About Me

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Sublimity, OR, United States
I am artist of texture and color. I enjoy working with textiles, mixed media and the graphic arts. I am an avid cottage gardener with a love for pass along plants and big fluffy pink peonies and pink roses. Many of my tangible creations reflect my love of the garden and all its wonderful colors. I have been selling my creations online since 2002 beginning as a hobby. After 10 years I quit the day job to pursue my art as a full time passion.

15 November 2010

a tribute to a special lady

Recently a special friend passed on to heaven. I felt I needed to share the fond memories and the way she impacted my life as an adult. Alena was 95 when she passed, I expected a few more years out of her because her mom lived to be over 100...but Alena was one of the lucky ones who was of sound mind and in great health ~ the Lord took her in her sleep, a woman of great faith.

Alena hired me to work for her at Montgomery Ward in 1971. I was the tender age of 18. I was only going to work there a few months because I had plans to marry a guy in the Navy. Well, that didn't work out, so I stayed. In fact, I ended up working for that company for almost 25 years. Alena in a way was sort of a "second mom" to me. Being single and a gal who loved to party, I would drag myself into work some mornings with little sleep the night before. Sometimes she would scold me, other times she would send me get something to eat before I started work. My coworkers always told me that Alena would be so worried about me when I would go out of town driving long distances. Alena did not have any children of her own, so I guess she took me under her wing. The lady was a fabulous seamstress. She constructed some the most beautiful tailored clothing I had ever seen. Those were the days when it was cheaper to sew your own clothes rather than buy them. Often she would critique my own work, telling me ways I could improve on my sewing skills. Alena knew I would not eat Asian food, but took me to a restaurant that only served chinese and I had no choice but to try it. Need less to say I eat it all the time now. What both she and I didn't realize at the time, was that her influence was shaping my adult life. Her zest for life, attention to detail,  strong work ethic and faith were rubbing off.

A few years later Alena retired, and I took over her management job. When I was married she played the music at my wedding. (also a talented organist and played right up until she passed) She was there to visit me after the births of each of my kids. We kept in touch often. Thru the years the contact was less often usually only thru Christmas cards. Or I maybe ran into her out shopping. A world traveler, Alena continued to travel until last year, it was one of her passions to see and experience all there was out there. Her husband died in 1993.   It was there, at his funeral, that I witnessed her strong faith again. I hope she now knows what a remarkable impact that had on me. I was so impressed on how she handled his passing, as if he just moved on and she would see him later. Since then, I am no longer afraid of death, knowing my soul moves on to something more glorious.

So Alena, this is for you. I know you are basking in his glory, reunited with your loved ones.Until we meet again my friend!


cottonfieldfarm said...

Dearest Debbi, What a touching tribute to your special friend. I'm glad you knew her for so many years. I have a special lady at church on whose lap I often sat in Sunday School because I was too shy to join the others. That was back in the 50's. We just celebrated her 100th year in August, and she still drives and sometimes, I think her mind is clearer than mine! She has been a widow since the 70's, but has continued living life with such finess and zest. She too, plays the organ, mostly at the "Young Folks" homes (Nursing Homes!). Would that we all live so graciously!
God bless.

Unknown said...

A sweet and thoughful tribute to a dear friend.

From The Heart said...

Beautiful thoughts..I am sure she is smiling up in Heaven!
Bless you,

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

What a blessing having a mentor, mine was my children's great aunt Jo. thanks for sharing with us.

sandisstuff said...

What a beautiful tribute Debbi. We should all strive to have someone want to say those things about us when we pass. How lucky you were to have known her. She is absolutely smiling in heaven.

Debbiedoos said...

Oh Debbi, Alena sounded like a wonderful woman! And how lucky you were to have her in you life for sooooo long. She sounded really neat. I thank you for coming over to me, and for adding me back:) I could not stay away that long, however, I found my balance, and certainly realize I do not need to post in excess to have fun. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My Mom and sis are coming and I am very excited to see them. Debbie

Unknown said...

It is so wonderful that you had such a meaningful friendship all these years and I'm sure you will treasure Alena's memory forever.


Curtains in My Tree said...

You said that very well. You were very blessed to have known her and have her in your life.


The Gilded Cherub said...

How wonderful to have had such a special person in your life! She sounded like a angel to me. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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