Prior to my starting radiotherapy a dear family friend made the most incredible gesture of love for me. She had made a stunning patchwork quilt that she wanted to give to me.
On one side of the quilt were colourful, bright tropical flowers that had been magnificently patch-worked into hexagons. The backdrop to the hexagons was an amazing quilted black background. This was bordered with beautiful tropical flowers.
The other side of the quilt was a solid block of differently coloured hibiscus which weren’t quite as bright as the patchwork side. When I had severe headaches, or when extra visual stimulation was too much, I would turn the quilt over and have this side up.
To add to the beauty of the quilt, everywhere there were flowers was stitched with a variegated thread. This varied in colour so that it showed all the colours of the rainbow winding through the quilt. What inspired me through this thread, even though a thread is such a simple thing, was that it didn’t stop changing colour. That made me think about how my life wouldn’t stop changing ‘colour’ either, that I would move on from the exhausted ‘dark’ time I was experiencing and into a brighter future.
Since my time at fashion design school colours had very distinctly symbolised different things to me. In my mind blue symbolised peace; yellow symbolised joy; green, a combination of both peace (blue) and joy (yellow), symbolised hope; red symbolised passion; orange, a combination of both passion and joy, symbolised strength to me and white, symbolised purity.
Having this thread, which changed colour from one inch to the next, showed me the ‘thread’ that ran my own life - that life would always be beautiful. Even when I was moving through periods of darkness, just around the corner peace, passion, joy, hope, strength, and purity would always be there for me to see.
This quilt was given to me to take to Domain Lodge (the Cancer Society Motel opposite Auckland Hospital) and was such a beautiful ray of sunshine for me. It was the first thing I saw when I entered my room and it just brought me such joy to look at while lying in bed during those 6 weeks of treatment.
I will be forever grateful to this wonderful friend and for the precious gift she gave me.