Ed was the kind of person that you always wanted to be near because when you talked with him you knew you were the only one in the room with him…even if you were in a crowd, he was intent on listening to whatever you had to say. He and my sister Nancy were married for 31 years. They have a son Scott, daughter-in-law Abby and son Matt. The boys are a great example of the nurturing, and wonderful values that their parents have given them. Ed and Nancy were always involved in sports with the boys, going to every game they possibly could when they were young. Ed gave out a sportsmanship award at his high school in honor of a student that excelled in sports, but was unselfish and a good sportsman. That award was renamed the Ed Hubert Sportsman Award in a ceremony that was held this last Saturday night (December 6) at a basketball game at his local alma mater high school, Massena Central School, Massena, NY. Ed attended that ceremony to receive the award. He had more friends and family behind him in the gym than were there for the game! He was wheeled in via wheelchair and yet walked out of the gym (in true Ed fashion) on his own after giving an eloquent speech about how the award was not about him but about all the names put previously on the plaque and all the names that would be put on it from this time forward…and how important it is to be involved as a team and not an individual, how to be a true sport. That is something he knows very well. Bear with me for this next story…..it is a bit long….
My sisters and I have a Ya Ya Sisterhood Diva Quilters Group…read about us here. The group consists of me, YaYa #1 (‘cause I formed the group and am the OLDEST)..and the group Ya Ya numbers go in order of age…sister Nancy, (YaYa #2); sister Rita (YaYa #3); sister Sallie (Ya Ya #4); sister Becky (YaYa #5); my niece and Rita’s daughter, Christy (Ya Ya #6); and just recently new member Mandy, my daughter, (YaYa #7). We are all located in NY. I am in Watertown, NY area, Nancy, Rita and Mandy in Massena, NY, Sallie in Utica, NY, Becky in Saratoga, NY area and Christy in Rochester, NY.
The Ya Ya’s have made many quilts together, sister’s quilts, wedding quilts, family friend quilts, but NO quilt was ever more precious to make than the Hugs Quilt for Ed that we made the weekend before this last Thanksgiving. The Ya Ya’s met the weekend of November 14, 2008 without the knowledge of our sister Nancy. It was me, Rita, Sallie, Becky and daughter Mandy. Christy had just had baby #2 and lives a couple of hours away, so she had her hands full…but wanted to be here in the worst way….we missed you Christy.
For this quilting event Rita and Mandy drove to Watertown together; Becky drove to Utica and rode with Sallie from there. Not one person complained of the driving nor any other complaints of any merit the entire weekend…oh…’cept for that two hour trip Rita and Mandy took to Walmart Saturday afternoon to get a couple of pictures printed…there were technical difficulties….and perhaps a little bit of wandering about the store?? Two hours, I mean…really…they will not live that down any time too soon! Oh, and this was daughter Mandy’s first official Ya Ya meet and we all looked forward to having her as our chief “iron maiden” or ironing buddy. She was all smiles as we literally threw stuff at her to iron. I was SEW proud!
I began the process by receiving photos from Ed's daughter-in-law Abby (who named it a secret covert operation and she was naming herself crouching tiger….she’s a stitch) and then more came from Ed's son Matt and other family members. With the help of my good friend Rod as in blockheadrod from blockheadradio, I was able to get the photos to the right size for the center of the quilt blocks and I proceeded to get those all printed on photo fabric.
We were very organized. I had prepared a big pan of scalloped potatoes and ham and Rita bought a pan full of baked ziti for Saturday nights dinner….other sisters and daughter bought other supplies as well. My hubby Steve came home early from work that Friday and finished painting our bedroom, which only hours before was torn apart, and only days before had been threatening a possible divorce because of all the work involved with stripping wallpaper...I am a persistent person. So.. he realized the importance of the task and came home early from work to finish the room and help in any way he could. And DID he help, omg…he cleared set/cleared tables, loaded/unloaded dishwasher, fixed up beds at bedtime, and the list goes on…oh yeah and he came downstairs to be a cheerleader for our sewing group late Saturday night because we sewed until 3 a.m. on Sunday! After getting settled by 4 a.m., getting some rest and and having Sunday breakfast we were back at it by 10:30 a.m. and finished the quilt before 2 p.m. It was truly a labor of love and devotion to this man that was not really our brother-in-law, but more like our brother and close supportive friend. (PS We ARE blessed to have a brother who was born in the middle of our Ya Ya Sisterhood line-up).
I packed up the quilt after the Ya Ya's left and sent it (on that Monday)to Sandi Verbridge, my long-arm quilting buddy who got it the next day (Tuesday) and quilted it for us the next morning (Wednesday), got it in the mail the next day, (Thursday) and it was received by Rita in Massena the next day, Friday. She put the binding on the quilt and the quilt was given to Nancy for Ed the next day, which was Saturday. Saturday evening (now remember, it was the previous Saturday evening that we were sewing until 3 AM) Ed made the rounds and called all of us to tell us it was the most beautiful gift he had ever received and he would treasure it and so would his family. That was November 22, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving my entire family was home except for one niece, who, unfortunately couldn’t get out of work and driving was too far just for the day. We missed you, Sara. This Thanksgiving Ed was in the midst of it all, as was his trademark. The wrestling of cousins, the laughter, the tears, the love…it was ALL there…it was ALL him. He brought the quilt (so the rest of the family could see it) to sister Rita’s gathering of family after having a family Thanksgiving with his family (which included his awesome brother Dan, the boys and Abby,our mother and another friend). He was thin, frail, but adored…absolutely adored by everyone there.
Now I want to impress upon you that Ed and Nancy and our family have a love of God and faith that is solid and strong. There was absolutely NO way that God was not involved in these last few months and weeks….NO way. If there was ever a testament to HIS love, I have seen it with my own eyes, especially in these last weeks and literally, days.
We took many pictures of the quilt and daughter Mandy also took 4 videos of making it. It was a time of memories, laughter, and tears, making this beautiful quilt. I took all the pictures and the videos from my camera and had a DVD professionally made of the event. Steve Weed of Steve Weed Productions had never done this before and he had it to me the day before Thanksgiving…only a few short days of receiving it-- for us all to treasure. I gave a copy of it to Ed and Nancy and all the Ya Ya’s and have one for Ed and Nancy’s sons too. Nancy said that they loved it, especially the music that I had put to the pictures…Amy Grant…I can Only Imagine…a beautiful song…listen to it here.
So this post is for Ed, a man of dignity, grace and love for friends and family. As you can tell he will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. Thanks for ALL the memories, Ed….you’re an angel.