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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Passing . . .

There is something about the song, Temporary Home, by Carrie Underwood that always chokes me up. Maybe because we're all just passing through, and Earth is just a stop on the way to where we're going. Some pass through so quickly--they come and go in a flash--and for others the passing is long and drawn out, but they all leave a searing and lasting impact on those who were stricken by their love.

My daughter once went to The Festival of Colors and she came back different. Messy different. Her shirt had been splattered with all kinds of new colors, stained together forever. They are a permanent part of the shirt now. A permanent beautiful part.

Love is messy like that too--messy with joy, and with pain that changes us for good, even when it's bad.

Lila Tolman came back changed after her husband's death. Permanently, and beautifully changed. For several months after Stan's passing, she kept the magic quilt as a source of comfort. But in time, she did the only thing there is to do with comfort. She passed it on. 

The following is the letter I received from Lila after she found a new recipient for the quilt: 

I have found new strength in my Heavenly Father's love.  It is so strong.  I know I am not forgotten.
It was such a special experience to pass on the quilt.  I gave Kathy a journal to record her journey.  I also printed out the stories of the quilt and Stan's story and put them in a binder and gave it to her.  I told her it would be nice for her to add her story to the book when she passed on the quilt. 

I want to thank you for the wonder and comfort the quilt brought into my life.  When I took the quilt to Kathy I wanted to give her the Mozart CD  you gave to Stan with the quilt, but I couldn't find it.  Today when I was driving Stan's car (the one he drove to work everyday until just before he passed away),  I turned on the CD player, and the CD you gave him started playing.  That was the car he drove to work until was listening to your CD.  Thank you for making his life richer.


Nutty Hamster Chick said...

This post made me cry for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing my pain and acknowledging it is so real. Perhaps that is one of the hardest parts about it, that it feels like a pain that only I feel and carry. Thanks for sharing the burden. LY girl.

Amanda said...

Pat, I think all grief feels this way..."a pain that only you feel and carry". It is so personal. I do understand what you feel...I think women who have stillborn babies or miscarriages often feel this way, as well.

Know that no one has to validate your pain, it is there and you are entitled to every tear it brings to you. I'm glad you've found those who embrace your tears and support you in this trial.

We are blessed with the knowledge that Jesus felt these pains and through the atonement we are blessed to know that there is one person out there that knows exactly what we're going through because He has felt it, too!

Debbie, I'm excited to read about the quilts through this month...thanks!!!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Amanda thank you for your words of comfort.

Debbie, you inspired me to write a post expanding on my comment in your box.

And I am excited to read about the quilts as well. So glad you came back to this blog.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Love you both! I am going over to read your post, Pat, before I post here again tonight.