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Monday, October 28, 2013

Skyfall Quilt from Charlotte's gRACE for a Cure

Lauren from Charlotte's gRACE for a Cure is a mom of 4 including her precious baby Charlotte who's battling brain cancer.  She uses her quilting skills to raise money for research.  I really cannot say is such a sweet and inspiring read.  I strongly encourage you to read this post and then head to her blog. I am inspired by her dedication and thoughtfulness!!  Wishing all the best for sweet Charlotte and her family!

This quilt is for one of Charlotte's nurses at Duke.  Chelse and I have been friends since we met during our second year of college in Fall 2000. 

IMG_9839 by Charlotte's gRACE for a Cure

Well, maybe we've not been "friends" per se, for all that time.  We were in and out of touch since those fun and carefree days of college.  As with probably 60% of my friends, Chelse majored in nursing at the University of Virginia.  I, however, decided to pursue a thoroughly non-marketable degree of a double major in French Language & Literature and Religious Studies.  Yes, always a romantic; rarely level-headed or practical.

Chelse picked out the backing fabric; isn't it great?!

After graduation, we both moved to Northern Virginia and began working.  (Surprisingly enough, I did get a job... teaching unruly middle-school students.)  I remember seeing Chelse once during that first year after college.

I learned then that she had started working as a nurse on the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology floor.  I was so surprised... "Kids with cancer?!"  It seemed so very sad to me, not to mention so strange that someone might want to work in that world.

So, how terribly ironic, wouldn't you say, when I showed up with my daughter, Charlotte, to Chelse's workplace about two years ago now?  Ironic, yes; but also entirely providential.

Here is why I've made a quilt for Chelse: because where I did not previously want to face the sad fact that kids get cancer, Chelse has been tackling it head on for 10 years.  Day in and day out, nurses like Chelse come to work and care for sick kids.  Day in, day out, they come to work and they love our sick kids.  Not knowing what the future holds, they love our sick kids today

This quilt didn't turn out quite how I wanted it to.  You can see that it is a "flying geese" pattern with a pop of aqua.  Only, if you look at it for longer than a second, you can see that I didn't really make "flying geese." I made half-square triangles, and then the only pattern that was "working" for me in the layout process was this one.  So I named it, "Skyfall" because of the pop of aqua.  It reminded me of geese taking to the sky, while the sky (the aqua portion) is falling.  (And because, come on, it's a great movie.)

This fabulous quilting was done by one of my other "God-sent" friends, Anne.  She even supplied the matching binding fabric!

As I'm writing, it's nearing midnight so maybe it's the hour that is making me all sappy, but oh! how this quilt is like my life!  How it has not "turned out" as I planned, having a child with cancer and disability. (Oh I know, who of us would ever "plan" such a thing, and whose life does turn out "just right?"  Even so...) When Charlotte was diagnosed with this brain tumor at only three-months old, the sky may as well have been falling.  I could not have cared less about the current events of the day; neither the royal wedding nor Bin Laden being killed was of any import to me.  For all I cared, my  world was crashing down around me, because my precious daughter was not expected to live for more than a few more months.

But as we move farther from the devastating time of diagnosis, I see a different kind of "Skyfall" these days.  Most people who are on the patient/family member side of this awful thing called cancer will tell you that some of the greatest people they've met, in all the world, are their doctors and nurses.  I, too, can affirm that.  So instead of insisting that "the sky is falling" as we walk through this world of suffering, I'll try to look for a different "Skyfall."  The wonderful people who care for Charlotte (and for me) are sent from heaven.  I truly believe God sends them into our lives.  Chelse is one of those sweet people.  She faces the hurts and the suffering head on; she loves and helps my daughter.  How very grateful I am that she is both a nurse to Charlotte and a friend to me.
Chelse is on the left, with me, Baby Marian, and our college "Marm," Sarah.


Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

This is such a beautiful quilt and such a beautiful, sad story. My thoughts go out to Charlotte and her family but, at the time time, this quilt and post are a wonderful tribute to Chelse and all those who care for our loved ones when they are sick and also to Lauren for her kindness and bravery and gratitude in making this lovely gift and sharing her story.

tealeafquilts said...

What a beautiful quilt and the story! THe symbolism shows! Thank you for sharing.

Books_Bound said...

Thank God for people like Chelse who follow their very difficult callings and meet needs that so many have. A beautiful quilt for someone who deserves it.

MsMidge said...

Just beautiful. Chelse is a good chick :)

Lynette said...

It's a very beautiful quilt for a very beautiful person.

Judy said...

The quilt is truly wonderful as is your story. Thank you.

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

This quilt is so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Kymberly said...

I've been following your blog for a while now. This is such a lovely quilt. I absolutely love the idea of using HSTs to make flying geese. Very beautiful way to honor those precious people who fall from heaven to help us.

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