Sunday, July 6, 2008

Expressions of Love

People demonstrate love in lots of different ways, and not always with words.

Susan’s sister Barbara completed a memory quilt in honor of Susan which you can see pictured to the right and also in the “Susan’s Family Album” slideshow. It has 25 squares representing some of the most important things in Susan’s life. Looking at it from right to left and top to bottom, here is the meaning of each creation:

The hummingbird is a symbol in the Melanoma community, known as the “Wings of Hope”. You can read the story on the Melanoma Research Foundation website. A link to it is in the lower right of this page.

Ever since our first trip to Alaska in 2004, we’ve loved the moose image. In various places around the house, we have stuffed moose, carved moose, moose sculpture, moose t-shirts, a moose apron, and even a moose bird-bath! A moose had to be in the quilt!

Susan’s gardens, developed over our eleven years in this house, are her pride and joy. They’re an important part of our backyard sanctuary, along with the bird feeders and the bird bath. We love Barbara’s design and the fact that she even included a watering can!

Lattes and Dairy Queen Blizzards are staples. Aren’t they for everyone?

Susan has always been interested in crafts. For a while during this journey, Susan did beading and accumulated a large inventory of necklaces, bracelets, and other items (such as purses) adorned with beads. She has always had good taste in colors, clothes, and accessories – but with the beading, she demonstrated unique artistry.

Downers Grove, Illinois is the place where Susan grew up. It’s also where she and Rob first met.

The Given family of Downers Grove, Illinois.

Knitting is another of Susan’s crafts and one which she still pursues. In addition to her artistry in color and design choices, she finds it therapeutic.

Susan’s professional life was always focused on science and health care. Our proudest moments include the completion of her first nursing degree followed by a rewarding career in public health, particularly women’s health where she developed subject matter expertise in the uninsured/underinsured population. She was unable to complete her Master’s Degree curriculum due to her diagnosis, but she received an honorary master’s degree with the rest of her graduating classmates.

Susan and I have been involved in musical theater from the very beginning. In addition to leading roles in shows such as “The Wizard of Oz” (Wicked Witch) and “Nunsense” (Sister Hubert), Susan worked on costumes for many productions.

Our first son was named Jonathan or “Gift of God” by his grateful parents after several years of anxious efforts. Thus the great parenting adventure began!

On the other side of his mother’s name is Patrick or “Nobleman”, our second gift from God. He added a whole new dynamic to the great parenting adventure and now we are the enormously proud parents of two fine young men.

Our first trip to Alaska came shortly after the Stage IV diagnosis and was funded by a wide circle of wonderful friends. Our second trip was a cruise along the Alaskan coast last summer. Barbara’s design is beautiful and shows one of the unique topographical features of that latitude – high treeless mountains near the sea.

Our souls have been connected to each other and to Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Denver since 1977. Even when we lived away from Colorado for eight years, our spiritual and social centers were still rooted to Montview. It is a very special place with very special people.

The Moody Family of Colorado.

Our wedding date. Other special dates we recognize include the summer of 1972 when we first met, and April of 1977 when we first realized we were in love.

This square depicts Casey whom we’ve had for almost two years and our beloved Sam, who died in January of 2008. We adopted Sam in 1996 and he forged a new place in our family which Casey now holds.

For our 25th anniversary, Susan and I treated ourselves to our first cruise – a New Year’s spree in the Caribbean. The Caribbean was a lovely place to revisit (we honeymooned in Cancun), and we fell in love with cruising!

Not only is Montview Church at our core, but Westminster Choir is where we have spent much of our time and where we have forged many of our life long relationships. Both Susan and I have been soloists in Westminster Choir concerts and in church services.

Our address is Aurora, Colorado, but we think of ourselves as Denverites.

This is the first verse of a poem I wrote for Susan called “Soul Mate”. One of our choir friends, Sarah, has put it to music and it will be performed at Susan’s memorial service.

Our second cruise was a wonderful voyage around Europe from Rome to Copenhagen. The picture is modeled after a Holland America ship, our favorite cruise line.

There is a reason why we live in Colorado and one of our favorite hangouts, and an icon of living in the Rocky Mountain Region, is Estes Park.

We deeply appreciate Barbara's beautiful designs, her handiwork, and most of all the love that went into this.

1 comment:

Peter Martinez said...

The quilt sounds very personal. thanks for sharing the meaning. Best wishes Peter (Dr. Heiken)