Thursday, February 17, 2011
My Mother's Jumeau
Today I'm sharing pictures of my most cherrished doll. Is she the most expensive doll I own...no...but she is the most vauluable to me. She is a reproduction of a long faced Jumeau that was made by my mother. She is precious to me not only because my mother made her but because every part of her was an adventure that my mom and I made together.
Back in the late 1980's my mom and I joined the Guild of Ohio Dollmakers and this was the guild's group project. My mother and I traveled 150 miles once a month to study with the ladies and share the advancement of our project. Well, I should say my mother shared hers! At that time I had a two children that were busy with activities that took up most of my spare time and my doll never progressed to the finished stage! But my mother worked diligently on hers! Every month we took off to stop for coffee at McDonald's and a drive to Akron, Cleveland or Hudson Ohio where the ladies would be assembled and ready to share. As each part of the doll came together my mother would be even more excited. Everything about this doll is handmade from the porcelain slip poured for her head to the hand stitched french lace attatched to her undergarments. It was the first time my mom worked with silk for a doll's dress, the first time she bought the silk organza for the lining. She had to learn the art of french hand stitching, the art of leather shoe making and the list goes on. A true labor of her love went into this doll.
Of course back then, although I enjoyed the time we spent together, I never knew what that time would really mean to me in the future. About 9 years ago my mom was diagnosed with a rare disorder, Progressive Supranuclear palsy. A neurodegenerative disorder that would gradually steal every part of her creativity and function. Her condition gradually declined until the past two years as I watched her go from clumsy to totally dependant and no longer to even feed herself. It was a hard and heart wrenching journey. A journey which ended on January 17th when she was so worn out that she could fight the disease no more.
As I walked thru her house after her funeral I saw the Jumeau in the case. I looked at her and was reminded of all those trips we made together. All the McDonald's coffee that we chatted over, all the times we were lost searching for the meeting house. And I was happy. Happy that I had taken the time and enjoyed those days. Happy that I was able to look upon her beautiful doll and have wonderful memories of my mom when she was healthy and creative. Yes, this is the most precious doll I own. I miss my mom everyday and know I always will. But I'm thankful for her Jumeau that reminds me of some of the times we shared together. Thank you for letting me share her with you.