Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Prayer Quilt- A New Project

This quilt is a stock photo, not Garrett's real quilt.  His is sacred and I did not want to post it publicly. 
Our family has had a pretty rough time lately. Lots of tears and confusion and upset which manifests as anger. I guess anger is a disguise we wear for sadness, right? Last night while Cody was at Ethan's basketball game, the three other kids and I found ourselves on the big bed watching Garrett videos on my computer. It wasn't a planned activity, but somehow it happened and we cried hard. We cried ugly. We cried loud. We went through half a box of Kleenex. And then on an impulse, I pulled a box out of our closet that I haven't dared open since the day Garrett died in the hospital. I told the kids that something very sacred lie inside the box and they were all very interested to see what it was.

Moments before they wheeled Garrett into the OR to remove him from life support, they made a cast impression of his precious little right hand. I've never seen the cast or anything else in the box that was put together by the amazing staff at the hospital. The locks of his hair in six individual baggies; one for each of us to keep forever. Gently folded underneath everything, was the prayer blanket that was laid over him as soon as he arrived at the hospital. The blanket was made by a local ministry there in Fort Worth and with the blanket, came a note from the ladies who made it, saying they cried and prayed as they put it together, knowing it would go to a child just before he went to Heaven.

I laid with Garrett under that blanket for several hours as his body fought to stay alive, and ultimately lost. I don't know if I felt the prayers then; I felt nothing but numb. But last night as I held the blanket and tried desperately to breathe in any remaining scent of Garrett, I felt the softness and could somehow feel the energy it carried with it. Maybe it was the energy from the sweet women who made it, or maybe it was Garrett's energy. I don't know. But I believe that energy can not be destroyed; it only changes form and it was still there.

I slept little last night and woke up this morning with a crying hangover. Right now I'm in the waiting room of the girls' therapist's office and I should be writing a paper for school, but all I can think about is that blanket and how I need to make one for another child, another family, who will inevitably suffer our same fate.  And in this moment, I am filled with peace as I think of cutting little pieces of fabric and stitching them together, and offering up prayer to The Heavens that the recipient of the blanket will feel the love and energy of our family.  I will cry over it as I tenderly piece it and tie it together.  And maybe my tears will fall on the fabric and those tears will somehow become strength for the Mama and Papa who will one day cling to it as a last remnant of their child. 

And maybe that Mama will snuggle her baby one last time beneath it, just like Cody and I did.

And maybe I won't stop at just one; maybe I will make a dozen, or three dozen, or enough to comfort every family in the entire world who will lose a child. One can dream, right?

I am thinking about starting a little non-profit foundation called "Garrett's Gift", or something like that.  Fabric and supplies are not cheap, and I want a way for people to donate money or items to the project.  This foundation is only an embryo as I only thought of it an hour ago, but I want it to happen.  I NEED it to happen.  I've been searching high and low for a purpose, to turn our grief into gladness, and perhaps sewing little pieces of choo choo train fabric together can help our hearts mend, if even a tiny bit.  

Right now, there is the tiniest bit of resolve in my soul as I contemplate doing this. And for that, I am grateful. 

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