I received something really special in the mail yesterday. The family of a patient who received a Mercyful Quilt wrote a note of thanks. We quilters have talked about this and agreed we do not need to hear the gratitude felt by recipients of the quilts we donate. As quilters, we donate because it might soothe someone during a really difficult time and it makes us feel we are helping in some small way when we make and give these quilts.
But this family was so taken by this handmade gift and they wanted to be sure we all knew how touched they were. Three sisters spent time with their father who recently passed away at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. They were given the opportunity to select a quilt and wrap up their dad with it as they sat with him. Receiving this was such a sweet surprise for them. They wanted to extend a note of thanks and this is the best way for me to share it with all of you.
The best thing was the photo they enclosed with their thank you note. I am really hoping the person who made this quilt will see this post. Please let me know if it is one of you who donated it. If I can track down the quilter, I would be happy to send the picture to the maker – what a sweet way to see your quilt providing comfort.
This picture says it all to me. The comfort it provided to three sisters and their father. The beauty of this quilt tucked around their dad rather than a plain, sterile hospital blanket is just lovely. It surely didn’t make saying goodbye to their father easy but maybe it helped just a tiny bit.
Since I am writing on the topic of our gifts for Mercy Hospital I would like to share one more story. Last summer a young woman was dying of breast cancer at Mercy Hospital. Her husband and 11 year old daughter spent their time with her. As her death became imminent, a palliative care team member asked the girl to come and choose a quilt for her mom. She explained the girl would be able to keep the quilt after her mother’s death. The girl looked through the quilts and carefully picked one out. When asked why she chose a particular quilt, she told the nurse it made her think of Paris. She and her mom had talked about how wonderful a trip to Paris would be. Since this wasn’t going to happen, she wanted to wrap her mom up with this quilt. (I wish I knew which quilt this was but I don’t have any idea). I think this is so amazing though. For this little girl to attach such an important memory to the quilt she chose must have been comforting to her.
These are the reasons we do it. This is why we spend hours cutting up pretty bits of fabric and sewing them into quilts to be given to people we will likely never meet or hear from. It is kind, thoughtful, helpful and so necessary in our world. Kindness matters. Thank you to each of you. Please know the need is on-going. Mercy Hospital is down to about ten quilts right now so if you are called to help, please donate a lap size quilt when you can. It means more than we know to so many people.
What a sweet note and wonderful stories. I am doing an inventory soon and hope to have another one for them. I just dropped one of to a friend who entered hospice. Timing was such that I could get it to the facility before she arrived. I know her children are touched and hope that it provides her comfort in her last days.
What a wonderful thing to do for your friend Kathleen. It will bring her comfort for sure.
I would LOVE to receive another quilt from you. Thank you so much!!!
This is such a beautiful post. Amazing how many lives you have touched through your quilting, as well as inspiring so many others to quilt as well.
Thank you – you are so sweet to say so. Love, B.
Thanks for sharing, Bernie. We need to be reminded that there are still good things and good people in this crazy world. To bring comfort, to give a little of ourselves to others, is one of the greatest blessings in life, in my opinion. Sharing one another’s burdens in life is good for all of us.
Love this sentiment – “Sharing one another’s burdens in life is good for all of us.” So well said – it is as helpful to us to make and donate these quilts as it is for the recipients. Thank you Wendy.
Thank you. That quilt wasn’t mine, but I’m glad I did make one for the hospital. It’s nice to hear stories such as these.
Yes Carol. I remember you sent one – Was it black red and white? I sort of wish I had kept better notes on who sent what…. But know that it was greatly appreciated!!
I believe it was. I’ve had health issues so haven’t done much sewing lately. Will try to get back into it soon.
I am sorry to hear this Carol. Sending wishes for good health. Take care. B.
Oh, Bernie – what a heartwarming post to read and savor. That photo does indeed say it all. While I haven’t been sending quilts to you, I have been sharing them with our local quilt guild’s hospice program. One I was able to give to a former boss (ironically less than 48 hours before the aggressive cancer took his life). And I agree that we don’t NEED to be thanked but it is so good to know how much the families value the quilts. Thank you for sharing this post!
Hi Julie, I am sure your local hospice really appreciates your beautiful quilts.
So happy to share this post and also pleased you enjoyed reading it. Have a wonderful day!
Hi Bernie! Gosh, what a wonderful post. The thank you note is so nice and that photo. It is why we do what we do. I just know that he felt all the love that was stitched and quilted into that piece. I will certainly keep Mercyful quilts and Hospital on my list for quilts. ~smile~ Roseanne
This is a beautiful tribute, Bernie. So inspiring 💕💕
I’d guess I am not the only one who has tears right now. What we do in life surely matters! Thanks for sharing. And for your outreach efforts.
Thank you for sharing these very touching messages. We were planning some donation blocks and quilts yesterday and thinking our donation cards might be full at this point. However, you read stories like these and your heart and hours in the day open up for one more precious gift to a family in need. Heart felt post. Special thanks!
I am welled up with tears and could easily begin sobbing. Thank you so much for sharing, Bernie.
What a wonderful heart-felt thank you! (It seems like the card was made by a ‘Maker’ who appreciates all of the time & love put into the quilt.)
