Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Precious Gifts

These are my friends, Nick and Sharon. Their beautiful daughter, Angie, passed away just a couple months after Joey. Less than a year later, one of our mutual friends on Maui, our beloved Pastor Kit, also passed away. These three deaths and our shared grief connected us in heart and subsequently by email. Last year on our Maui trip we were finally able to meet them in person.
Sharon and I have become part of the mother's club that no one wants to join. We often grieve together through our correspondence, as well as share our hope for the world to come. No one knows a mother's heartbreak like another one who is also walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It is a very comforting bond, and Sharon has been a very dear sister to me these past two and a half years. One of Sharon's ways of comforting herself is to make things by hand. She is a talented cook and both Christmases sent us boxes full of yummy sugary deliciousness. She also likes to sew. When you are grieving, having a project that keeps your hands busy is very soothing to the tempest in your soul.
Here are some of the things she sent me this last Christmas:

Hand-embroidered "days of the week" tea towels. I love this kind of towel and love the cute puppies embroidered on them. They are so absorbent. (Monday and Thursday are in the wash. I admit I don't always use them in order :)

Sharon also makes gorgeous quilts and says she feels best when she is quilting. She made one for herself out of some of her daughter Angie's clothing. I was able to see it last year, and know it's a great source of comfort for her to be able to wrap herself in that quilt. What a beautiful way to remember her daughter and keep her close.
The brown one above is in memory of Pastor Kit. It reflects his coloring and his bright eyes and smile, and his warm and engaging personality so perfectly. His faith shone brightly through cancer treatment, and he left this world in a blaze of hope and inspiration. Kit was one of the most incredible men that we all have all been privileged to know, so this will hang in our barn in loving memory of this great man.
This purple, blue and black quilt Sharon made in honor of our Joey. It reminds me of his travels through Alaska, and the pictures of him standing in front of steep purple mountains with black outcroppings and snowy peaks and glacial ice trails. His last picture in his memorial slide presentation shows him standing in just such a place with his arms opened wide to each side. I love being reminded of how much he loved those lofty, majestic places and imagine him experiencing much the same beauty in Heaven.
Sharon's final gift was this beautiful picture frame charm. It now holds a picture of Joey when he was three years old. I love this picture of him proudly holding a cat in his arms. It hangs from an initial necklace given to me by another treasured friend this Christmas.
Sharon is one of the dear bereaved mothers with whom I have linked arms on my journey. I cannot go it alone and am so grateful for kindred spirits who understand without judgement as we work to find our way into a new life. That is the biggest gift of all.
Gal 6:2
Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.


Anonymous said...

You two are so special. I have my Angie quilt all ready to go to you and got the package today so be looking for it soon. Many hard days as of late. Praying all will be happy soon. Love you much Sharon

karen gerstenberger said...

What a beautiful, generous soul. Thank you for showing us her handiwork and sharing the story of your friendship. May God bless her and her family with comfort, just as her loving hands create comfort for others. xoxox

Jenny said...

beautiful post by a beautiful woman!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Karen Gerstenberger. I love how your life connects with ours even though I pray it would be differnet. Sharon

Kay said...

She's an amazing quilter. I have thought about doing something with my little guy's clothes. I think that's a really sweet memorial to someone so loved. I'm so glad you have someone to share in your grief journey. So helpful.

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank YOU, Sharon. Amen to what you wrote. Your quilts are breathtakingly beautiful!

Beckypdj said...

Blessed by great friends and by being a great friend.

I am having memory quilt made, it is almost finished. Hope to be showing it on my blog soon.

Hugs to all you moms out there :)