This past week I said goodbye to my friend Annette.
Annette is a Norfolk Islander who has lived most of her life away from the island. However a few years ago she decided to move back here to where her home and roots are, as did her lovely mum Audrey. However, partly because things have not quite worked out as she had hoped, and partly because she is a very adventurous soul, always looking for new horizons and projects where she can use her skills, she has decided to go back to Australia. And from there, who knows where...but some time up on a remote island in the north of Vanuatu is a distinct possibility!
Annette is a person of enormous faith in God, and she is certainly taking a step of faith just now. She has, in fact, over the past few weeks, given away a large part of her worldly goods, including most of her precious books and craft supplies. Many of us have benefitted, but most of us agree that she shall receive most of it back if she does decide to come home again.
I was not sure about a parting gift for Annette. I knew it would need to be small and light and useful enough to find a space in those few possessions she was going to take with her. I decided on a needlebook.For the needlebook, I actually used a few bits and pieces that Annette had passed on to me during her clean-outs, including some red wool crepe, a piece of crochet work, and a battenburg lace edging from a scone holder.
To make it really personal, I made a fabric print of a Picasso painting of a mother breastfeeding her baby. I knew this would appeal, because Annette is a Lactation consultant.
We have other reminders of Annette's loving and skillful hands, including this rug that she made for me to give to William for his birthday. She specially included a red heart in the centre to symbolise a mother's love.
As you can see, William loves it!
Annette has been a real mainstay of our Tuesday Craft group. We have so much enjoyed her fresh-from-the-oven cakes and pies made with freshly stoneground flour, and unusual, but tasty and nourishing additions of various fruit and vegetables!
Goodbye dear friend - for now. May God go with you!