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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photographic Evidence of The Magic Quilt

Hey everyone, look what Kritta did!

It's our Magic Quilt. Isn't it beeeUtiful!

Are you eyes sweating or what?

It's like little pieces of US, side by side, holding hands against pain and sorrow.

It's like magic.

It's like a magic quilt.

I can't wait to send it to Marjorie so we can help Kung Fu Panda kick her breast cancer with our love and faith.

Mahalo Kritta!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aunt Mary's Quilt

This entry comes to us from Rosemary @, a Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support center. This entry make you wish you had an aunt Mary. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Rosemary! LY!

When I first read about your quilting project on Emily’s blog (Stepping Stones), I knew I had to write about my Aunt Mary’s quilt. Well, technically, it’s MY quilt, but my dear Aunt Mary made it for me when I was 12, and I still think of it as “Aunt Mary’s Quilt,” and so do my kids.

Before I tell you about the quilt, I really should tell you about my Aunt Mary. She was my Great Aunt, my Dad’s mother’s only sister. She was the sweetest, gentlest lady, and she was unable to have children. I don’t know why, but she did tell me once that there was a minor surgery that could have been done, but my uncle wouldn’t allow it. He told her that if God intended her to have children, He would have made her so she could have them. I often wonder what that must have been like for her, because she LOVED children. And they loved her. I loved her. Tremendously. I was the first grandchild for both of my parent’s families, and I have always been told that Aunt Mary spoiled me rotten. My mom used to tell me that when I was little, if I wanted something and she told me no, I would say, “Well, I’ll ask Aunt Mary. She’ll get it for me!” And Aunt Mary often did.

As I grew up, Aunt Mary was one of my very favorite people. Yes, she spoiled me, but not only in material ways. She spoiled me with love. I don’t remember most of the things she bought me, but I will never forget her love. I will never forget how every letter and card she wrote to me began with the greeting, “Dear one,…” After I had my first daughter, she wrote me the sweetest letter and said that she hoped I enjoyed my daughter as much as she had always enjoyed her sweet Mama. Every child should be spoiled the way that she “spoiled” me, and I loved spending time with her.

As I became an adult, married, moved away, and had children, Aunt Mary and I remained close. Ironically enough, she was usually the first person I called when I was having Mommy meltdown moments. There are some things I will forever remember about her…she loved Christmas, she prayed the rosary every day, she loved to get cards, she made the most delicious homemade noodles I’ve ever eaten, she always had M & Ms in a candy jar on her coffee table, she made beautiful quilts, she taught me to crochet…so many more memories I have…I couldn’t even begin to write them all.

In October 2001, Aunt Mary turned 90. Just to give you an idea of how many people loved this woman…there were nearly 100 people at her birthday party. She had so many God children, I don’t even know the exact number. Sadly, three months after her 90th birthday, Aunt Mary suddenly died. She went into the hospital for something minor and died 2 days later.

So now, I’ll tell you about “Aunt Mary’s Quilt.” When I was a kid, we moved around. A lot. The hardest move for me by far was the one my family made the summer between 6th and 7th grade. We moved into a brand new house, and my room was part of the finished basement. Aunt Mary made me a quilt to use for a bed spread. It was squares of pastel gingham…yellow, pink, orange, green, aqua, light blue…gingham of different sizes and colors they don’t make anymore. At each corner of each square of gingham was a fluffy little pom pom made of pale yellow yarn. (keep in mind, this was the 1970’s!) I loved that quilt and still do.

In 1980, when I was a senior in high school, my parents moved again, and I stayed behind, living with a friend to finish high school. The day after graduation, I moved back in with my parents. What a comfort it was to see my quilt on the bed in my new room. I lived with my parents for 2 more years while I attended a local college. When I moved away to finish my degree at Eastern Illinois University, the quilt stayed behind. But once I was married and had a home of my own, the quilt was mine again.

Over the years, this quilt has definitely become a comfort item for me as well as my kids. It mostly stays on the shelf in my bedroom closet, but if I am sick and lying around on the couch (which doesn’t happen often!), the quilt comes out. That quilt is the first thing my kids ask for when they are sick or just want some comfort. Actually, they don’t even ask for it now that they are older, they just go into my closet and get it. If I see one of them on the couch with Aunt Mary’s quilt, the first thing I ask is “what’s wrong?” If more than one child is sick at the same time, they fight over who gets to use it! If I am sick when any of them are, they know it’s mine. During the winter months when the kids have colds, etc, Aunt Mary’s quilt is out of the closet and on my couch often.

