Katie Strumpf
"Helping kids with cancer.......a cancer survivor's story"  

Stitched Together

It had arrived.

No, not yet another pair of shoes, though I do love opening shoe boxes!

This was far more precious than any pair of strappy stilettos, any buttery brown boots.

It was Adam's t-shirt quilt.

After Adam passed away and before I moved to Charleston, I wasn't sure what to do with the countless t-shirts Adam had, (but respected his appreciation for copious amounts of clothes!), and his Aunt Judy offered to turn them into a quilt. I loved this idea.

But beautiful and thougtful creations take time, and his aunt lovingly sewed together this cozy creation that captured Adam's zany and sentimental self. I picked out all his favorite t-shirts, and they are now stitched together and each one reminds me of a different aspect, memory, or quirk of Adam.

It is the ultimate gift of warmth.

A Charleston friend who never met Adam said that the quilt gave her a glimpse into who Adam was, what he valued, where he had been. Her insightful and kind sentiment touched me, as she recognized the quilt's significance, Adam's significance.

Its delivery prompted me to ponder...that I am not so different from the quilt myself.

Adam's death left me torn apart, cut into pieces, and yet slowly, surely sewn back together.

In a better world, those t-shirts would have been worn for much longer. Yet that was not their fate, but instead to be sewn together into something new. 

I feel the same way; I had plans, dreams, and hopes for a life one way, but that was not my fate.

Instead I was sewn together into something new, taking the pieces of me to fit together into this new life.

I am not the same woman who packed up those t-shirts over 2.5 years ago. She was scared, tired, yet hopeful for a new path, a new life.

Now I have that new life, for which I am grateful.

I have a completely different life than I did at this time 2 years ago, I was just starting out in Charleston.

Now I have carved out an identity, a home, a life in Charleston.

I have fallen in love, which I wasn't sure I would be able to do, wasn't sure I would get so lucky to do again.

I met this amazing man at a party in which he didn't know the host, was brought (dragged) by his friend Adam who works at a childhood cancer foundation.

Sometimes the universe sends you a sign, and if you are smart enough, you will pick up on it.

I saw the sign (I can't help but hum Ace of Base while typing that) but wasn't sure I was ready for it, for him.

Turns out, I was.

I couldn't help but fall for him, and I continue to do so. His depth of character, maturity, and compassion amaze and inspire me.

He accepts my past, my feelings for Adam, he simply accepts me.

I actually received the t-shirt quilt while he was over, and was touched at his interest, kindness, and comfort with what had to be a bit weird for him.

I strive to respect him, what we have, while also honoring my unique situation, my memories and love for Adam.

As they often do, some song lyrics recently resonated with me, Fun's Carry On:

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
 May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Because all we can do, all I can do, is carry on. 
So carry on I shall. 
While also making no apologies for embracing this new path, for living my life with zest.
For being me, stitched back together.







Posted by Katie Strumpf at 9:29 PM on February 7, 2013 | Comments (0)


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