My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sarah's First Quilt

A message from Joyce: This world of blogging just continues to amaze me. On Tuesday, I wrote about a letter I had written to Santa to win a stack of fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. My original thought process in telling you about it was for others who quilt to go write a letter too because this is a good contest to enter.

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.
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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.

16 comments:

Lacey said...

Hey Sarah, I'm impatiently waiting for a picture of you with your blanket!!

Mel said...

What a wonderful story. A time for miracles indeed :)

Shelley said...

Joyce - that is a beautiful post and a wonderful quilt - I love the way you prepared TJ.

The VW's said...

What a touching post! Hugs!!!

Beverly said...

beautiful quilt and story!

Rochelle said...

That is an awesome story. Thanks Joyce.

Kristen said...

Joyce, I am touched by your words and thoughts. What a special quilt and reminder of those medical miracles that without them, our lives would not be the same.

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

i love this story- thank you for sharing :)

Heather said...

There is seldom a day that I come here that I am not moved to tears.Sarah is an absolute miracle.Her blanket and that doll,a reminder of the miracle of her life and how she continues to change and inspire us.

Our family owes so much,a debt that can never,ever be repaid,to countless people, who have given so that we might have our precious daughter with us.From NICU,to CTICU,neurology,hemotology ... we receive our reminder of the miracle of Zoey's life and the fact we live in a day and a place where medical advancements have indeed permitted her to live.

Thank you Joyce for once again giving me an opportunity to pause and recognize this gift.And the gift of course of your amazing Sarah.

Heidi said...

What an amazing story and what a beautiful quilt. You are such an amazing mother - they way you took such care in preparing TJ for seeing Sarah is incredible.

Lisa said...

crying again!! beautiful story and yes, it is so easy to get caught up in the mundane aspects of the holiday season...nice to be reminded every once in awhile of the true miracles...see you on sunday!

Mama Mason-Mann said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am also so thankful for the amazing advances in medicine. A friend of my mom's is a retired pediatric cardiothorasic surgeon and he remembers when children with similar heart defects just died. I think we all have so much to be thankful with our kiddos. It's a different world then it used to be. Thank goodness for that!

ds.mama said...

Gosh, you have me crying over here. What a great idea to do that with a doll, and what a beautiful quilt. you should post a pic of Sarah with it now :-)

Anonymous said...

I am a "lookie loo" who loves coming by and reading about Sarah's adventures. I have been so moved by many of your posts, but more so tonight than ever. I am in awe and inspired by you as a parent. Here you had a daughter in the hospital having just had major surgery and you were worried about your little guy at home and what his reaction would be when he saw his sister. You truly went to great lengths by making that doll to put his mind at ease when he saw his sister. While many parents would have been worried also, it is a rare parent that would go to the exent that you did. All 3 of your children are so blessed that God chose you to be their mother. From everything I have read about them, I am pretty sure they know what a good thing they have in you. Thank you for making me want to be a better mom and person.

Brandie said...

So sweet! I am totally impressed by that doll, too.

Perplexing Situation said...

absolutely touching...