The quilt is so soft and comfortable, but it is not in the best shape anymore. Some of the seams have come undone, and every time I was it, I’m afraid it will fall apart. I almost feel as if I should hide it. Yet I can’t. I love that my kids call it “Aunt Mary’s Quilt,” and that they want to pull it out and snuggle under it when they need comfort. A few years ago, I gave it to my sister’s mother in law to repair, but there are now more seams coming undone.

I have a couple of other quilts that Aunt Mary made. They are all special to me, and I can close my eyes and see her stitching each piece and imagine the love that she put into making them. I love them all because they came from her hands and heart, but none of them have quite the importance to me that “Aunt Mary’s Quilt” has.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share something so special to me. I love writing about things that are near and dear to my heart, and over the years, I have written other things about my Aunt Mary. But, I never even thought about writing about this quilt. I also realized that I didn’t have any photographs of this treasured part of my childhood, and now I do. So thank you again for inspiring me. I look forward to your book. I am not a quilter, but I come from a family of quilters, and I love quilts and hearing the stories behind them.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Surrounded in Love

This entry comes from Andrea @ Blogging Mama. I love the generous nature of this entry and the idea of being surrounded in love. Much Mahalo, Andrea. LY!

I actually had a diaper bag in this fabric from a store. And one day I discovered you could buy the fabric so I did. When I was adopting my daughter (aka The Chick) I wanted to make her something but I'm not good at clothes or bibs as it turned out. But I kick butt at curtains and blankets! So I made her a blanket out of the fabric and 19 months later it's her favorite blanket. She must have this blanket first on top of her when she goes to bed then her other blankets. It's kind of special because first is the blanket I made her, then the blanket her Aunt Valerie (my sis) made for her and then the blanket my MIL made for her. She's basically all wrapped up in love. Ahh (I know that may have been over the top!)

I bought this fabric to make a quilt square for Chick's 100 Good Wishes Quilt which is a Chinese tradition where you ask friends and family to send a quilt square and a note offering good wishes for a new baby. Well, technically (if you want to get political) she's Taiwanese. But her heritage is Han Chinese. We got so many quilt squares from people all over, people who we mostly only knew online through adoption groups, I never needed to have this filler fabric I bought. I haven't made the quilt yet but one day I will and I hope it will be a treasure for her as she grows older. Again, she was surrounded with love.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Endless Love of a Mother

This entry comes to us from Emily (Swirl's sister) @ Stepping Stones. I love this entry because it emphasizes the magic that love and support provide through the pain. And I love love love the soothing fabric. Mahalo Emily. LY!

When my son Gabriel was stillborn, we were blindsided. I had no idea that in this age of modern medicine babies still died. It was something that happened back in the pioneer days, or maybe third world countries. Not now, not to me.


Coming home from the hospital I refused to wear my maternity clothes- what a cruel joke. And yet, none of my regular clothes fit me. My mom bought me a pair of pajama pants- a field of deep blue with stars. So cozy and comfortable. I wore those pants probably for the first month straight. I holed up in my room, watching MASH reruns and sleeping. And my family and neighbors let me do what I needed to do- shut down for a little bit. They took my kids back and forth to school. They dropped off meals to feed my kids. I remember so much love expressed from those days. Sadness, too, but lots of love.

Even still I wear those pants, even now. And I have worn them through two subsequent pregnancies and the sleep deprived days of nursing new babies. They are faded and worn, but so comfortable.

I went to the fabric store last night intending to get a piece of cloth with little bugs on it- ladybugs, maybe. (Gabriel's nickname was 'goldbug', from when we were reading a Richard Scarry book to our then 4 and 5 year old when we told them we were going to have a baby.) Or maybe a piece with butterflies- butterflies are symbolic to so many. But I was drawn to these blues. The deeper blue in particular. They look so similar to the pajama pants. I remember the love my mom expressed when she got them for me and gave me permission to mourn. The love of those days as I grieved my baby. And the sleepless nghts and days as I have nursed my new babies.

The starry design symbolic of endless love of a mother for her children, through the eternities.This is for anyone, anywhere, remembering their children.

peace- emily

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Gift of Faith

Here's a story that will send chicken skin tingles across your heart and soul. It comes from Jessica @ Variety is the Spice of Life. LY, Jessica!

