Thursday, October 15, 2009

Comfort Quilts

My guild makes comfort quilts to give to local residents during times of need. I contacted the person who coordinates the effort and told her about my friend and her loss. During my lunch break yesterday, I drove out to meet her, and I picked out some comfort quilts for my friend and her three remaining children. I wish I had photos to share, because these were some CUTE quilts. The people in my guild are not only generous, but also very talented.

For one little girl whom my son managed to hook in the head last time we went fishing together, I picked out the brightest quilt with lots of fish fabric and two adorable appliqued fish. For the other little girl, who is always wearing pink and/or purple, I picked out a cute pink and purple caterpillar critter quilt. At least, that is what I call it. The blocks are set to look like a caterpillar wiggling across the quilt with a 3-dimensional smiling face at the end of each. For the boy, I picked out another caterpillar critter quilt, this one with bright dog fabric, since he is always talking about the shenanigans of his two dogs. For my friend, I picked out a quilt that Mamanance made that I absolutely love. Here it is, prior to being quilted, I think:

Picking out the quilts was easy. Giving them was hard. When I arrived at their house with my kids in tow (for comic relief), one little girl ran outside and jumped into my arms, and right there my throat closed up. I hate that these precious little children are suffering right now. I finally gathered them around me and explained that I belong to a group of people who love quilts and who believe that wrapping yourself up in a quilt is like wrapping yourself up in a hug. I explained that we like to give these quilts to people to make them feel better when they might be having a bad day. Then I pulled out the quilts one by one and wrapped them around their shoulders while I explained why I chose each quilt for each child. They were the perfect recipients - their faces lit up, and one immediately smoothed hers out over her bed, and the other two wore theirs around their shoulders up until the time I left. Their mom was out during my visit, so I gave my friend's quilt to the grandmom and asked her to let my friend know that I was thinking of her.
While there, the grandmom also pulled out some professional photos of the 4 siblings together that were taken only about a month ago. It turns out, they haven't had pictures taken together (besides candids) for several years now, so it seems pretty fortuitous that they just had it done. They are such a beautiful, happy family. I didn't want to overstay our welcome, so after looking at photos, I went looking for my kids. The brother, Jason's friend, was wrapped up in his quilt showing Jason all of his sister's things. I asked what they were doing, and he said, "Oh, I'm just telling Jason all about my sister." My heart shattered right then and there, and I went back into the kitchen to cry and let them talk.
So yesterday was hard. I've woken up every night this week with a wet pillow from crying in my sleep. But today will be harder. Today is the funeral. My husband and I talked to Jason about how funerals aren't fun, but that it is important that he be there to support his friend. And I'll be there to support my friend. And my husband, bless his heart, will be there to support Jason and me. I know that human beings are strong and resilient, but I can't even imagine how my friend gets up each morning and functions throughout the day. Would I be that strong? I pray to God that I never have to find out.


Piece by Piece said...

Reading your blog brought tears to my eyes.
Quilts are a great comfort, during good times when you need it to wrap yourself in to keep you warm from the cold. And during difficult times when they take place of hugs from a loved one that is no longer with us. Your friends children sound as if they appreciated your gifts.
I know today is going to be hard for everyone, you need to wrap yourself in a quilt tonight.
Thoughts with you today.

Auntie Em said...

What a beautiful gesture on your part to see that these thoughtfully chosen comfort quilts were delivered exactly where they were needed. You have a very big heart, and set such a wonderful example for your children.

Hazel said...

How sad ,you have such a kind and caring heart I'm sure each time they wrap up in one of those quilts they will think of you .

Angela said...

You are a good friend, I am sure the family appreciates the hugs that are in the quilts you took them. Take care and prayers are going out for everyone.

quiltfool said...

Good on you. Glad you could be there for the family. You'll get through today. Bless you for being kind hearted. Lane

Stephanie (A Ditchin' Time Quilts) said...

No fair, I am not supposed to tear up when reading blogs! You remind me of the nice women who make quilts for our babies in the NICU here at Johns Hopkins. Your gift is wonderful...and including your kids to see how giving to others make you feel special is another gift you are giving your kids that I bet you didn't realize you were giving. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Stephanie

Becky said...

I bet you are emotionally drained...but you are teaching your sons valuable lessons in compassion and caring by your example. My prayers are with all of you.

Shirleymac said...

You are a good friend when all of this is obviously taking a toll on you to focus on being there for your friend. Sometimes the best thing friends can do is cry together in my opinion. I think as mother's the thought of losing a child terrifies us because we tend to put ourselves in the other person's shoes. When my dad died at age 55 in 1965 I can remember my grandmother (his mother who was in her 70's) say that a parent should never outlive a child. Very sad.