Unfinished Projects

Yesterday, I told you about beautiful baby Grace. We got an unexpected call Monday night.  We dropped what we were doing and rushed to the hospital. A life beginning.

Today, I want to tell you about my beautiful mother-in-law, Ann. We got an unexpected call Tuesday night. We dropped what we were doing and rushed to the hospital. A life ending.

I can’t begin to tell you everything I need to tell you about Ann. Her generosity. Her unending kindness – to everyone. Anyone. Her love for God. And her family. I can’t do that now. I just can’t.

But there is one thing that I want you to know this morning about my beautiful mother-in-law …

Ann loved needlepoint. She made each of her children and grandchildren the most exquisite needlework pieces. Christmas stockings. Ornaments. Pillows. She gifted each and everyone of us with needlepoint heirlooms. Reflections of her love, her artistry, and her time. She completed many difficult projects. Just for us.

Earlier this week I was retrieving her large, familiar needlework bag for my sister in-law-in when I realized that Ann had some unfinished projects. Inside the bag, I found skeins of gorgeous colored threads.

Rich wools. Delicate silks. All neatly arranged in small bags.

Unfinished projects.

The unfinished projects surprised me. Because Ann was always doing something. Always. But when I saw those skeins tucked neatly in her bag … I realized something.

Those unfinished needlework projects don’t matter anymore.

What matters is that Ann finished well with the people in her life.

She has loved us each wholly and honestly. Unconditionally.

And that love extended beyond family. Everyone Ann met … received her warm, generous compassion. Her exquisite kindness. Her unconditional love.

Her wisdom speaks to me this morning: Love people. Endlessly. Extravagantly. Relentless. With all of your energy, every day of your life.

Because unfinished projects are just … unfinished projects. And in a  life well lived, they are  beautiful just the same.