FRIENDSHIP…….just that one word has such meaning to me!
Some would say that Ms Judy Greenwood stalked me when I moved to Maple Ridge 6 years ago. I on the other hand I would submit that she enthusiastically pursued a friendship.
An invitation to Tea at her home in Pitt Meadows: I was enthralled by her painted and stitched art … in truth I was astounded … gob smacked might be closer to the truth. She happily donned her painting shirt, pulled out her inks and proceeded to work on a whimsical fairy piece on her design wall giving me a demonstration when I asked, “How do you do that?” Of course, I could learn, did I use Superior thread and were not Highlight Colours Great? Her enthusiasm had me trapped into believing! So began a wonderful learning period and the start of a friendship.
I reciprocated and invited Judy to my newly created studio … I will never forget her reaction standing at the entrance, nor her delight in exploring how she could create a similar space. Lawrence returned with her the following day. Tape-measure in hand and carrying one of Judy’s special painted rocks as a gift … a thank you for helping her to create a new space. Little did Lawrence suspect that this visit would result in building a new home with the perfect studio for Judy! We know she generously shared her studio with friends.
Since everyday was Saturday for Judy and she knew the area, we became great shopping buddies … the joke became, “Transfer some funds, I’m going shopping with Leslie!” And what fun we had! I think our biggest shopping spree was our Houston visit where we shared Judy’s big moment. “Lucy” was awarded a ribbon!!! How proud we were that Judy was realizing her dream of winning a ribbon in Houston in the Art Category. Annemarie and I were like proud parents and Judy just glowed and bubbled with happiness.
Judy’s friendships knew no bounds, they were a reflection of her many interests. Whether it was “The Quilt Batts”, “Knotty Needlers”, Quilt Guilds or our small Art Group, her enthusiasm was never contained. She loved exploring new techniques, constantly learning, volunteering to help and generously sharing her time and knowledge.
There is a saying, “There is a destiny that makes us brothers, None goes his way alone, All that we give to the lives of others, Comes back into our own.” If anything, I regret that Judy will never be able to explore her love of teaching which was blossoming … that goal was interrupted by cancer. She loved teaching and I think she never knew how good she was at inspiring people…she totally underestimated her gifts and the love and kindness she so easily gave to others.
Our last Tea Party in the hospital was a heart breaking good bye. I will forever associate Judy with English Breakfast Tea and Egg Salad Sandwiches with the crusts cut off. I will never forget her last words to me, “I am so glad you are my friend!”
So. I smile through tears, Judy knew what it was to be a friend and that was the gift she gave us all.
When we gather to celebrate Judy we must remember to have a group hug … her specialty … no occasion was exempt. Annemarie will remember the look of horror on the faces of an American Couple (think American Gothic Painting) when Judy suggested, in an elevator, “Let’s Have a Group Hug!!!!!”
That was “Our Jude” and if love is a profound gathering of kindness then we were well loved by Judy … for we all were recipients of that kindness.
Judy often called me “Her Little Friend … or The Hummingbird”.
I am blessed with a heart overflowing with gratitude and love for her gift of Friendship.
Rest in Peace. Love and Hugs, Leslie