Last night was special. My old friend and former colleague Tom Hart did a reading, QA and book signing at Barnes & Noble onthenupper west side about his book Rosalie Lightning. Rob and I went with a friend from work, Charlie and his awesome ladyfriend Jamie. Allie from my office also came which was awesome.
Tom and his lovely wife Leela lost their two year old daughter, Rosalie Lightning, just before her second birthday. Tom’s graphic novel takes readers in an illustrated journey through their grief, rage, and search for the meaning of it all. The book is fittingly number 1 on the NY Times best-seller list for graphic novels.
Tom read several excerpts and explained his drawings in the warm, humble and open way that I have always known him from our years of working together. His openness about his journey and how his writing and drawing, immediately following Rosalie’s passing was immensely generous. He explained that this was a way to maintain a connection with her and in some ways keep her alive. I am amazed by his courage, and Leela’s too, and the graciousness in opening up to the world. He found a way to make a sad story beautiful and with this masterpiece has ensured Rosalie will never be forgotten. All I can really say is thank you to them. Thank you for sharing your story, for sharing Rosalie with the rest of us, and for having the courage to be true to yourself in such adversity. I also have to give a shout out to Keith Mayerson who did a great job teeing Tom up to open up. Now, about the quilt…
Tom and Leela have a second daughter, Molly Rose. I always regretted not sending Rosalie a quilt and so when I learned they would be in NYC for the book signing, I got busy. I did this pattern in pink for Dave’s baby and loved how it turned out, and did it in white for my shop, so decided to go with this bright aqua blue for Molly Rose.
The quilting is what I do fastest – freehand loops and swirls. I feel like my longarm quilting itself is in a rut so I have two quilts on the machine now that I am doing pantographs on. I love the colors of this quilt – girly without being sappy, bright without being obnoxious and just generally happy shapes and icons of childhood. Last night was so busy for them that I wasn’t able to see Leela open it, but I did get messages last night from both of them that they love it. I hope Molly Rose does too. Now go get Tom’s book!