Then yesterday evening as I read a comment from Christy, one of Sarah's nurses at the Cleveland Clinic, I was over come with emotion. I had no idea she was following our blog. She wrote about remembering the quilt and clothes I had made for Sarah, and I was touched. Then she asked about the quilt. Did I still have the little quilt?
Truthfully, I have not seen it for quite some time. I checked in the linen closet. Then Sarah's closet, then her one drawer that we have kept some memento type of things. No quilt. Then I remembered where I have the dress stored that she wore in the photo we had taken the night before surgery. No quilt.
A few hours later it hit me. I ran down to my sewing room, moved a few boxes and dug to the back of the cupboard. There was the plastic bag from the hospital. And inside was the tiny little heart quilt...
...as I pulled it out of the bag a pool of tears came out of nowhere. The memories of walking in and seeing her tiny body on that huge bed in the cardiothoracic ICU, connected by so many tubes and wires to so many machines, came flooding back like it was yesterday.
I remember the night the doctors told us that Sarah's complications were going to require her to be in the intensive care unit much longer than they originally thought. I also remember thinking that she can't be laying there in a diaper for Valentine's Day. My precious baby girl needed a special outfit for her first Valentine's Day, yet there was no possible way we would ever be able to get a dress on her. And that is when I got the idea of the quilt.
Stored in the bag with the quilt was the baby doll I had made to look like Sarah. Sarah's big brother TJ, he had just turned two when this all took place. When it became apparent her medical complications were going to require her stay to be a lengthy one, I knew we had to take him to see her. So I bought him a doctors kit and brought home some extra supplies to make one of Sarah's dolls look just like her as a way of preparing him for what to expect.
Today, almost twenty years later as I placed that little quilt on the baby doll, I am reminded of the medical miracles that permit our children to live. Just as this little quilt was lovingly stitched by my hands, there was a surgeon and a well trained team of professionals who lovingly worked to save our baby girl's life. I feel more grateful for that today, than I did in 1990. What a tremendous holiday gift that is. And to think it took a Santa contest, for fabric no less, to remind me of the true miracles of the season.
And speaking of miracles, all afternoon I have been following Elijah's blog. So far the reports are good. He made it out of his open heart surgery today. Please join me in saying a little prayer for his continued recovery.