Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sad about Ria

Our friend and fellow teddy bear maker, Ria, has left this life.  I am sad.

When Ria started making teddy bears at our studio I got to know her as a widowed mother with a full time job, doing crafts in her spare time. 
Over time she became a friend of the studio and the ladies at the workshops.  She was a positive person, practical and wise.  She shared the events of decades of her life with us.  Her children grew up and studied, made good marriages.  She retired from her job.  She got a grandbaby whom she adored. 

Whenever I saw Ria she was full of news and enthusiasm for her children, her animals, and her home life.  If Ria talked about someone, she would often start her story with “So-and-So, she’s such a good person…” Possibly the worst thing I ever heard her utter was when she called a criminal ‘rubbish’.  Ria’s pragmatism underlined how she drew strength from her faith, and how she trusted the good things to carry her through difficult times .   I can still hear her say “‘Liewe Jesus’ knew what he was doing when he gave me such good children/such a good friend in my sister.”  

We did talk about death, and how it would catch up with all of us one day.  Ria did not fear the end of her life.  She had many hobbies, and was always collecting treasures and taking supplies home to make something some day.  Someone would inevitably ask what will happen to all the teddies she made, and all the fabric she never got to use up.  Her answer was always the same.  “This earthly stuff will give me pleasure until my last day.  When I’m gone it will not matter to me.  I’ve told my children that I will leave them enough bin bags so that they can throw away everything they don’t want.”  This bit of wisdom had us laughing every time and I’m sure her words inspired more than a few people to stop fretting and get on with enjoying their crafts. 

On the last day that Ria attended a class at my studio, we were busy making a teddy bear with needle felt details.  She told me repeatedly how she had been looking forward to the project, what a fantastic teddy bear it was, and how she was enjoying working on the bear.  After the class ended I thought about Ria gratefully.  Her kind words and enthusiasm left me with a warm glow, I was thinking what a good example she is to live by.  It is a privilege to have known her. 

I will cherish memories of Ria.  She will be missed.


  1. I am sorry about your friend, Megan, but I think she is in a good place now. And I certainly agree with her sentiment, I plan on enjoying my crafts until the day I die, my children can then do with it what they want. Being creative is a gift and blessing from God.

  2. Thank you, Elga. You are so right. Finding happiness through creativity is a blessing.