Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Part of my heart is far away but the quilt is still here
His name is Atilla, my son, Atilla Yucel. He came to us in August 2003, just 17 years old, a junior in high school, come to do his senior year in the US with us in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Together, Ati, George and I had a fun-filled, learning year, discovering things about ourselves, our countries, our cultures and all the points where we all meet as human beings.
When Ati went back to Germany in mid July 2004, I thought my heart would break, I missed him so much. He is in his final year of college now, just returned from a semester in Istanbul and no longer a kid, but a man, talented, educated, ready to make his contribution to the world. Although a few years have passed and we have not seen each other, we talk regularly on facebook and on the phone. We do hope to get together once he is graduated and maybe before he starts graduate school.
While Ati was here, he watched me make a quilt for my mom, Marian, and told me if she didn't want it, he would be happy to take it home. Of course I was already planning to make him a quilt and before he left, he picked out fabrics for his quilt which was started after he left. The colors reflect his very multi-cultural background from Turkey to Germany to the US and then back around all over again. The pattern was my choice. It is a log cabin variation with an eight pointed star and measures 84 inches square. I am particularly pleased with the American Indian corn fabric and the eight pointed stars in the border. On the reverse is written: "You do not choose your family; they are God's gift to you as you are to them." Desmond Tutu and "For our son, Atilla Yucel with love from George and Ginnie, your American Parents." Also my name and the date, June 2006.
Of course this quilt has a story. When Atilla turned 21 in 2006 and the quilt was finished, George and I thought it would be a good idea to surprise him and send it to him for his birthday. I packed it up and shipped it off to Germany where it arrived one day when only Akif, Ati's brother was home to receive it. There were customs duties due and unfortunately, Akif did not have the funds to pay them so back to the post office it went. There was some confusion and Ati did not know it had arrived. By the time he knew, it had been on hold in the post office too long and was shipped back to me in the United States.
So now it is 2010 and I still have the quilt. We tell Ati it is his excuse for coming back but he really needs no excuse at all. Our home is, after all, his home here! We love you Ati!