Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Goodbye to a Friend



Yesterday was very sad as my good friend, Berylene Frampton, passed away.  I met Berylene 20+ years ago and we knew immediately that we were kindred spirits.  Although I was almost 20 years younger, I couldn't keep up with her.  She lived big, had a smile for everyone and was always ready to go.

Berylene had her own candy company and was well known for her wonderful chocolate creations.  Every Easter she had orders for over 1,000 personalized chocolate eggs with a variety of fillings and Christmas was 2 months of filling special orders.  We always found personalized chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny on our doorstep Easter morning and Santa delivered our favorite candy on Christmas day. 

Berylene loved to quilt and did it in a big way.  She had 8 children so each quilting project for the home needed to be made 10 times, one for each child, one for her and one for her sister.  I lost count years ago of the grandchildren and great grandchildren that needed quilts and for each month her home was decorated in a theme which, of course, meant quilts to hang.  There was also the "cookie of the month" that she special ordered and had decorated for that month's theme and was given to each visitor to her home.  I could go on and on with stories but I will finish with the final quilt story of her life.

Last September Berylene underwent surgery and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which would be terminal, even with chemotherapy.  She elected to skip the chemo so she could feel good and make 34 baby quilts before dying...... her surgeon told her she would have only 2 months to live.  Even for Berylene it takes more than 2 months to make 34 quilts so she didn't die in December.  She finished the baby quilts about a month ago and started working on a quilt for her coffin.

You see, she wanted daffodils on her coffin but this isn't the time of year to buy daffodils, so she thought a daffodil quilt would be nice.  A few weeks ago I took her out for ice cream and she was telling me about this daffodil quilt - how some blocks were machine embroidery, some were appliqued, some were pieced, and to be honest I thought "wow, another big Berylene project".  She didn't tell me it was for her coffin.

During one of my visits last week, one of Berylene's daughters asked me if I could put the blocks together for her.  You've heard me say many times that piecing isn't "my thing" but knowing how important this was to my dear friend, something must have clicked deep in my brain and within 8 hours I had all these various sized pieces put together.  I rushed to show it to her and lay it over her on what was to be the last time I could see her and tell her how much I loved her.

Berylene's friend, Karen Morgan, completed the machine quilting, I added the binding and large daffodils, and delivered it to the family last night.  It was such an honor to fulfill this wish for my friend who I will miss each day.


14 comments:

  1. Oh Kerry, such an emotional story about your friend. So good that you have such lovely memories of her.
    I think of you, take care.

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  2. What an amazing tribute and how wonderful you could help your friend complete her final project.

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  3. This is a truly emotional post Kerry - such a lovely friend. She will be surrounded by daffodils now :)

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  4. Lovely quilt and lovely memoirs! They will last you a lifetime.

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  5. How fortunate to have a friend like Berylene in your life!

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  6. Your tribute is so lovely. I am truly sorry for your loss.

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  7. Wow...I wish I could have been her friend :) She seems like she was a real inspiration and joy to be around.

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  8. I am Berylene's oldest granddaughter. Thank you for being such a devoted friend and providing this amazing act of service for my beloved Grandma Ber. I know how much she loved you and treasured your friendship.

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  9. Oh, Kerry. That is the most lovely remembrance I've seen. What a fortunate lady to have you for a friend. May she rest in peace.

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  10. Thank you to everyone that read and commented on my story about Berylene. I have dreamed about her every night and last night we were quilting and laughing together.

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  11. Such a beautiful tribute. We had fun talking about her last night at Girl Gang. Amazing woman who's legacy lives on. XO.

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  12. What a beautiful quilt! You are a beautiful friend!

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  13. Hello, The story of Berylene really touched me. I'm a quilter and it's nearly a year since I lost my mother to ovarian cancer. Berylene sounds a very brave lady, who looked out for her friends and family and was much loved. The quilt is sunny and beautiful and a glimpse of her personality. I'm so pleased you were able to enjoy her friendship - take care and cherish your memories of happy times together.

    Lynne

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