Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Block - Hive 9

Woohoo, with an hour to spare (in my time zone at least!)! Lol! I finished the block over two weeks ago but when I reread the post it was 1/2 inch shy and I had to remake it... twice! I don't know why this block gave me such fits but I think the final product turned out nicely :) I even found a few gray metallic scraps to work in there that I think give it some flare :)

    As for what event or what person in the past I would travel back to see, I have thought about it since I saw the initial post. Until a few months ago, I was a college English Literature professor, so I initially thought I would pick a famous author or philosopher. Shakespeare performing in the Globe Theater? Gutenberg inventing the printing press? The founding fathers discussing politics? But no matter who I put through my mind, I could never decide when or whom I wanted to see... Finally, just this morning, I figured it out.
Roz during a quiet moment in 2009 during her deployment to Afghanistan
    In addition to being a quilt shop owner & a Literature professor, I am also a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who spent twelve years serving in the U.S. Air Force. One of my closest friends, Roslyn Schulte, was serving in Afghanistan as I spent my time in Iraq. We would exchange notes, update a newsletter that we emailed out amongst our friends, she apologized for missing my wedding a few months before because she couldn't get leave before her deployment to fly out to Virginia for the big day... One of those people that you could not see for months or years and yet when she walked into the room it was as though you had never spent a moment apart. She was a super star... truly... the best at everything she ever did & a sweetheart too.
 If you had ever met Roz, you would never have forgotten her <3
    On May 19th, 2009, she was killed by an IED attack outside of Bagram AB in Afganistan. I had just arrived back in the States a few days before and was in that very surreal place that all veterans enter when arriving back in bright, loud, and yet somehow safe U.S. of A. after spending too many months in the monotone desert where nearly all noises mean danger, death and destruction.  I was visiting my family on the East Coast and my phone rang; it was another one of our close knit group of friends. When he said the words, "Erin, Roz is dead..." my heart dropped into my stomach. I walked directly outside, so in shock I wasn't even crying yet, had my mom drive me to the nearest rental car place, and I literally drove all night, nine hours, to Dover AFB in Delaware to meet her family and her remains as they arrived back into the States. That evening is a story in itself, but those few days... every moment of them, are indelibly etched in my mind forever.
Myself at the service embracing the woman who would soon marry Roz's brother, the Schulte's only surviving child
    Those memories... Flying back to our home in Florida to meet my husband and he and I driving all night to St. Louis, MO, for her service. The packed synagogue, the Patriot Guard keeping the protesters away from all of us standing in the cemetery, the pouring rain that felt like even the heavens were crying for our loss. Roz was buried on Memorial Day and the irony has never escaped me. It's been six years now, what would have been her thirty-first birthday was last week actually, and yet not a day goes by that I don't think of her and how much I miss her laughter, her smile, her wit and her love... I named my first child after her.
    So, if I could go back in time and talk to anyone? All famous people in history aside, I'd spend an evening having coffee with Roz and laughing until the sun rose... Love you, Roz, and we miss you every single day.


Rose Braun said...

Thank you..
going back to see the ones we miss is what the heart wants..
thank you Erin and thank you Roz and all the brave women and men.


Mtclifford said...

Wow, that's a beautiful sentiment for your friend. I thank you and Roz for your service and sacrifice.
Your block is awesome! I love all the prints!

SewLiab said...

Erin, being a Marine spouse to a husband who survived an IED attack, your post about Roz hit home. What a beautiful tribute!

Toni said...

Erin, thank you for sharing your memories of Roz. She does sound amazing, as are you and all the others who serve our country and we thank you for that.

Your block is great! Love the fabric choices.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for this- and especially for the great many sacrifices you have made of time, peace of mind, and especially of friends. Amazing.