Thursday, September 2, 2010

Clara Ellen

My grandfather lost his mother when he was 3 years old. His older sister Clara cared for him and he thought of her as a mother. In 1918, the influenza pandemic infected 1/3 of the world's population and Clara was one of the casualties. She became ill in December. My grandfather remembered watching over his older sister as his brother hitched up the horses to the sled. The snow was blowing as his brother flew down the road to get the doctor. Clara was so ill and there was no time to loose. The doctor and brother arrived back at the farm, only to find they had arrived too late.

My grandfather told me the story over and over. The grief of this event seemed always fresh as he shared his story with me. This new "Anniversaries of the Heart" sampler remembers Clara Ellen.

During my last visit to Polk, Nebraska, I cleaned around my grandparents marker at the cemetery and I noticed Clara's gravesite. As I looked at her marker, I realized I hadn't known her middle name was Ellen. While rubbing the grass away from her stone, I knew she was the one I wanted to remember on my next sampler. She was only17 when she died...and I didn't want her memory forgotten. My grandfather is buried next to his wife and sister in a small prairie cemetery in Nebraska. The tall grass waves in the wind over them as they remain close together.

I'm taking this pattern to the printer today. It should be in your local shop in about 2 1/2 weeks.

I'm back to the sewing machine! Have to finish my quilt.

Take a moment and visit this site. What a group this is!

Until later!

Alma

43 comments:

  1. What a sad story. And this is a beautiful sampler to remember her by.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That story broke my heart today. It's been one of those days having just this past year lost my father whose birthday is coming up on the sixth.

    Your sampler is such a beauty and what a wonderful way to honor her memory.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is such a sad story.
    Your tribute sampler to Clara Ellen is beautiful! I LOVE knowing how it came to be and everytime I look at it I will think of her :)
    It is wonderful knowing the story behind a design.
    I can't wait to stitch it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an amazing and sad story! Even more touching as I am from Nebraska, too, and had an Aunt Clara. You did your family proud, and I can't wait to purchase the pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the new designs! It is so pretty and such a sweet remembrance of the loved one. I will say it again, you two are amazing! I love everything you do.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Although the history of Clara Ellen is a short sad one, your grandfather's story to you has given her life through the generations. Your tribute to her is amazing and beautiful. I am sure they both are smiling down on you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a beautiful sampler and a sad story.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a beautiful, sad story. I just love the design you've made to remember Clara Ellen. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a poignant story rich in family history. A beautiful way for Clara Ellen to have been remembered.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful sampler to remember Clara Ellen! What a wonderful tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Alma, that is beautiful. Thank you.
    I'm so looking forward to seeing you at the Shepherd's Bush Retreat in a few weeks!
    Lancy

    ReplyDelete
  12. That is the sweetest story and I will get this pattern when it comes out and do it just in memory of your Grandfathers sweet sister, Clara Ellen, Lovely story.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Another great design! Thanks for sharing the story behind it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a sad story and a beautiful cross stitch to remember her by. I love your work and fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a heart breaking story! I have lost a sister and a brother and the grief is heavy. Bless you for this wonderful tribute to her and your grandfather.
    I know I have to have this piece now. I love your designs. I'll be watching for it.
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
  16. I really love the idea you used to remember your Clara Ellen. How heartbreaking for your grand father. My maternal grandmother used to repeat stories over and over again to us as children. I never tired of hearing them. Beautiful design. Louise

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, such a sad story but wonderful that you are memorializing her this way. Alma...I can't find your patterns locally. I will have to search online for a store that sells them. This is one I'd love to have.
    Diane

    ReplyDelete
  18. Clara Ellen is so lovely, and thank you for sharing this story. She sounds like a special lady to remember. I have enjoyed stitching this series so much. I finished Valentine Rose just a couple of nights ago and loved every stitch!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love the sampler and what a wonderful tribute! Such a sad story.

