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.