I first heard about my magic quilt when I was sitting at a baby shower. It was for an acquaintance from church. She was a very nice girl, very excited to be adopting her first baby. I had never talked to her about her fertility struggles, but I knew from a mutual friend that she had quite a rough time. As she opened one of her gifts it was a quilt, handmade by Dawn, who happened to be sitting next to me. It was a bright cheerful gorgeous quilt, hand quilted flannel. Dawn leaned over and whispered in my ear, "The one I'm making for you is much better than that one." I was shocked. She was making me a quilt? I wasn't pregnant and I didn't have a baby. We had turned in our adoption papers months ago, but had heard nothing. She knew that. Why was she making me a quilt? She could see the surprise on my face and just smiled, "You'll be a mom soon, and you'll need a special baby quilt." I don't remember my response, it was probably a lame, wow--thanks. I was just too taken back and surprised. She was already making me a quilt when I didn't see motherhood anywhere near in my future.

Several months later we were selected by a birth mother. We were so excited! One Sunday at church Dawn said to me, "See I told you, you need a quilt! I had a feeling it would be a boy--it's a boy quilt. I have it already for your shower." The baby boy was born early and there never was a shower. His premature birth set into action a coarse of events that complicated our adopting him. The adoption was on and off, on again and off again for 8 long hard months while he was in and out of the adoption agency's foster care. Ultimately, we did not adopt him, his birth mother was cornered into parenting him by the birth father's family. We were heart broken and worn from the whole experience.

As we were learning the ending to this sad story, we were also in the middle of a cross country move. Dawn knew we were leaving. I had forgotten all about the quilt, and really I wanted no reminders of our emotional ride. She called and asked if she could come over and bring by her "gift." It was so generous and thoughtful, I couldn't say no. She walked in with a white shoe box with a red bow tied around it. She didn't say much, I think she knew how sad I was about the adoption falling through. She told me that she had made the quilt for me and for my baby that she knew I would soon hold. She wanted me to keep the quilt because she knew I would love it and use it when the time came. I didn't open the box at the time, it was too hard. But I thanked her and gave her a hug.

Many months later after we had moved into our new home in another state and had finished updating our adoption papers, I opened the box, hoping it would bring a little joy and anticipation with it. The quilt she had made was amazing. I loved it--the geometric design, the colors, it was hand quilted--she had done an amazing job. It truly was the cutest baby quilt I had ever seen. The design of the quilt (diamonds) even went with the baseball fabric. I felt terrible that I hadn't opened it in front of her and told her then how much I loved it. But even then the quilt stirred up all the deep painful emotions of the baby that was almost ours. I looked at the quilt and wondered, "What if we end up adopting a girl?"

More than a year after she gave me the quilt, I flew to Indiana to pick up our first baby--a boy. He has bright blue eyes just like the blue in the quilt she had made. He has all the energy and strength that the quilt has. I took the quilt with me and happily wrapped him up in it at the hotel our first night with him. It was a magical moment. All those hours she spent making the quilt where now finally filling their purpose.

I now have 3 boys, all adopted. All three have slept under that quilt, played on it, learned to roll over on it, and eventually crawled off of it. The quilt is a reminder to me of generous love, the kind our Savior taught us, the kind that can heal us. The quilt is a gift of faith. When our own light is fading, others can light the way for us, still believing when we are discouraged. I'm grateful for my quilt, it will always be a symbol to me of love and faith.

Below is the fabric I am contributing, which represents my own magic quilt.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Healing Quilt

The following entry is from Tonya @ You Asked For It. I love this entry! Thanks Tonya.

When I was a little girl, if any of us kids were frightened or ill there was a place of safety-- same as any other kids' place of safety probably--Mom and Dad's bed. Of course, my parents had a pretty good system, if we came in their room we'd get a quilt on the floor near their bed.
This Quilt:

You know, I'm not 100% sure that this is THE only quilt that I snuggled up in on those floor-sleeping nights, but this is the quilt I remember best. I remember being sick and wrapped up in this quilt on the couch; I remember drinking hot jell-o water for an upset stomach and accidentally spilling a little on the quilt; I remember one night huddled in the quilt holding a cold soda against my burning up foot when infection was winning the battle . . .