    ReplyDelete
  20. How old was your grandfather when he lost his sister? What a wonderful young woman she must have been. Thank you for honoring her.
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a beautiful story, and a beautiful sampler. Thank you for sharing it with us. Time has a way of slipping thru our fingers - we must never forget the ones we love.

    ReplyDelete
  22. A sad story, but a wonderful tribute in memory of Clara.

    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  23. That was such a moving story... and you've created a wonderful tribute to your great-aunt.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thx for sharing your family tribute with us...

    ReplyDelete
  25. It has now befallen the story of your grandfather and his sister, certainly our grandparents' generation was strong and deep roots, I like the old stories, always teach things. Congratulations for thinking of that woman in your family so strong and fighting for this wonderful graphic. Kisses from Spain

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a touching story and a beautiful sampler in Clara's memory. My great grandfather died in the flu epidemic, too. I used to live in Nebraska and can picture the peacefulness of the waving grass in that cemetery. Love your designs -
    Judie

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really love all thinks "blackbird". You ladies are so talented!
    Please enter me in the raffle for the little emery box.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow...this story touched a chord with me.....my mom's name is Clara and her mom's middle name, and hence mine, is Ellen.
    A beautiful sampler amd tribute to Clara Ellen.
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  29. The tears are running down my face. I hope they've found each other again. Your sampler is beautiful, Alma.

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a beautiful story, it made me tear up. I can't wait to stitch it and will think of the history behind the picture.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Alma, what a touchig story. I'm going to look for this piece in our local stitch shop. It's lovely. ~ sarah

    ReplyDelete
  32. A tender story of a time that truly left few families without the loss of a loved one. It is such a fitting tribute to lovely Clara and your Grandfather. I, too, want to stitch this and remember them and my ancestors that went before me. Your anniversaries of the heart are so inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for sharing your story ... Clara Ellen meant an awful lot to your grandfather it seems ... the sampler is just stunning and a beautiful tribute ... and the history adds to its beauty.

    ReplyDelete
  34. My late stepdad lost his dad and four sisters in this epidemic. All that was left of his family was his mom, his older brother, and him. In this modern time, people don't understand how whole families were wiped out by this epidemic. I am glad that you are honoring Clara Ellen and in a way, honoring all of those that died in that epidemic.

    ReplyDelete
  35. love this design and since the anniversary of my dad's death is this week, this is a "shiny eye" read as I am already a little weepy! Beautiful design though!

    I must say too - I am working on two of the "Remember Me" series and they are such a great stitch. I am really loving them. Was going to do whichever one I really liked better for a focus piece for a guild project - but can't decide - so they get equal time...see my blog for progress if you've a mind to. www.itsallaboutsherry.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Alma I loved your story - what a sad life those that went before us sometimes had. Your newest AOTH is lovely and I can't wait to obtain it. Thanks for sharing your sweet story. Melody

    ReplyDelete
  37. Such a sad story and a beautiful sampler.

    I shall have to stitch this one for my Great-grandmother, another Clara Ellen.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love the piece! It's absolutely beautiful. And as someone who inherited the middle name of Ellen from generations past I will remember my own family's stories as I stitch.
    I look forward to meeting you in Park City at the Shepherds Bush Retreat in a couple of weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  39. What a beautiful tribute to Clara Ellen, so she will be remembered. My name is Clairellen and your post sure caught my eye; my mom was Ellen Claire. I will have to stitch it for her, and for giving me her name, reversed. Thank you, Alma

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a beautiful story. Generations past had to deal with early deaths from diseases, accidents, and childbirth to name a few. Siblings and family would often step in and help raise those left. Here's to all the Aunt Clara's who were there to hold the family together as best they could.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dear Alma: a sad but bitersweet story you have the gift to bring your family to life, I look forward to more of your stories. and patterns.
    Thank-you for mentioning our Blackbird Exchange on your blog site I have participated in everyone of the exchanges, the ladies in this exchange are so talented.
    Catherine

    ReplyDelete