I have made quilts, afghans and fleece blankets for years, helped to start a chapter, became it’s coordinator, attended National Conference, helped to put on a regional conference and have been a part of 38,000 blankets going to children. I love what I do and I have seen the impact of a blanket on a hurting child and their worried family as a volunteer at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. But I have known all of this more in my mind than my heart the importance of our Project Linus blankets. On Friday, that all changed and I truly understand, first-hand what a hand-made quilt means because a quilt I made wrapped our 3 year old granddaughter in our love before and after a biopsy of her stomach and small intestine.
The cost to fly to Hawaii at Christmas-time was far too expensive. Since we couldn’t be there in person, we did the next best thing – we made little Eden a quilt! She loves monkeys, so of course out came Lisa’s Counted Quilt Monkey pattern. In 4 days it was made, mailed and received in Hawaii. She has been sleeping with it, using it to wrap up in while watching TV with her family, and cover her Mama and herself when she needed extra comfort.
Friday, at just the right moment in the waiting room, our daughter pulled Eden’s Monkey quilt from her bag to wrap her anxious and fussing child. It brought peace and amazing comfort to both Mama and Eden. When it was time to go into the surgery area, it was her introduction to nurses and the doctor who could all talk about her wonderful quilt. She cuddled against Mama and announced, “It is from ChooChoo (what our grandchildren call us), it is my monkey quilt.”
On the phone last night, while talking about the procedure, our strong daughter cried as she told us what that quilt meant to both her and Eden. Suddenly, I knew in my heart and soul that a lovingly made quilt means more than fabric and color and warmth to a child and her Mama. Friday I understood as a grandmother, that the blankets we make reach out to touch the hearts and help to comfort and heal in a new and very personal way.
I have to go now and sew a quilt for a child that I may never meet but I know will love it as much as my granddaughter did Friday when she was scared and needed comfort.