Yesterday and today have just been heavy.
Yesterday morning, a friend from church (and also from my college days) passed away unexpectedly. Very unexpectedly. Left behind a husband and two young boys, ages 6 and 9. To say we are all in shock is an understatement.
The thought of those two boys being without their mom has really rocked me to the core. It is, of course, a blessing to know that she had a relationship with Jesus Christ and will be in heaven, but it doesn't really take away from the sadness of how those two boys had their mama taken away from them.
Coincidentally, I had just finished one of two identical quilts for our quilting group at church, and I was almost finished with the second. I think I've mentioned it before, but our church has a little knitting/quilting ministry. The knitters make beautiful shawls and blankets, and the quilters, of course, make lap quilts. They are taken by the deacons at our church when they go on visits to people at the hospital, people experiencing tragedies, or shut-in's. It's not too often that we need kid-themed quilts as most of our items are given to adults and the elderly. So lately my contributions have been specifically for kids, just in case we would ever need them.
My job in the quilting group is usually "the finisher". I enjoy the handsewing portion where the binding is tacked down and the label is attached. Since I am by far the youngest member of the group, the other ladies usually prefer me to have this job since it's quite tedious and not as easy for them, especially those with cataracts and/or arthritis setting in. So I haven't made too many quilt tops myself, but I've started to try and contribute more of those lately. We try to use donated fabric, but as you might suspect, some of it, um, might not be the most desirable pieces, and most of it isn't exactly what any little kids might enjoy. So a while back I picked up one of those little fat quarter sets from JoAnn's. I figured I would churn out a little quilt top with it, and once I got cutting, I found that if I threw in some extra pieces from my stash, I could easily churn out two identical tops at a time.
These quilts should've been finished two weeks ago, but my son got really sick and I was unable to go, and then last week was Vacation Bible School so we didn't meet. Little did I know that the timing would end up perfect -- last night the call went out to see if any of us had anything for two young boys. They were finished this morning just in time to be taken over and hopefully bring a small dose of comfort to two little boys. It kills me that they are going to two little boys I know -- not that I don't understand that they ended up really being perfect timing, but just that I hate that those boys have any reason in the first place to receive quilts from our group. The circumstances, that's what breaks my heart. It was all I could do to not cry on those quilts as I finished stitching them up last night.
The labels that we attach to the backs of all of our quilts read: "This quilt was made with love, hope, and prayers. Each knot represents a prayer that was said for you." Our quilts are tied instead of machine quilted -- prayers are said for each knot that is tied and the ties are purposely left long, so in the future, others that know the recipient can add their own knots and prayers.
I pray that these quilts can bring even an ounce of comfort to little N and Z. And C, you will be missed.