and her family was able to emotionally prepare for this. But still….
I’ve spent most of the day on and off the phone with my dad and my pseudo-uncle, whom she helped raise as their mothers (her sisters) passed away shortly after each was born, remembering her. She and her sisters were all seamstresses with a playful on-going competition amongst them as to who was the best. She worked at a factory when she first moved to NY from Puerto Rico and became a stay-at-home mom once she married and had kids. She had a strong DIY ethos and was super-crafty. She played a huge role in my love and appreciation for the handmade. She taught me how to hand-sew and how to embroider. She helped me to piece together my first patchwork project (a book cover made from felt squares) and encouraged me to pick up crafting books at the library. She nurtured my love for making things and encouraged my creative endeavors. And she did the same with her grandchildren, whom she loved immensely.
I don’t know what else to say right now other than to state the obvious: that she will be missed.