Promises Kept

Years ago, when I was a feisty young thing, I didn’t have enough sense to pick out a vocation that would be easy to find mentors, teachers and educators. I had to pick some obscure passion for sewing. Not only that but this passion turned out to be synomous with having the plague or something by the time I got to college….

Who me?…sew?…oh no! I would never do anything like that? I mean that’s only for really dorky people who wear hairnets and don’t have any personality…right?! Well, that was my story, but alas it did not diminish my passion or desire to sew.

But one day my fairy godmother did come….you know the fairy-tale that comes true! And she was a fairy godmother who took me from cutting on the straight of the grain to tailoring a pad-stitched collar like a master tailor from Savile Row! And as so often happens when your skills get upgraded, you need upgrading in equipment too. That part ran into a little snag, as the equipment was very good and a little more expensive than my hobby purse could afford. I didn’t know at the time I was going to be a real pro in the field.

Isn’t she beautiful? She had my red hair and share a passion for the color green. She was totally glamorous and guess what – her middle name was Claire! So she heard I was learning to sew from a very well-known designer and she funded my first sewing machine. I was aghast with such joy and wanted to make something for her. By this time she was bedridden with a few strokes and she really didn’t need anything special. So I made her an Ultrasuede jewelry roll that she could keep her nice everyday pieces in by her bed table. But that’s all she would let me do, until…..

Her great granddaughters got married. Being from a Catholic family my aunt was a lot older than her brother, my dad and really I was closer in age to her grandkids than I was to her son. Complicated, but there it is. So when the grandkids came to me when their kids were getting married, I thought – finally I get to pay back my aunt!!! And what fun.

As you would suspect, each girl was different and it was so much fun to work with each one. More fun, was getting to be a part of such a joyous event in their lives. I got to share in something that I wouldn’t ordinarily get in my life, never being able to have kids, and pay back my aunt all at the same time.

Each one knew what she wanted and it made it so much fun for me to see their dreams come true.

But of course, the real joy for me was being able to give back so richly what was given to me and know that my Aunt Marj was looking down and probably all puffy-chested pointing to us with great joy!

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Claire Kennedy


  1. HelenG on December 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    What a lovely thing to do. I’m sure your Aunt is very proud of you ?

    • Claire Kennedy on December 27, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      Yes, Helen, I felt her on my shoulder the entire time!

  2. Jackie on December 26, 2020 at 7:23 am

    This is such a lovely story. Your Aunt was a special person and so are you!

    • Claire Kennedy on December 27, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks Jackie, it was a blessing that I had this opportunity for both girls!

  3. Donna DeCourcy on January 8, 2021 at 11:15 am

    What a lovely way to repay your aunt! We all need that one person/teacher who sees us and becomes a mentor or enabler to achieve our dreams. Those are beautiful brides, more so because of your skills.

    • Claire Kennedy on January 13, 2021 at 8:00 am

      Donna – you are so right, and I was very lucky to have her place her extraordinary faith and promise in me. I think back now, and I think she would have liked to have sewn and design and she saw that in me and didn’t want me to lose it. Unfortunately she didn’t live long enough to see my successful design business, but we talk regularly anyway, so I’m sure she knows! ?

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