Mary Comes Through

posted in: Day In The Life 37
Thar she blows. Thesis and photo: Me.


Have you ever physically felt like you came through something?

I think we all come through things without realizing it.

If we’re lucky, sometimes old emotional pain slips away. You hold onto something for a long time but then, all of a sudden, you find yourself being calm about something you used to be agitated about. Something that used to trigger bad feeling or angst stirs no major reaction from you and you go, “How about that. I’m okay, now.” Do you know what I’m talking about? How you can come through things without realizing it? Emotions, man. Wild stuff.

There are other times, though, when you come through something or you enter a new space and you know you’re different. You know because you feel physically changed and it’s a light-switch moment.

I turned in my thesis yesterday. I have one class left to attend. There’s a reading and a paper to hand in but I say to you this night that the graduate school clock is ticking to a stop and I literally feel like a different person. (That’s “literally” as in “literally” and not just as in “totally.”) I feel like a new woman. I feel like I want to cry. New people cry, you know. Ask a baby.

I have been away for two weeks due to my job, the ending of school (see: thesis) and the website server migration, which is now complete.* The last time I saw you, I hadn’t spent three days and hundreds of dollars making two copies of my 1,512-page thesis. I’ll tell you more about the thesis later; for now, I just have to reconnect and tell you that I missed you and that I am not the same Mary.

Except, of course, that I am. And the foreword to my thesis, which I will post tomorrow, discusses this exact topic.

I missed you all very much. The PaperGirl break scared me. It really did. This blog is such a huge part of my life, a place I devote hours and hours and hours to every week, day after day, week after week, year after year. If I didn’t maintain it, what else would I be able to do?

Maybe a 1,512 page book? But you wouldn’t be there, so what’s the point?

I’ll tell you more about the thesis tomorrow and I’ll post the foreword, too. Fair warning: In the next week or so, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before: I’m going to do a Pendennis / PaperGirl Pledge Drive. My student loans are coming due, I’m working at a startup, the server migration was not free, and … well, I asked a few friends if I should do it and they grabbed me and said, “YES, MARY.” If you want to get ahead of the curve, there’s a “Donate” button up there that should work beautifully, thanks to Julie.

Tonight, I cried in my kitchen. I asked myself if I should start up the ol’ PG again or not. And I wept to think I wouldn’t.


*I’m working with Julie to tweak and revamp the website. Now that school is 97 percent done, this is actually possible. I know it needs help — and I’m interested in working on the blog’s formatting for readability and aesthetic. So please standby and be patient. I’m going to make it very nice, I promise!!

**IMPORTANT: My blog used to weirdly, horribly, be a different URL than my website. Don’t ask because I HAVE NO IDEA WHY. Anyway, if you have a bookmark or a subscription, please, please, please change your whatchamacallit to this:  … Pendennis thanks you and so do I.

37 Responses

  1. Sue
    | Reply

    Yahoo…good for you…next chapter beginning soon…so proud…and I will contribute…I missed you!!!

  2. Barb McKenzie
    | Reply

    Enjoy your stories. Congratulations on almonds completing your schooling.

  3. Denise
    | Reply

    Congrats. Love reading your thoughts.

  4. Natalie Kutach
    | Reply

    I really miss Quilty. If have spare time now that school is done and all…. ; ) Congratulations!

  5. Colleen Kole
    | Reply

    Where is the donate button?

    I missed you and your marvelous way of connecting even though we have never met.

  6. Kathleen
    | Reply

    Yay! Another huge milestone! What a great feeling. Looking forward to seeing your forward!

  7. Ruth Quinn
    | Reply


  8. Mary Maloni
    | Reply

    So glad to see you back

  9. Kathy Hellesen
    | Reply

    Congratulations on all the passages! We’re all looking forward to reading about your next chapter.

  10. Jess
    | Reply

    Congratulations, Mary. I graduated from law school in January and I know *just* how you feel. Savor that last class! (Or… don’t. Ha.) It feels like you’re not sure what you are now, right? I mean… everything is terrifyingly possible! You could switch from Starbucks to Tim Hortons or *gasp* buy a pickup truck?!? Get a cat? Who am I when I’m not donating blood to my school??? (P.S. 4 months later – still dont know, slowly learning. Hey, at least I got a job!)

    I’m so glad you’re going to keep blogging! I look forward to your thesis intro and I’m curious about that political question. Please do a pledge drive. You work hard to generate this content.

    You did it! You get a gold star!

  11. Charlotte
    | Reply

    It was great to see you pop up in my email today. I missed you! Congratulations on being done on your thesis.

  12. Rita Farro
    | Reply

    THANK GOD you’re back. Now — where is that “Donate” button??

