As best I can tell, the very first "Love Catcher" Quilt diary by Sara R was published on September 10, 2009 and it was for Othniel, who was facing a serious surgical procedure. To date Sara R and her sister Ann have made 59 quilts for kossacks mostly, but there was one for Keith Olbermann, Lt. Dan Choi, and even one for Ana, a horse that was hit by a truck. Normally, Sara will publish a diary asking the community for messages for a quilt, which she then transcribes onto a muslin square in archival ink and incorporates, with the help of her sister Ann, into one or her fantastic quilts. A magical quilt because as Sara says, "The love in these blankets will never wash out".
Imagine my complete surprise when a quilt arrived for me. It seems a certain someone (Chacounne) had masterminded a secret quilt to be made for me. Unbelieveable!
In the card that accompanied the quilt, Sara said that my friends had sent me a bouquet of flowers. That is indeed the perfect description, as all save one block, as well as the backing and border are flowers. My heart absolutely melted when I read that Ojibwa had blessed my quilt and a stone from him was included and intended to be kept with the quilt. I am extremely honored by this gift of the blessing and the stone, from a man I profoundly admire and respect. Thank you.
On May 18th my husband died. He had been exposed to asbestos during his U.S. Navy career and years later developed asbestosis. After the initial diagnosis, his health slowly declined and then other health issues arose. He developed insulin dependent diabetes, sleep apnea, vertigo, neuropathy, heart disease, congestive heart failure and a host of other lesser health problems. He died here at home from a myocardial infarction. I was in the room when he slowly sank to his knees and died. The doctor later told me he had died instantly with no pain and not knowing a thing was wrong. I take great comfort in knowing that, as he had been so afraid of dying gasping for breath, in a panic and very afraid. His health had gotten very bad towards the end, and that he never had to go into hospice is another comfort. He is in a much better place now.
That night I had an IGTNT diary due up and had to send an email to the group telling them that the EMTs had just taken my husband to the hospital and needed someone to publish for me. Later that night I sent a second email to them telling them he had died. This is what I quickly learned:
Friends are God’s way of taking care of us.
Here is a close up of what I think of as the "IGTNT" section. It is a patriotic fabric square, then a square with the quote I always use in my IGTNT comments including the IGTNT candle and a peace symbol (which is my personal DK icon), then a square of poppies - for remembrance.
I love my quilt...and I love all my friends...
A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~Douglas Pagels
I keep it nearby...
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen.
Whaaa??? Still confused?
William was teaching me because Bill in Portland Maine and Common Sense Mainer wrote:
When you need strength remember: this quilt doubles as a superhero cape.Which made me laugh in the midst of all the tears flowing from reading the other messages. Thank you guys for putting laughter into the quilt!!!
~ Big Hugs Always
I have relied on quotes and music in hopes of conveying what is in my heart. I simply haven't the words to tell you all how much this means to me. And I am not limiting this sentiment to only those who signed this quilt...I mean ALL of you in this community. Nearly every week the kossacks here prove why so many of us say, "I came for the politics and stayed for the community". I love you all.