Three events came together in the past 3 weeks that made me appreciate what I do for a living and what my customers.
I went to my 45th college reunion. I had gone to Sophie Newcomb - the women's division of Tulane University. All the women in my class were go-getters and have gone on to be judges, attorneys, museum curators, and so on . The list is mind-boggling. I went with fear and trepidation. I was almost embarrassed to admit that I own a needlepoint shop. How "cutesy" - how mundane. Much to my dismay, I ended up being admired. Almost every woman I talked to said " You STILL love what you do????". Seems most were burned out by now and simply in holding patterns until retirement. And, yes, I still love what I do - probably even more today than 37 years ago when I started the business. I have made friends from all walks of life, friends of all ages. People who walk in my doors come because they WANT to be here.
The other two events were funerals of friends I made through the shop. Very different but both very courageous women. Eunice was 93. Probably the most independent woman I have ever met. When her children took away her car at 92 ( she had had a little "fender bender" ) she was frightened that she couldn't get here to get her supplies. We found workarounds - if she couldn't get here, I'd go to her.
The other woman - Beverly - fought a long long hard hard battle against multiple myeloma. An amazing woman in many ways.
Here's what happened: At both funerals, noone knew I was coming so nothing said was for my personal benefit. At BOTH funerals, much was made in the elegies about all the wonderful needlepoint both had done and had given. The family members all said how lucky they were to have so many things to remember her by and to keep her a part of their daily lives. Both were remembered for what giving people they were and for the time she had given them in making the stockings, pillows , ornaments and such for them and for others.
I realized that I had inadvertantly brought joy to both the stitcher and the families. You, as stitchers, do this every day. So, I'll stay in business so that you can keep creating meaningful things for all those you love.