Embroidery of Life

A pink Rhodochrosite caboshon wirewrapped and dedicated to the memory of Auntie Rose Emmons

We were at a celebration of a long time friend who was retiring after 37 years.
We were in San Jose, CA at the Bella Mia Italian Restaurant. There were just
six of us. Steve and his wife Sue, Monica and Bret, and ZoAnn and I. Steve,
Monica, and ZoAnn taught third grade together in Morgan Hill Unified School
District for many years. They had formed a strong bond of fellowship and
friendship during those critical times. It was one of those special moments in
life when people share their memories with treasured stories of those “Camelot
Moments” in life.

One of the stories was a big surprise. Steve passed around to each of us a
sheet of paper with a story I had shared years before. It was a story from
my Aunt Rose Emmons. The following is the story Steve called Embroidery
of Life.

When I was little, my mother used to sew a great deal. I would sit at
her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She
informed me that she was embroidering. As from the underside I watched
her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her
hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat.

She would smile at me, lookd down and gently say, ” Child you go about
your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering
I will put you on my knee and let you see the front side.”

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with some
bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few
moments would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Child,
come and sit on my knee.”

This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower, or a
sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy.
Then my Mother would say to me, ” My child, from underneath it did look
messy and jumbled, but you did not realize there was a plan on the top.
It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side, and
you will see what I was doing.

Many times through the years I have looked up to heaven and said,
“Father, what are You doing?” He has answered, “I am embroidering
your life.” I say, “But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The
threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?” The father seems to
tell me, “My child, you go about your business of doing MY business, and
one day I will bring you to heaven and put you on my knee and you will see
the plan from My side.”

It is strange how a story of my Aunt Rose Emmons came back to me from a
dear friend at his retirement celebration. Steve had remembered the story
and typed it up to be shared with us many years later. I was amazed and
very proud of my Aunt. The story has taken on a life of it’s own.

A subtext to this story is that I have seen my Grandmother Mary Brinkman
crochet and embroider using the same hoops mentioned in the story. I have
fond memories of being in the small living room of the little duplex on 5th and
Pearce in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Grandmother sitting and crocheting. I
remember the clicketedy click tickedy tick of her needles and of her quiet
ways. I still have her treasured wedding gift of embroidered pillows
received 50 years ago on June 2, 1962.

Auntie Rose sent this story to me many years ago in an email. I thought it
was one of her personal experience. However, the story can be found in many
places on the web. I have found that the story is a common one. Here is one
link to the story elsewhere:
http://www.turnbacktogod.com/story-gods-embroidery/

It does not take away from the reality of it in our family. Grandmother Mary
Brinkman did embroidery and crocheting. The pillows I have are real. The
memories of the house in Milwaukee are also true.

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4 responses to “Embroidery of Life

  1. Frank,

    What an endearing story. I used to do some embroidering in my twenties and I so understand the underside mess and the top-side artistry. I love the name Rose and this beautiful stone is very pleasing to behold. Savor all of those childhood memories.

    Theresa

    • @Theresa, Thank you. I have learned there is more to the story of The Rose. It seems Auntie Ruthie bid on Rose and it was superceded by several others even after she increased her bid. When Auntie Rose was alive they were very close. There was no respect for elders in this family picnic silent auction bidding. When the distribution of the blind auction started Auntie Ruthie got up and walked to the table picked up Rose and announced the cabashon was hers! She told the nieces and nephews to put away their money because she had more than they did and she was writing the check right now! Everyone laughed. Within the last couple of days I found out she gave Rose to her granddaughter Rose who was named after Auntie Rose. That made me smile and chuckle.

  2. Beautiful story Frank. The take-away message for me: When my life seems like such a mess, trust God. He knows the end from the beginning.

    • @Melissa I was recently with someone who has had a lot of adversity in his life. He made a statement that made he uses to keep a positive attitude in the face of calamity and chaos; “If things are not good, God is not finished yet.” This is similar to a statement that is made in the recent movie “The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold” I am told. I like your message. Thank you.

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