Rite of Passage

Not knowing what you bring to the world you create is an unopened treasure.

I am completely taken aback at the love showered upon me this past month.

What an insurmountable gift to truly, perhaps for a mere moment, feel you have made a difference in someone’s perspective.

Like most of us, I truly never think what I do is good enough, that there is truly talent and magic in these hands and head. (I’m sure this is a deep-seated childhood gig that should be explored.)

This last show was the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time, since I recently lost my mother.

I sat on a bed I had put in the shop (we will call this the crying bed). I sat and stared at the past displays, thinking how am I going to say goodbye to yet another thing in my life?

But isn’t that the real deal? It’s amazing that during the storm one has no idea the plan or gravity of what’s truly going on. Busy trying to hold it together, mask the pain and keep moving through what we think we have to do, and the importance of the moment is lost. 

What I was oblivious to in the moment, is that I was moving through a rite of passage. Like all the ones before: riding a bike, getting my license, first love, learning to sew. My mother was an excellent seamstress and always produced the most beautiful things for me. I inherited this talent, although it’s taken me this long to say it is a talent. I could never figure out how to cut with a pattern, so I learned to cut out by eye (blind cutting … I had no idea this is considered very difficult). I had a flourishing business in the early ‘90s making wedding gowns, but that’s another story.

This rite of passage came to me via loss.

Loss … what a word; a minus, a void, something you can’t find, like looking for a pin in the dark.

I was willingly giving up what I had worked so hard to create, and unwillingly lost my mother.

You only get one mother….

I have learned this is the most impactful (good or bad) relationship you will ever have. It forms you, shapes you, makes you who you are … with all the flaws, all the sparkle, all the secret hidden talents, the rough parts and not-so-sparkly parts.

My relationship with my mother was very complicated, but she was the strongest woman I will ever know. She taught me to believe I could do anything I put my mind to. She told me I was a rare and special being, and that no one could ever change that. The core values that make me, me … I learned from her.

My father taught me there was no gray area. Right and wrong, and no in between.

Now they are both gone, and I am an orphan; yet, I am now the matriarch of my family, being the oldest woman.

At my mother’s funeral, the people attending to her service asked me if we were ready to close the casket. After what felt like an eternity, I looked for my brothers … this must be a mistake, them asking me, and then it hit me. The gauntlet had been passed; it was now my turn.

I straightened my back, took a deep breath, let go of the little girl crying for her mother, and said, “Yes, we are ready.”

I will never, for the rest of my life, forget the sound of the key locking her casket. It was the finality of it all. That sound closed the door on my childhood and part of my innocence.

Two weeks later, I would hear that sound again as I prepared for my final goodbye to this little shop. Not the same of course, as losing my mother, but it was a loss.

I am proud of what we created, and I say “we” because The Winsome Nest is so many different people, and so many things made her what she is (you all know who you are, and the tremendous love and respect that I have for each and every one of you).

The little shop on the Delta is who she is because of all of my wonderful customers, all of whom feel like family when I open those red doors.

You come to support my dream, and it is never lost on me.

I was very emotional, fighting back an ugly cry, when I saw all of you standing there to say your final goodbye to my old gal. You will never know what that has meant to me. You were the reason she exists; without you she would never have gotten her legs. You’re the life that fills all the nooks and crannies of my beloved nest.

As this chapter closes, another one came to me … I have always known my little building would tell me what it wanted next. She has spoken, and I have listened.

My mind is again filled with excitement and endless possibilities, knowing “I can do whatever I put my mind to.”

I hope you anticipate her next story, as there is much more to come.


Comments (4)

  1. Beautifully written. “. . . like looking for a pin in the dark” – I hear you; I feel you, with losses of my own (mother, then father, then husband when our children were 9 & almost 11). It’s tough. You have so many talents, Liz. Keep creating those new chapters. 🩷

  2. I wish we met sooner but I’m so glad we were there on your last day! It was such a fun way to celebrate my birthday with my bonus daughters. Your words were beautifully said. I’m looking forward to your next adventure!

  3. Ahh beautifully said! I missed a huge part of your journey, yet so thrilled to see what extraordinary gifts lie ahead! You never disappoint, so much talent. So excited for what’s next!💜

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Winsome Nest

Winsome Nest