But most of all I remember fingering the many many fabrics of the double wedding ring design --crafted by my great grandmother when my own mother was married --and my mom telling me stories of where the fabrics came from. If I can recall I think there were pieces of many fabrics that had also been used for great aunt's dresses and great uncle's suits. It was a great distraction from worry and nausea because my mom loves to tell stories about her family, and they never stopped at the fabrics!

Speaking of fabrics . . . our quilt is still around, but not exactly in great shape. The photo shows that it's a little faded, but you can't really see that there's more stuffing poking out than being held in by the quilting so I'll be sending some alternate fabric, something given to me by my grandmother because I'm being groomed for the "She Who Dies With The Most Fabric Wins" club... it's a family tradition!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Patience and Prayer

This morning I woke up with this prayer in my head:

Oh my Heavenly Father, I come in humble prayer.
Not to beg for miracles, just strength to not despair.
If I fail to see your wisdom, give me faith to never doubt it.
Help me bear the cross you send, and not complain about it.

I memorized this when I was 12 or 13 years old from my favorite Helen Steiner Rice book and I used to repeat it over and over to myself during my childhood struggles.

It still pops into my head at odd times. Like when I'm unconscious. And often when I'm conscious too.

Lately I've been thinking of it as I look around and notice all the suffering and struggling going on around us.

Church was beautiful on Sunday. Even though I was starving to death I was deeply touched by all the testimonies (including my husband's (YAY!))

Our 2nd counselor, Bro K's, mother passed away a few weeks ago. She had cancer for 10years and he and his family have been taking care of her through all of her health struggles. Bro K bore his testimony and told us that one of the last things his mother said to him was "Thank you for being patient with me."

He said he looked right back at her and said, "Thank you for being patient with me." He spoke about his newborn daughter who cries every night and he spoke of how our children can often be a source of irritation and exhaustion, and how they require large amounts of patience.

I thought of how patience can be a form of healing.

I thought of Pat! She has been trying to care for her son who had hip surgery a year ago. It's been a long, arduous, complicated, expensive trial for both of them with no end in sight, which has required a lot of patient. Ah, the patience of Pat!

I thought of our Elder's Chorum president and his wife. A young, vivacious man with two toddlers--always the first person to help anyone in need. Two weeks ago he was stricken with a really rare virus that I can't spell and don't want to look up, which left him temporarily paralyzed. He's been in the hospital getting dialysis. He's been at home flat on his back, unable to control his body, his life, crazy afraid it won't go away, or worse yet, that he will stop breathing and die.

My husband and I walked over and spent some time with him on Sunday night. We were deeply moved by his emotional stories of loneliness and fear. I realize that his emotional suffering has been as great as his physical suffering. Which is often the case for all who suffer.

The Magic Quilt can help with the emotional suffering, if not the physical.

We've got to get this Magic Quilt done, peeps!

So I dug through all my wicker baskets and guess what I found? Tons of fabric. Magic fabric. I found all my old curtains that I made when was cute and crafty and my kids were little. My mom and I seriously made curtains for every room in the house. And I found all the left over fabric from the days when I used to make scrapbooks and cover them. And I found some pillow covers my sister made for me out of her huband's old shirts.

Just think of all the magic this fabric holds. My curtains are infused with compassion (They saw my whole mid-life crisis.) My scrapbooks hold my story. And those pillows offered rest to our weary heads for almost 10 years

So I spent the weekend washing them with LoW's magic laundry detergent recipe. Then I dried them with Downey. Then I ironed them with love sweet love.

And then I sprinked pixie dust on them and did a rain dance around them and fed them chocolate kisses so they'd be 100% enchanted.

I will now send them out into the world with a wink and a nod, (and my favorite Helen Steiner Rice prayer.)

Here's a sampling of the fabric:

And that's not even all of it, but I got bored with uploading photos!

May the force be with the Magic Quilt!

Nanoo Nanoo

And here's a preview of T (as in Tonya)'s upcoming post for TheMagic Quilt

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

She Loved Me Most!

Our latest contribution to the magic quilt comes from Springrose. Thank you so much, Springrose for your beautiful story. I LOVE HOLLY HOBBIE!

I have been thinking for quite sometime about what story to write for the Magic Quilt book. But I just keep coming back to my grandmother. So the memories I share will be of her.