  13. Jane
    | Reply

    I am a baby boomer and frequently feel challenged when it comes to technology. Mary – I can’t find the donate button. Point me in the right direction!

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Hi, all! Ohhhhh, I missed you, too. Julie Feirer, the brilliant web mistress she is, put the Donate button back in there. If you want to use it, well … That would be just fine. 🙂 xoxoxo mar

  14. Tina Madison
    | Reply

    Hi Mary!
    I missed you! I think you’re awesome!
    I wish that you were still on Fons & Porter. It’s not the same without you. You brought such humor to the show & it was fun watching you learn alongside your mom.
    I’ve been busy lately, but in a different way.
    I have cancer. I’m at the University of Chicago.
    My treatment will be Chemo & Radiation.
    It’s a 12 week treatment. One week in the hospital, one week home. I will continue that for 12 & 1/2 weeks.
    It’s 4:20 a.m, and I just wanted to let you know why I won’t be able to contribute. I wish I could.
    But I know you’ll understand.
    Keep up the good work Mary!
    The world needs more Mary Fons’ !

  15. Michelle
    | Reply

    Great to see you back – we’ve missed you soooooooooo much! Congratulations on finishing your thesis. Looking forward to hearing more…

  16. Joan
    | Reply

    Congrats! You know I was concerned about your schedule and how the thesis was going to be finished. Please realize that everyone will be issuing Congratulations, but you will be weighing all that remains to be done! So enjoy the celebrations with kith and kin, and ignore the feelings of ‘but you don’t understand how much I have yet to do.’ Hope you surface with only the good memories.

  17. Gayle
    | Reply

    Congratulations, Mary! So happy to see you back, and look forward to reading more as your adventure continues!

  18. Shirley
    | Reply

    Where is the donate button?
    Congratulations Mary you are an amazing woman. So enjoy all you write about and just love Quiltfolk Magazine.

  19. Michael
    | Reply

    Hey Girl,

    you must have been busy. I see two mice(s) in your thesis snap shot


  20. Elaine Judd
    | Reply

    Happened to me just yesterday. I decided to retire. End date June 30, 2019. It will take that long to pull in someone to handle my guardianship caseload and turn it over. I will be receiving my third Social Security check and I had planned to work a few more years to pad my retirement but was increasingly hating it. Just the simple act of deciding that I am done was liberating. I am truly done. I would rather be poor than miserable. I will have more time to quilt even if I have to buy my materials from the local Goodwill store. Done! So, congratulations Dr. Mary! Go forth and prosper!

  21. Julie
    | Reply

    Ah yes — the donate button! I’ll work on getting that re-situated in the sidebar in the next 10 minutes.

  22. Kathryn
    | Reply

    Congrats! Great having you back. I missed finding you in my inbox!

  23. Cathy
    | Reply

    WOW! Congrats! I love your writing, your honesty, humor and everything else! I look forward to a peek at your thesis. I know it will be a work of art! Enjoy the new you!!!

  24. Heidi
    | Reply

    Huzzah! Waiting to see you in a hood!

  25. rita penner
    | Reply

    Please pick a bolder font.

  26. Jennifer
    | Reply

    Congrats and welcome back, Mary! I can’t tell you how much I love that your “Quilty Heart” (It may be more of a “Mary” heart but it will always be linked to Quilty to me) is on the front of your thesis. Perfection. Well done!

  27. Mazie Crutchfield
    | Reply

    Enjoy all you write.

  28. Mary
    | Reply

    Congratulations!! I made it through graduate school. So glad you did too!! Yes, use the donate button!!

  29. Jenny
    | Reply

    1500 PAGES!?!?! Holy cow.

  30. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    Welcome back! ‘Missed you while you were gone. Congratulations on your Masters!

  31. Jan Darwin
    | Reply

    Congratulations on your huge accomplishment, Mary! So proud of you!

  32. Ang
    | Reply

    Congratulations on finishing!!! We missed you!!! Web site request – make the comments (which I do like to read) show up in a bigger font 🙂

  33. Jan
    | Reply

    I know the feeling, when I graduated bachelors & nursing school.
    While I had a baby, older child, and job. Yep. A little bit frantic.
    Then I got to become reacquainted with friends and family and husband. Whew.
    On the other side of it, it’s so nice to have some breathing space.
    You’re fabulous. Hugs from Sacramento.

  34. Anita Brayton
    | Reply

    It’s really hard to ask for help (donations). I look at it as the price to pay for my entertainment, supporting a pal and contributing to the Phillip (Larken) Phund.

  35. Barbara
    | Reply

    Happy for you Mary. Your tenacity is only exceeded by how wonderful you are. Congrats!!! xo

  36. Kathy
    | Reply

    Congratulations! I “lost” my connection to you (via another blog) and am happy to find you again. Best Wishes for your future endeavors.

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