“This is my parents’ quilt. It’s around 25 years old. The fabric is meticulously pieced together. A patchwork of memories and events. Muted colors signifying a simple, but happy life. A little worn on the corner… a reminder of life’s imperfections. A symbol of the life they shared together and the legacy they left behind.
This is the quilt that kept three babies warm on stormy nights. Bordered by the gentle strength of a father on the left and a vibrant mother on the right. A place of safety and comfort amidst scary dreams and fears of childhood. When each morning brought a new opportunity for happy adventures.
This is also the quilt that was host to young family meetings. Where the future became unknown and anger and sadness crept in. Where a life of happiness was replaced by trials and lessons not meant to be learned until old age. A place where two parents, wise beyond their years, explained the unexplainable.
This is the quilt that served as the foundation for prayer. Hours of begging, pleading to God for healing. For hope. For courage. For peace. This is where a child gained an understanding of uncertainty. Questioning. But never doubting. Always assured of God’s love for her mother and the love of His Church and their devotion to our family in a time of pain. An ever-present reminder that we are not meant to journey this life alone.
This is the quilt that covered the mother after surgery, chemotherapy, radiation. It has seen the pain caused by sickness. Witnessed the effects of endless treatments, each more toxic than the last. Deterioration of the body. The mind. But not the soul. This is the quilt that surrounded the young mother as she was given hope by a change in diagnosis from a brain tumor to multiple sclerosis. Only to realize too little was known and too late to alter her course.
This is the quilt that saw laughter, joy, and peace as a young family celebrated holidays on a bed: evidence that disease can make families stronger, not weaker. Discovering that humor helped ease the pain. A safe haven for three children to experience what it means to trust in the Lord with all your heart.
This is the quilt that saw the loss of the mother. A somehow unexpected devastation for a daughter who believed her mother would guide her through the perils of adolescence. A realization of the naivety of a child. That God doesn’t always answer prayers according to our desires. A loss of not just the past and present, but a loss of the future. A grief so deep that the full weight would not be understood until years later. Pain that re-emerges with every joyful and sorrowful event meant to be shared with a mother.
This is the quilt that witnessed a man grieving for his wife but determined to live a full life for his children. A quiet strength that spoke volumes of his character. A man who taught his children how to mourn, while maintaining his love for the Lord. This is where a daughter rested her head on her father’s chest… listening to his heartbeat. Grateful for the gift of life and resilience. A reminder of God’s steadfast love and protection as we continued living in spite of our heartache.
This is the quilt that watched these children become adults too soon. Three hundred and sixty days after the loss of a mother, came the loss of a father. A giant of a man, gone without warning from an undetected condition. No long goodbyes this time. A heart beat that remained strong long enough to teach his children how to weather the fiercest of storms. The understanding of the depths of a man’s love for his wife and the literal brokenness of his heart in her absence.
This is the quilt that saw great sadness. It was packed away as children became adults. Moved ahead. Graduated high school. Then college. Started careers. Then marriage. All three-remaining faithful to the One who strengthens. Carrying a legacy in their hearts.
This quilt is now the place of peace, love, and so much joy. Grandbabies who will never meet their grandparents but will surely know them by their legacy. One of beauty amidst life’s trials. One of reliance on God through the good times and bad. A reminder that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. And as we approach fifteen years of life without our parents, we will honor their memory by laughing and dancing with their grandkids. And we will cherish these happy times and forever be grateful for our short time with two incredible people.”
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