I have 4 girl cousins and 3 older sisters. I am the youngest in my immediate family as well as the youngest of the cousins. We all lived with in 10 minutes of Grandma and Grandpa's house, we always called them Gram's and Grampies. They had lovely large fruit trees, and grape vines crawling all over the patio, forming a lovely canopy in the summer and fall. The grapes would hang down in large bunches to be picked in the early fall. They had flood irrigation and weekly they would turn the handle and water would rush into the yard until it was a large pool.

One summer I remember being at Gram's and Grampies house and the pears were big and green and ready to pick. I had never picked pears before. Gram's took me by the hand and led me to the tree and showed me how to tell if it was ready to be picked, then she let me pull a big juicy looking pear off the tree. She came prepared and with a sharp knife she cut a slice of the fruit off and gave it to me. It was Heaven! Everything with Gram's was that way! I was all that mattered when I was with her. Always lovingly teaching and instructing and leading. Never scolding or anger!

Every morning Grams would kneel down by her bed and pray. I would sometimes sneak into her room so I could hear her words. Always praying for each of her children and their spouses and each grandchild by name. Her prayers seemed to last forever, I often thought she would never get up again. But the fervent manner and the loving words and the relationship I could feel she had with her loving Heavenly Father. What an example of faith and prayer!

She made each granddaughter a Holly Hobbie quilt. Tied with love by her hands. I still have mine and when I am sick or feeling blue I pull it out and wrap up in it. Only at her funeral did all the granddaughter's make the same comment, “She loved me the most!” We each could feel her love, and when we were each with her we were all that mattered! No wonder I missed so many days in elementary school, I would fake sick just to go to Gram's house! Mac and cheese and French style green beans were always on the menu when I went for lunch, they were my favorite and she always had a cupboard full for me “just in case” I got “sick”!

I hope I can be the same type of Gram's to my future grandchildren as she was to me and all my cousins! She is my hero! I miss her desperately especially now that I have my own children. But I know I will see her again one day! What a glorious day it will be!

I couldn't find any Holly Hobbie fabric to send. But I will be sending some red and white cherry fabric that reminds me of her each time I see it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chicken Soup For Samantha's Soul.

Remember Amanda's story?

She needs our help. A darling little 6 year named Samantha has a very aggressive brain tumor.

Samantha and her family could really use some love notes with words of hope, faith, love, and inspiration. Please take a few minutes to share your testimony, a story that might be uplifting, an encouraging poem, the lyrics to an inspirational song, your favorite uplifting scripture, ANYTHING to help Samantha and her family through this difficult time. They continue to fight, but some days are harder than others.

Please email your contribution to

Here's a link for the full story.

And look below for Swirl's contribution to the magic quilt.

A Prayer and a Snug

Our next sweet story and fabric swatch comes to us from Swirl @ Girl in a Swirl

LY Swirl!

Thanks for making the magic happen.

I've been wanting to contribute to this quilt for a while, but finding a magical piece of fabric is hard.

Then I was putting some sheets away in my linen closet and saw this blanket.

All my children were born early.
I had one son who was only 2 weeks early, then two others were born 1 month early and my last baby was 2 months early.
This last one had me worried. To me, he was so small. I spent as much time as I could holding him--kangaroo style. (That is what they called it in the NICU when you hold them flesh-to-flesh, bare chest and have them bare and then cover up the both of you to keep them warm.) Premies thrive when they have lots of human touch and can hear your heart beat--which only makes sense because that is what they are use to hearing-- your heart beat.

I was so scared to bring him home. He was still so small and sometimes would stop breathing, but the nurses assured me that was normal--premies sometimes forget to breath so you have to "jump start" them. I was scared that would happen when I brought him home so I snuggled him lots just so he could hear my heartbeat, feel my warmth and hopefully the rising and falling of my chest would remind him to keep breathing.

Whenever I had to put him down to take a shower, or for a car ride to the doctor, I had a ritual of wrapping him up in a blanket. Criss crossing the blanket and tucking it tightly around him so he would be snug and I would always say a quiet prayer that he would be okay and feel loved until I could hold him again.

That's what makes this baby blanket magical. It has so many prayers already infused in the fabric. I hope that the person who recieves this magic quilt will wrap themselves snuggly up and feel the love.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Finding Comfort through an Article of Clothing

This submission comes from Anjeny @ Ramblings of an Islander. Today is her Mom's birthday so this submission is like a hug and a kiss for her.

LY Anjeny! Happy Birthday Anjeny's mom!!

I have been thinking about my mom a lot.

