The day before he passed Amanda sent me an email that poured chicken soup all over my soul. I printed it and shared with all of my kids before they went to bed. I have shared it below. When I awoke the next morning there was another email waiting for me from Amanda. This time telling me that Stan was done with his suffering.
I can't really describe how I feel to have been apart of this process in some small way. I feel completely honored that the Magic Quilt led me to Stan and Lila. They are two of the most beautiful people I have ever met.
Aloha Oe Stan, safe passage.
And please remember your promise to say hello to my dad for me.
Email from Amanda:
I just wanted to take a minute and share something with you. I had a prompting to stop in to see Stan and Lila today, then I ignored it. I drove right past their street and my chest felt like someone just sat on me and I felt as if I were nearly possessed, as I didn't feel like myself. I promptly made a u-turn at the very next light, just a few hundred yards past their street. I instantly felt calm and knew that I shouldn't have talked myself out of following that initial prompting.
When I knocked on the door, Lila greeted me with the most welcoming smile. She is so beautiful and sweet and precious and there are not enough adjectives to begin to describe how amazing she is. She explained that her sister came to stay with her and how grateful she was that she arrived on Monday because Stan fell Tuesday night and she could not get him up alone. She then asked me to go see Stan. I declined, the 4 kids were screaming in the car. She said, "Just go hold his hand." How could I refuse?
I knew immediately that things weren't good, I mean, we've known the cancer was terminal, we've known he would get to each of these stages, but reading it, thinking it, even hearing it doesn't prepare you for seeing it. I couldn't help the tears that filled my eyes and my heart wept, also. Lila stood over him so lovingly, smiling constantly and adoring another opportunity to gaze upon him. I called his name, placed my hand upon his hand and looked into his peaceful eyes.
He can no longer talk and it's been 3 or 4 days since he's had any type of nourishment. His time left here is short, the veil is certainly thin. However sad that reality may seem to us, he is between two worlds and has the comfort of sight beyond ours. He is okay, he is at peace. Stan and Lila's sons were planning to come in for the weekend, but Lila had encouraged them to change their plans as Stan may not make it to the weekend. Lila is doing better than I could ever hope to be in a situation such as hers. She continues to tell people how graceful Stan has gone through all of this, but really she has shown tremendous grace, as well. And the love she showers him with and the attention she pours into him allows him to be so graceful during this truly difficult time.
Let me step back a few paces to when Lila introduced me to her sister. She said, "This is Amanda, you know Amanda...." Her sister teared up and rushed to my side to hug me and through all the tears and arms she said, "Thank you." She was thanking me for the Magic Quilt project. The quilt has made a tremendous impact on this family. Lila went on to explain to me that Stan always has the quilt with him. When he was able to sit in his chair, the quilt came with him. When he went to bed, the quilt traveled there, too. I know the quilt is seeing the beginning of its innumerable days of comforting others. And as this first chapter of the quilt's life is coming to a close, I believe the second chapter may open while being wrapped around Lila's shoulders in the weeks to come. There is love in every square of fabric and blessings in every stitch of its magical seams. Once again, I cannot thank you enough for birthing this project and allowing so many of us to share in your dream of sending magical love around the world. I wish everyone could feel the magic quilt in action, it is a beautiful thing!