April 27, 2015 · Personal

My mom is NOT going to like this blog post.  She doesn’t like attention for stuff like this, which is all the more reason why she DESERVES attention for stuff like this.  She’s not out flaunting her awesomeness…so I’ll do it for her!  I’m allowed.  I’m her proud daughter.

I have so many memories being in my mom’s sewing room in my lifetime.  She taught me how to sew from the age of four, and we have spent countless hours in that room.  Just creating.  Bonding.  Her teaching and supervising, me soaking in her instruction and applying what I learned.

I’ve gained so much knowledge and skill from her over the years and I attribute any creative idea I have to her.  I wouldn’t know how to do any of it if she wouldn’t have been so patient in teaching me all she knows.  Every creative gene I possess comes from her.

My mom used to work at a quaint little country shop in my hometown called Country in the City.  Since I was in early high school, she’s been creating hand-crafted accents like pillows, towels, placemats, ornaments and seasonal decór just to scratch the surface.  She crafted items for the shop to sell and also worked there a few days a week.  In early February, the shop closed its doors and my mom retired after working there for 17 years.

She isn’t focused on the next step.  She’s not over-thinking this “retirement” thing, or trying to start up her own crafting business right now.  Even though she totally could.  Instead, she’s being quiet before the Lord.  Listening to His gentle nudgings and waiting for Him to reveal what is next for her in this life.

In this season, she just feels like He wants her to sew.

The shop owner so graciously gave my mom piles and piles of leftover fabric when the shop closed.  Within a few short weeks, my mom already had easily a dozen quilts pieced and machine-quilted.  Ranging in size from tiny premie quilts to child-sized quilts.  By the time she had made arrangements for a drop-off with Cleveland Clinic Children’s (less than two months from when she began sewing), she had 50 quilts done.  50 quilts.

In her effort to give back without wanting any acknowledgement or recognition, she didn’t want to put her name on these quilts.  Even though our ties with the Cleveland Clinic are because of Owen, she was making these while thinking of all 3 of her heavenly grandbabies.  A simple heart stitched onto the back of these was the perfect way to mark them with significance.

It was time to deliver them and I wanted to go with her.  Not because I wanted to go back there.  It’s not a place I will ever WANT to go back to, but sometimes it’s a place that I NEED to go back to.  Mostly, I knew this trip was going to be just as hard for her as it would be for me.  I wanted to show her how proud I was, and I wanted to support her.

We parked the car, grabbed some boxes full of quilts and began the descent down to the famous “tunnel.”  It’s a place where music is playing, colored lights are ever-changing along the walls…and it’s just this weird portal where your heart rate increases, nausea sets in and you know you’re preparing to enter the building.  It was about this time that I needed a moment.

We paused.  Rested the boxes on the railings in the tunnel and my mom got me a tissue.  As much as I wanted to be there for my mom, this will always be a place that brings tears.  Understandably so.

We began our ascent up the escalator and then…the smell.  What IS it about smells that transport you back to a time in your life?  The main lobby brings about this mixture of Au Bon Pain and hand sanitizer.  These are all brought into your senses through the air you can physically feel blowing past you.  It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I can feel air moving around me.  There are some things that I will never forget about this place.

A NICU specialist met us in the lobby not long after we arrived.  She was just about the sweetest girl EVER and really took the time to hear why my Mom was making these and why we were there.  You see, we received a quilt for Owen from the Cleveland Clinic, too.  Being a quilter at heart, my mom was particularly touched by this at the time.

After he passed, I almost threw that quilt out.  Angry that I had this quilt and no child FOR the quilt.  Now, it’s very precious to me.  It has lions on it, after all.  It really was the perfect quilt for him and I hope to share that quilt with our future children.

As these precious babies and kids are in their hospital beds, they will also have a quilt…with a story behind it…keeping them warm.  Each quilt was individually prayed over.  Both my mom and dad prayed for the children who would receive each quilt.  Praying for the health and future of each little one who’d be tucked underneath, as well as for the families alongside these young patients.

Mom, thank you for giving back.  For not trying to think up something in your own strength, but for just saying “yes” to using the gifts and abilities God has given you.  For going along with HIS idea for your retirement.  For however long this sewing season lasts.

Thank you for being on the other end.  Being the giver.  The encourager.  Reminding these families that those who have gone before them are cheering them on.  Owen and your two other heavenly grandbabies are so proud of their Nano.

I know I am.


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Click here for the very beginning of our 8 year journey through life, loss and our unexpected struggle with secondary infertility.  Starting with what we shared at our 3-week-old son’s funeral.