See, April of this year will mark the 2nd year anniversary of my mom’s passing. Last year around this time, I went back to Micronesia, my home island, to commemorate her first year anniversary and help my brothers finish whatever unfinished business my mom might have left behind.

I was going through her belongings to see what needed to be given away, thrown away or keep. I came upon an old skirt that my mom made for herself. My sister-in-law told me that was one of her favorite things to wear. I could tell from the way it looked. It looked like it’s seen better days. One look at the skirt and I knew I had to keep it. It reminded me of one that my mom used to have when I was a little girl growing up.

I took the skirt back with me when I returned to Hawaii.

This is where my story begins . . .

Back when I was a little girl, around the age of five or so, my mom was the most important person in my life. To me, no one else compared to my mom. She was beautiful and very talented in any creative home making skill. She loved her family more than life itself and she was constantly making sacrifices for them. The list goes on and on.

She was an amazing seamstress, she could sew anything. I remember when we would go shopping and she’d see a beautiful dress on display that was over her budget to buy. She would walk around the dress, studying it from top to bottom, check out the style, then she’d buy the fabric and material (which was a lot cheaper than the dress itself) and go home and make the same exact dress on her sewing machine. I’m sorry to say that I did not inherit that amazing talent from her, one of my biggest regrets.

You know how when you have a favorite shirt or an article of clothing you find yourself wearing it a lot more often than any other clothing you have? That’s how it was with my mom and her skirt. She made this skirt out of scraps left over from dresses she would make to sell to people and she loved it so much that she wore it a lot.

In my culture, whenever a boy decides he wants to marry a girl, his whole family (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts) have to go with him to ask the girl’s parents’ permission to marry their daughter.

One of my brothers fell for a girl from another island so my mom had to go with him to get his future bride to be. That was the most devastating and saddest time of my life. I have never been separated from my mom before and for her to leave the island like that, it was hell for a little girl like me back then. For some reason, my mom left her skirt behind. Since it was a skirt she wore so often, it even had her sweet smell of the perfume she wore . . . gardenia. I would cry myself to sleep every night missing my mom. The days were not so bad because I was always kept busy, but the night times were the worst because my mom would usually sing us a couple of songs to sleep or tell us bedtime stories.

You can guess where I turned for comfort. Yes, that skirt of hers. Some nights I would curl up with her skirt to sleep or other nights I would wear it over my clothes so I could bask in the smell of her and dream about her.

For the two weeks she was gone that was my source of comfort. Who would have thought that an article of clothing would be a good source of comfort for a little girl who was missing her mom who she had never been apart from?

That's why when I saw this skirt left in her belongings which happened to be her favorite one in her last living days, I was reminded of my childhood and I just had to have it. This skirt is little of what I have left of her and believe it or not, whenever I am missing my mom a lot I take out her skirt and remember all the different times things we’ve done together and I feel better.

It may sound crazy that I could actually look for comfort from an article of clothing but I don’t care. I hope that if ever my kids are separated from me and missing me that there would actually some visible evidence of something I own besides their memories of me that can bring them some small measure of comfort in their time of sadness.

By donating a piece of this skirt to The Magic Quilt, I feel like my mom's legacy will live on and bring comfort to others in need of comfort.

With that said, I want to tell everyone out there whose moms are still alive to make sure you let them know how much they mean to you and how much you love them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Safe in the Arms of A Loving Heavenly Father

Our second submission comes to us from Sandi, Kute Kasey's mom. Mahalo Sandi. LY!!!

I have a friend who is a great inspiration to me--such a great example of faith.

I met her more than twenty years ago, while we were both attending college in Hawaii. We became good friends and as I learned more about her life and the struggles she had gone through, I began to see a glimpse into the wonderful person that she is. I was amazed at what a great attitude she had and wondered how a person goes through such heartache and comes out smiling.

We both went on to get married and have families. She married an Air-force officer and lived all over the world, having great adventures. At last they were stationed in Las Vegas, happy to be close to both of their families in California. They were so excited to get to spend Thanksgiving with her husband’s family. It was during this happy trip that yet another tragedy occurred in the life of my friend. Her sweet little boy, who was just 18 months old at the time, somehow managed to slip away. He fell into a pond that was on the property, and by the time they found him, it was too late. Their precious little boy was gone. A parent’s worst nightmare--the thing you think you could never survive--had happened.