I had to join this thread to see if the maker of this particular quilt sees the ‘thank you’. And to reiterate how important ALL of the quilts are. Thanks to all!
So far I have not heard from the maker. This could mean it was donated as part of Hands 2 Help from Sarah Craig’s event last year. Maybe I can check into that a bit more. I was really hoping the original quilter would be able to see this. Take care Melody!
Well, now I’m all choked up. So sweet of them to send a thankyou. My mom spent her last days under a quilt I made (and still have)–that pic is both difficult and touching to see. I have a pic of my mom with hers. too. Great job to anyone who has donated quilts for this!
Bernie, what a GREAT story. I love hearing things like this. I’ve often wondered if quilts really do make any difference but now I don’t wonder anymore.
Thank you Janice. Nice to hear from you! I think they make a difference. We become complacent because we are all into this craft. But to see other people react to a pretty quilt and their wonder at why a person would take the time to make something so time consuming and unique to gift to a stranger is really wonderful. I am sure there are some who don’t ‘get it’ and just say thanks without a lot of appreciation. But many people really love the kindness offered and the beauty of the quilt. It was great to hear from these women.
What lovely stories you are sharing with us. To all the ladies who make and donate quilts to good causes, as I do in my own small way, it does our hearts proud to know they can bring comfort and are loved.
Thank you Jenny! Many hands making these quilts all adds up to lots of comfort for those in need. 🙂
Thank you so much for all of your donations of quilts to our hospital! I loved this post and have shared it with our Palliative care team and many of our nurses. As nurses we too wonder if we have made a difference. When it comes down to the end we are all just human and a little kindness goes a long way.
Mercy General Hospital
Your post reaffirms why those of us who wish to use our hands for good work continue to sew and give to others. I hope to keep providing quilts for those in need as long as I am able to. I am blessed to help at my church and through my guild with quilts for those in need of some warmth. What you wrote today is a good reminder to all of us to share and share and share cause we never know if it will be us who needs that caring some day.
Hi Kathy: What a nice note to see from you – Do you quilt with separate groups between your guild and your church or do they overlap a bit? We live in a small town so lots of the same people quilt with several groups. At any rate, keep up the good work! Have a wonderful day. B.
Oh Bernie, those stories have brought me to tears. Midwives talk of the joy of bringing life into the world, as a nurse for me personally there was a deep satisfaction in helping the patient who was leaving the world. The families memories of that time can affect the rest of their lives, which this has shown. I would love to think of the little girl going to Paris one day, and taking her mother’s quilt.
That is an interesting perspective Kate and one that the team of palliative care nurses share with you. I love your idea about the young girl and her trip to Paris one day. Have a lovely day!
What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing their note.
I know you are very familiar with quilting for those who need it Carole. It is a great way to spread some caring and kindness in the world. Hope all is well with you. 🙂
Both stories brought tears to my eyes. What wonderful gifts, all made knowing only that the quilt will bring comfort to a stranger.
It is so wonderful, isn’t it? People willing to take so much time and care to make these quilts for others. Heartwarming for sure.
Oh Bernie, thank you so much for sharing. If I make mistakes in typing it is because the keyboard is blurry through tears. Yes, I am on it. Sending lots of hugs and warm wishes to you.
Preeti, I know you appreciate this post as you make so many quilts for various causes. Thank you again for the beauties you have donated to Mercyful in the past. 🙂
Your post almost made me cry! I hope the folks who get our quilts know how honored we are to get to make them.. I recently saw this quote (from “The Hobbit” of all places!) & think it fits here… “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folks that keeps the darkness at bay — small acts of kindness & love”.
What a lovely story and sentiments. Knowing about this gift is a good reminder to not expect to hear from most people when quilts are gifted. Sometimes that’s difficult to do, but “knowing” in one’s heart must be sufficient. I think quilters who gift without expectation are extremely special. Bless you all.
Oh my goodness. That photo is amazing, too — taken by one of the daughters, perhaps? A holy moment captured, a memory frozen in time.
Ladies, I am so touched to read all of your sweet comments. I am the daughter that wrote this note. I want to let you each know how appreciated you are. As the months have gone by when the wave of sadness comes over me, I find myself wrapping up in the quilt and the memories flood in. Thank you for your beautiful lasting gift and tribute to my Father.
how wonderful – I know when my mom was in hospice I took one of the more simple quilts off her bed in her apartment that i had made for her and brought it to her at the hospice and we put it on her bed and it brighten the room and brought just a little comfort I think rather than the sterile plan bedding that is normally there – after she died i asked my eldest sibling if she wanted to keep the quilt and she was so grateful it did seem to bring her comfort. You don’t want anything fancy as it is in a hospital type of setting and I hate to say could get stains of all sorts on it – so when people make quilts for hospice/hospital patients you want to stick with simple designs and know they will be washed.
Hi Karen: Thank you for your note and your suggestions. I totally agree. It is nice when other quilters donate quilts because it gives us a nice variety of style and color. I do like when the quilts are not densely quilted because it makes them softer. I also wash them (if they come to me unwashed) so they are crinkled and soft. Plus it allows me to check for any loose seams. It is rare but now and then, a binding will have a fray and this way, I can fix it before it goes to the hospital.
Take care and stay healthy!! Bernie