“But as it is written: ‘What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.'”
Once again, I was honored with the task of creating a memorial quilt for those who died in hospice last year at the McLean’s Care Center in Simsbury, Connecticut. Family members and friends of those who have passed are asked to create a quilt block in memory of their loved one. I assemble the blocks and add a little of my own touch.
It’s an emotional endeavor to make the quilt and even more so to participate in the ceremony to reveal everyone’s work. As I explained in my presentation, I speak and write about how each of us have special gifts endowed by God, and we are meant to share them. The gifts of each of the deceased are permanently displayed on the fabric squares in various forms. When we lose someone we love, we also lose the gifts he or she shared with us.
While I worked on the quilt and read the variety of talents and personal traits of each person, I couldn’t help but think about those I have lost and how much I miss what they gave to me. I looked out at the reception yesterday and wondered if perhaps a spouse used to play the piano and now there’s no music. Maybe a sibling was great at telling jokes, and now the laughter has dwindled. Possibly a friend no longer has a confidant to share her thoughts so loneliness prevails. I prayed my work would bring some comfort to them knowing their grief is valued and sacred.
I explained, as well, in my presentation how I did not intend to use a floral fabric again. I
chose a beautiful floral fabric last year and we artists do not like to repeat ourselves. We like to shake things up and vary our work. However, when I found this particular floral fabric in the quilt shop, it “called” to me. It had all the right colors and just seemed perfect. I was compelled to buy it and, therefore, I did.
When I returned home, I laid out the fabric with the quilt blocks. It looked glorious! I thought to myself, “Well, it makes sense to use a floral because I believe Heaven is a garden.” For some reason, having that thought motivated me to sit down and write a poem about heaven. I don’t consider myself to be a poet, but the lines just kept popping into my head. When I finished, I had a picture in my mind of the finished quilt. I proceeded to design it. I read the poem yesterday just before the quilt was unveiled: