A Very Special Needlepoint

April 29, 2014 in Inspirational Stuff

Way waaaay back when I first started this blog (okay, it was the fall of 2012, but it feels like it was a long time ago), I tried posting a regular feature called “Quote of the Week” where I’d highlight a funny phrase one of my kids said and tell the backstory to it. My second “Quote of the Week” was posted back in September 2012 with the following phrase, stated so eloquently by Little Dude:

“Mom, I’m going from patient to pissed!”

If you want to read the backstory to why he said that, click here.

When I began blogging, I had about five loyal readers. Today, I have about ten, but let’s not focus on that now. One of my most faithful readers was my mother. She’d rarely write anything in the comment section, but I’d almost always receive an email from her the same day of my post, saying something like, “fantastic last line on your post today – xoxo” or “one of my favorite posts yet – xoxo.” I loved hearing her feedback, even if I knew it was incredibly slightly biased.

When I posted the above “Quote of the Week,” I can’t recall her exact comment, but I do remember having a phone conversation about it and she kvelled (look it up – Yiddish word) over how beautifully Little Dude could express himself.

A few months after I started blogging, my mother’s cancer returned and she succumbed to pancreatic cancer months later in April 29, 2013, one year ago today. After her passing, I went into the city about once a week to spend time with my dad and brought him meals (cooked by my husband of course). Although we weren’t ready to think about what to do with my mother’s clothes and possessions, we did sift through her mail and more immediate concerns. One day, we came across an unfinished needlepoint. When I saw more specifically what she had been working on, I almost couldn’t believe it. The needlepoint was Little Dude’s quote, which she lifted straight from my blog.

I’m not clear on whether she was working on the needlepoint to give to me or Little Dude, but I do know she wanted to surprise one (or both) of us with it. There was only one problem: I have no idea how to needlepoint. My dad suggested perhaps I just frame it as is, half-finished. But, I knew she’d want it completed.

As my ten loyal readers know, Little Dude was diagnosed with his cancerous tumor a mere two months after my mom’s passing. As I thought more about the unfinished needlepoint, I realized I needed to have it finished to give to Little Dude as a surprise once his treatments were done. His quote also seemed to have more meaning now — perhaps even a double one, since he’s been a patient for the past ten months. But since he and I have been essentially velcroed to one another this past year, I wasn’t sure how I could work on the needlepoint without him seeing it.

About two months ago, I walked into the needlepoint store, which oddly enough is in walking distance of my house. I knew I was running out of time because Little Dude was scheduled to finish his treatments in April 2014. I explained my predicament and asked if I could pay someone there to finish it. She took the needlepoint and my phone number and said she’d get back to me. A few weeks later, I received a phone call that the needlepoint had been finished as a joint effort by all their employees and there was no charge for it. My first thought? There are still lots of good people out there. ♥

Last night, I presented the needlepoint to Little Dude. We are going to hang it in his room, so he has a constant reminder of both his loving grandma as well as his own sense of humor, which undoubtedly helped him through this very difficult year. Here is Grandma Ethel’s masterpiece (with a little help from the local needlepoint shop), as inspired by Little Dude:


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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

marjorie weschler April 29, 2014 at 8:32 am

This is a beautiful story. I’m sure your Mom is smiling. And little dude will treasure that needlepoint forever.


ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 10:43 am

I think you’re right…when I told him I wasn’t sure if the needlepoint was meant for him or me but that I wanted him to have it, he said, “I think it was meant for me.” So sweet.


jdigi82 April 29, 2014 at 10:38 am

love everything about this post!! looking forward to reading more from you :) xo, jess
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ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

Thanks – glad you liked it. :)


Kerri April 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Oh…..I am having goosebumps that you gave it to Little Dude on what must have been a horrific anniversary for you. that the store got IT and realized that they had to pay it forward to give you & the Dudes what you deserve. That there are fantastic people out there you just have to be willing to be out there with what you need.

At the same time I am cracking up. Because my mom reads my blog and NEVER comments but she will call me and say “good job” which means more than having a million followers.

My heart is with you both as you grieve and celebrate the end of April!!
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ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Thanks Kerri and yes, it’s a strange time to be both grieving and celebrating. Oddly enough, Little Dude’s last treatment occurred on what would have been my mom’s 76th birthday – I think that has meaning, like maybe she brought us across the finish line. Oh and I love that your mom reads but never comments on your blog either. :)


KCF April 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Emily, This would be a great little piece to send somewhere! Lovely story. Your writing friend, Kim. xoxo


ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Thanks Kim – I’ll think about submitting it elsewhere!


Sarah April 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm

This post touched me deeply from the grief of two such close loved ones with cancer to the perfection of that quote to finishing unfinished handwork. I am working on a post about connecting with ancestors through handcrafts and this seems like another example. I am new here and so did not know your stories. I hope your son is mending. I’ll keep an eye out for more posts.


ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Your post sounds like it’s going to be interesting – I’ll definitely keep an eye out for your posts as well! Thanks so much for reading and I’m glad it had meaning for you.


Diane M April 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Love this, Emily. It made me cry. xxoo


Janine Huldie April 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I totally remember that from when I first was reading your blog and loved the ending to this today. Definitely made me smile and there really are still some good people out there still!! :)
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ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Yes – I agree that the good people who finished the needlepoint for me are what helped make this such a touching situation. I’m just glad we found it in the first place so that we could enjoy her efforts and thoughtful gift.


Kristi Campbell April 29, 2014 at 7:21 pm

*SNIFF!!* I love this. I love everything about it – the caring from the employees at the needlepoint store, that your mom was working on it, and the timing of Little Dude getting to hang it in the room. Beautiful post, Emily!
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ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Thanks – I wasn’t sure it would all work out timing wise, but it just seemed to make sense to have it finished and give it to him at the end of his treatment.


Ken Green April 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm

This story was a most heartwarming story I ever read in a long while and it brought tears to my eyes. Blessing to you all.


ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Thank you for reading and I’m glad it touched you in some way – thank you for your blessings too!


stacey April 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm

OK Em…I never wrote on a blog…so this is a first. Marina told me to read your blog today…I guess she thought i needed a good cry! You have taught me so much this year and i have learned through you about strength, love and kindness. This quote touches them all! I am so glad you and little dude and the whole cappo family are through with this hard year and i only want good things for you guys! XOXO


ohboymom April 29, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I’m honored that I’m the first blog you’ve ever commented on.:) I want you to know that YOU have also taught me about love and kindness and how my true friends are there for me in both good times and bad. I’ve learned a lot about the type of friend I want to be and the friendships I want to nurture. Hope to see you and Marina very soon! xoxo


Kelly April 30, 2014 at 10:44 am

That is the sweetest thing ever! I love the quote too…it even sounds kinda biblical don’t ya think? Hahaha


ohboymom April 30, 2014 at 9:15 pm

It’s funny you say that because the way my mom stitched it with L. Dude’s name at the end, it looks like a verse from the bible!


Dana April 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Love, love, love. I also love the quote itself. Do you think Little Dude would mind if I borrowed it?
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ohboymom April 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Thanks Dana – and Little Dude is happy to share his words! :)


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