Since they were in the military and didn’t know where they would be stationed next, they decided to have the funeral and bury their baby there in California so his grave would be near family. I simply cannot imagine how they ever managed to pack up and drive away, making that drive home to Nevada without their little boy.

I visited with her when they returned and was so amazed at how peaceful she seemed to be. I know that had I been in her situation that would not have been the case. I did not know how she could take the death of her baby so calmly. She explained to me that Heavenly Father had been by her side, and had blessed her with such a spiritual experience that it would make her seem ungrateful for that blessing if she were to act any differently.

She received a personal witness that her little boy was safe in the arms of a loving Heavenly Father. She knew without a doubt that she would one day be reunited with him. I watched her explain this to her other children, and saw them accept without question. They missed him terribly, but because of the faith of their mother, they were able to look forward to seeing him again. She is such an example to me and to everyone around her. She inspires me to not get discouraged, to know that we have a Father in Heaven who never leaves our side. She shows me that we can bear heavy burdens and still feel blessed.

My contribution to the wonderful magic quilt is a piece of fabric that I recently got in Hawaii--because that is the place that this wonderful friend of mine came into my life.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Amazing Lessons from a Three Year Old

I'm so excited because we got our first submission for The Magic Quilt!

It comes from Amanda @ It's What's For Dinner

LY Amanda!

A few years ago I met a special family with a precious little girl by the name of Katie.

Katie and her family had moved across the country to my city for medical treatment; at 1.5 years old, she had been diagnosed with brain tumors. Katie was only 2 years old when we met, but she had already accomplished so much in her life. She had taught her parents what love truly meant. She had inspired so many through her optimistic outlook during treatments. Her smile could melt anyone’s heart.

Katie would spread her love of Heavenly Father and sing I Am a Child of God for all to listen.

Katie was not scared. She made friends everywhere, especially her cancer buddies that she met in the hospital while undergoing treatment and prayed for daily until she died--her baby sister and mother still pray for her cancer friends almost 2 years later.

I knew Katie for 2 years before she lost her battle with cancer. I held her hand and watched her dance. I brought her a puppy to cuddle and play with--one of her wishes in her last few weeks. I held Katie’s mother and cried with her, and sometimes for her.

I was not able to save Katie. I was not able to keep her family from grieving. I felt helpless on so many levels, but I did find one thing I could do for Katie. Two months before Katie died I created a Relay For Life team on behalf of Katie. Relay For Life is an annual fundraiser for The American Cancer Society. I had one month to gather a team, put together a fundraiser and hopefully reach a goal of $1000. Katie had touched so many and everyone loved her so this was an easy task, after all. We raised over $4000 in just over a month. I brought together a group of friends and family who felt helpless and gave them a chance to show their love and support for Katie and her family.

Katie was limited by her physical body, but her spirit reached thousands. She was a joy to be with and wise beyond her short three years. Everyone was sad, but no one could speak of Katie without smiling.

Katie taught me to love life, cherish every moment you have with your family and to live unafraid--what amazing lessons from a 3 year old!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Our First Recipient of the Magic Quilt

Meet Marjorie.

I like to call here Marjie. She looks like a Marjie to me, don't you think?

Marjie is Pat's mother. Her granddaughter, Susan (Funny Farmer's beautiful daughter) sent me a few photos of Marjie and told me a little bit about her so we could all get to know the first recipient. Now that I see her I want to work even faster and harder to get this magic quilt finished so she can be healed by the hands of love.

BTW, to give you some idea of how committed I am to this project, I just bowed out (gracefully, of course) of my Spring class so I can focus on getting this quilt/book finished.

Bring on the magic fabric!

Sandi asked if she could send non-magic fabric and I say YES! Non magic fabric becomes magic when sent by a caring hand.

If you don't have an inspirational story and fabric swatch, please share a brief account of a time someone did something to comfort you when you needed it most.

Okay, back to Marjie!

Marjorie is a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.

She is very good at sewing, cross stitching, and darning lace! She is very talented at making crafts of all types.

Marjorie uplifts those around her and each of her family members are honored to be related!

She has eight children, six of which are married and have kids. Her husband is a wonderful man who only magnifies Marjorie's splendid personality.

Marjorie is very kind and gentle in nature. She is very maternal, and is loving to all of her children and grandchildren. She is full of faith and hope, which warms the hearts of all around her.

Marj is currently fighting breast cancer.
--Susan, Marjie's Grandaughter