In February I finished a custom reproduction Izannah Walker doll for a very fascinating lady named Maxine. Maxine had seen my ads in Antique Doll Collector magazine and called me last August to discuss the possibility of ordering one of my Izannahs. We chatted several times, and by the end of the month Maxine had decided exactly how she wanted her doll to look. Maxine chose to place the doll on lay-away and requested a February 2013 completion date. During the months while I was working on Maxine’s doll she would call me to check on my progress and also to talk about dolls. She told me many interesting stories about her collection, dolls that she had bought and sold and people she knew in the doll world.
My favorite conversation with Maxine was the one where she reminisced about a friend of hers who had been the dress maker for the dolls in Maxine’s collection. She told me about meeting the woman, becoming friends with her, and about some of the amazing dresses she had created for Maxine’s doll’s. The most inspiring part of this story is that the last doll’s dress that Maxine had commissioned from her friend had been completed just a few weeks before the women’s death at “almost 100” years of age. Maxine assured me that the last dress was just as beautiful and well made as the very first dress she had ever ordered. I’d like to think that in the future someone will be able to say the same about me.
On Friday afternoon I received a call from Maxine’s daughter. She told me that Maxine had passed away, very softly and gently on Wednesday and that she was calling to tell me how much her mother had loved the doll I made for her. I was overwhelmed that this woman would take the time, in the midst of her grief, to call and thank me for providing her mother with such pleasure. It was an extraordinary kindness and a very singular experience…
3 thoughts on “In Remembrance of Maxine”
What a lovely and inspiring story. It tells me that those of us who maintain our passions and avocations will continue to lead a truly fulfilled life. And, how wonderful for that thoughtful daughter for sharing her story with you. Even though you do what you love, it always feels so good to be appreciated not to mention knowing how much the doll meant to her.
I was just stunned that she would go to all of the trouble to call me. It was so very sweet of her. She told me that her mother loved to hold the doll as well as look at her sitting in a little antique chair and that Maxine told her that she like the doll I made much better than the old ones. What an amazing compliment from a woman who had collected dolls for such a long time. Maxine had actually called me about a month ago to talk to me about making a dress for a doll that she had just bought from an auction. I’m so happy that she got to enjoy her doll collecting for her entire life. Doll people are truly amazing and special people.
Paula, the story about Maxine and her seamstress touched my heart. You are right doll people are amazing special people. Mary Goddard.