A Journey to the Ascension Day Banner
This last October a pair of devoted grandparents and members of our church lost their granddaughter, Ginger, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). I remember that the news hit our church as a nearly visible shock wave. Our church family rocked with quiet grief for a long time.
I cannot begin to understand the pain of the family. Nor do I have any illusions that I can provide any relief from the constant sorrow that they must feel. But I can try to honor it in my own way.
On the Tuesday before Mother’s Day the family asked if I would be interested in making a quilt for a SIDS foundation fund raising auction. Of course I said yes. The next day I bought the fabric you see above, Kaffe Fassett’s “Lilies”, at Sister’s Fabric Shop. I bought it because I liked it, or at least that was the reason I thought I bought it.
I could tell you a long story of my journey from the first email to the finished quilt — it’s a good story filled with serendipity, but it’s complicated. Instead, I’ll just share the finished quilt and the words I wrote to the family in an email:
I’m not very good at expressing myself in person, especially with something emotional, so let me explain The Ascension banner to you in this email.
[After your email] my mind started turning over the idea for this quilt. My work is my prayer, this is when the prayer began. . .Ascension Day and the ten days afterward is the shortest season of our Christian year. I made this quilt banner to honor a beautiful life and your beautiful family. You are both such a beautiful gift to this church and I am so grateful, Gil, for your friendship with my father. I hope that you will approve of my gift to our church in honor of you.
I’m having a hard time telling this story, mainly because this story really isn’t about me and I do not want it to seem as though I think it is. But, I suppose that is the risk I take when I am writing a blog about, well, me.
I am so grateful to God. I am also grateful to the people in my life that make God so real to me. I see Him in your faces.
Oh, I will tell you of the last serendipitous wonder: the altar flowers were lilies. Ginger-colored lilies, matching the lilies in the banner. God must have been whispering in someone’s ear…
“The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.” -Robert Louis Stevenson