I’m sure that most of you already know this if you are a member of the quilting world, but I need to blog about it anyway.
Remember when I talked about how we went to the Ricky Tims Super Seminar? And how I was totally taken with Libby Lehman? Get ready, because this is the sad part – she had a brain aneurysm about a week ago. The short of it is that they did surgery to clamp it off and things were looking very positive but then they discovered she had a massive stroke on her left side and Libby is left-handed. This makes things not so optimistic. The last update was that they are lifting the sedated sleep she was in and that there is some movement in her left arm and leg where they had previously thought her to be paralyzed. Lots of things going on there. If you want the full updates, check out Ricky Tims Facebook page. He has been giving updates daily and talking with members of Libby’s family to bring us current and accurate information.
I could wax poetic on how short life is and take advantage of the opportunities you have and give a hug to your loved ones tonight, but you already know all that so I’m going to go in a different direction. One that Ricky went in on his last couple of posts and a perspective that we don’t think about.
Yes, it is horrible that she and her family are suffering through so much and I would feel that way about any family. Especially the not knowing how things are going to come out part. However, Libby also has a huge fan base and quilters tend to be fairly generous. After all we always seem to be doing something for charity or giving away our finished creations as gifts to others. Ricky pointed out (as tactfully as possible so as not to offend her adoring fans) that Libby has a long way to go and that while it is a great thought to jump in and start organizing and making blocks for a quilt for Libby by her fans, that may really not be the way to go. Libby won’t be able to appreciate it right now and things are in a critical state with no one knowing which way this will go. This would then leave the family to deal with what could be a multitude of quilts. Which is perfectly reasonable and understandable. This was a hard thing to say, because lots of folks have a knee-jerk reaction to do something. But it got me to thinking. After all, while I adore Libby she has a huge fan base and lots of people wanting to do things to boost her and her family’s spirits and not all of us are fortunate in that way. It made me think a little closer to home.
Do we overwhelm those that are close to us when they are going through something similar such as a major medical emergency or the loss of a loved one? Sometimes I think we do. We rush in for the immediate action. I think that while we are truly offering our best to help others, we may not actually consider what that person might really need. They might just need space, or a card to let them know someone is thinking of them. One thing that is popular to do is prepare meals. Don’t get me wrong – I think it is a great idea however the flip side of that is that the family may be inundated with food to the point that they don’t know what to do with it all. Or it may be bad timing if they are running back and forth to the hospital or to see family that is at a distance.
I know this may make me sound like a Scrooge, and that is certainly not my intent. I would only like to suggest a different way of thinking about being supportive and I would also like to say that this is only my opinion. Everyone always makes the rush to do something right away when something happens. Sometimes that is the easy part to deal with, only because you are caught in the flow of things and have no choice but to go along until the tempest is over. I believe that the hard part begins when that tempest is over. Sure, there were friends and family who were there at the time things were happening, but when it’s over and help may still be needed everyone has already gone home. Sometimes the simple things like a gift card for gas or a thoughtful card can help someone get through another day. Especially after the Call for Action has been completed.
I think that is what Ricky is trying to tell everyone, on Libby’s behalf, and because he knows her well is able to give good practical insight. He knows that this will be a long recovery and she will need the support long after today or next week. She will more than likely need it over the next year depending on how things go. It just made me think a little differently and wonder about applying it to my own life and of course I am sharing that with you.
Everything else aside. Libby is still in critical condition and Ricky is encouraging folks to send cards or quilted cards. You can find the address on his Facebook page. If you need it, drop a comment and I’ll see about getting that to you. I don’t always feel right about posting that kind of personal information online, especially without permission.
I’ll put my soapbox away for now, because I have a quilted card to make.
Oh, I would like to leave you with one more thing. Here is where you may think me a bit nutty (if you don’t think that already). There is a poem that certain lines come to mind when I am dealing with adverse situations and I would like to share it with you. I came across this poem (believe it or not) while reading Bridget Jones’ Diary : The Edge of Reason. It is by Rudyard Kipling. Enjoy, perhaps it will strike a chord with you as well. Fight the fight Libby – I believe you can come through this.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!