Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kathy's Travel: Where Are You Going, Dad ?

Moving from Anchorage, AK to Gatesville, TX 2-1/2 years ago, I hadn't anticipated traveling the roads I've encountered during the past 3 months.  A voice mail message from my Dad, "I'm really sick.  I need help."  And with that one phone call, the journey began.

Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, clinics; out-of-control diabetes, insulin, glucose levels; EKGs, CAT scans, ultra sound; doctors, nurses; cardiologist, cath-lab, surgery, stents; Medicare, insurance, VA eligibility; home health care, assisted living; legal documents, bank account, Power of Attorney, Advance Directive, DNR orders; transportation, walker, cane, scooter, grab rails; confusion, memory loss, meetings with funeral homes, discussions about memorial services.                              Exhaustion.

The fabric I used in my "Travel" quilt  is filled with all kinds of dates and locaions that signify the extraordinary amont of time, effort, and coordination it takes to keep my Dad moving forward on his journey.   The "Stitched-on-Air" sphere on the upper left side was inspired by an article by Nancy Green on page 32 of the October/November 2012 Quilting Arts Magazine.    Quite often I feel like we're lost in outer-space; we're overwhelmed by the complexities of his health care.           The most difficult, serious, and personal challenge for me as I travel this journey is dealing with my parent who doesn't believe in prayer, and who doubts that God exists.                    "Where are you going, Dad? "

Front of "Where Are You Going, Dad?
Close up of "Stitching on Air" (Front of quilt)

Back of "Where Are You Going, Dad?"
Close up of "Stitching on Air" (Back of quilt)


  1. Wow...I am impressed! However was it created. My mother loved living in Gatesville as a young girl, so I hope you can enjoy it as much. Well Done!!

  2. I feel profound angst in this quilt Kathy. Not only yours but your Dad's as well. Thank you for the back story ~ it helps us relate to the human condition, which is a travel through life all of its own. Your quilt piece is saturated with the most important question we face at the end of our days. It isn't an easy quilt or question to contemplate but well worth doing so.

  3. Thank you for this quilt. We are also going through this with an elderly parent and so many of my friends are dealing with the same issue. It is such a fine line between care for a loved one and loss of dignity. You don't know how many people you might help just by saying you are exhausted as so many are and have no one who understands. You will be in my thoughts.

  4. Dearest Kathy--How this quilt and your narrative touched my heart! I knew a bit of this back story but not all of it, of course. The way you have taken your pain and your dad's sad journey and worked it into a quilt is powerful and beautiful. So many of us have walked this road you are traveling or are walking it now or will in the future. My heart goes out to you. AND I am so grateful you are in this group, you are willing to bare your soul to us, and I'm in awe of the way you have interpreted this journey in your quilt.

  5. Like the others, I thank you for making and sharing this quilt with us: simple in design, but profound in meaning.

  6. Powerful quilt and powerful story. Beautiful job depicting this difficult time in your life.