Bee's Hive

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another super block from Charlene & from Carol & KC

Wow, these ladies are fast! I didn't expect photo's of finished blocks already.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Quilter's reaching out to Mended Wings

If you look at my favorite blogs you will find Mended Wings. The story is told by a Mother in Western Pennsylvania. I live not far from Butler, Pa. I first became aware of this family on TV and in the local newspapers.

Since 2002 I have been a member of an on line quilting/sewing group. The members have a lot of fun and share a lot of quilting information along with family stories and daily life. These women are never more supportive then when one of us has a Quilting need to fulfill for someone needing comfort at a terrible time in their life.

This morning I posted to the message board, "Could anyone help me with blocks in Red, White & Blue for this 19 year old injured in Afghan? I want to make a quilt for him." I copied the Mended Wings link to my post and got busy with my day.

A few hours later I stopped by my computer to see if anyone had responded to my post. My screen name is Holee....HOLEE SMOLEE! My Pm's were clogged with over 50 replies! All offering to make a quilt block for Kevin!

Within a few hours the group had taken the family in and were posting about Kevin, Leslie (mom) and Breezy (sis) like the names were familiar and the blog was a family letter for all to keep up on Kevin's progress.

Quilt blocks will be sent to my home in Pennsylvania from coast to coast and border to border. So many "Mom's" will take a seat behind their sewing machine to design a quilt block for Kevin that I will sew into a quilt top.

A longarm quilter is a special person. She has a huge, expensive machine that turns a quilt top into a work of art. Another wonderful lady on the message board stepped up to the plate and offered to quilt Kevin's top on her longarm. The Quilt top, once sewn together, will leave my house and go to her home in Flordia.

I also got an offer from another wonderful lady in Texas to hand deliver the Quilt to Leslie if they are still in Texas when it is finished!

Before the sun set tonight I was delighted to find a picture posted by our Quiltbea, her blog is also listed, of the 2 blocks she has already sewn together today for Kevin! Thank you Quiltbea for two terrific blocks!

As the blocks come to my house I will take photo's and post them here for everyone to see. We want the Kammerdiener Family to know so many of us "Mom's" are thinking of your family and putting a lot of love into these blocks for Kevin. Along with the offers of quilt blocks came many who will keep Kevin in their prayers and his family too.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How do you make a Marine?

Last night the grandkids came for a sleep-over before I leave town. They always come with the one question that only a grandmother can answer. This time the question was about their Dad, "Gammy, How do you make a Marine?"

That's a pretty easy question to answer in the case of their Dad. You start with a child born the last of 4 boys, and the smallest. Those 2 facts will control most of what he will do in life, the biggest bike, the tallest tree climb, the longest run, the toughest military.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tonight: Looking back, my son Mark

When night comes and I am alone, my thoughts always go to my son Mark who I lost in 1997. This a an article I was asked to write for the Kidney foundation, Second Wind. Tonight is very sad since I just heard that the Heart recipient has lost his battle to live. Mark gave him an extra 10 years to enjoy his family but still I am left with a great saddness tonight.


Mark Gibson was the second of four brothers. He was the family clown, the lover, the giver. In his short 27 years with us, Mark left memories that go beyond the people who knew him- they now reach out to his organ recipients.Mark had a daughter, named Dana. She was his life. Every thought revolved around her. Inside the "Court Jester," was a heart that reached out to children, and the old. Mark could be seen on any day fixing the broken bike of a child, or sitting with an old friend whose time was about up.

Mark knew of a child who did not live for the lack of an organ. When his daughter Dana was born, donation became Mark's "thing."He spent a lot of time convincing me that donation was a gift of love for someone who could enjoy life even if he could not. I think his greatest fear was that I would not give consent to giving up a part of my child . One day while I rocked his daughter, he said, "You love Dana so much. Right now another grandmother is rocking her grandchild, and that child will die for lack of an organ." He ended with, "Can you imagine knowing Dana will die because someone won't give up a part of their child who can no longer live?" This was to become the most imporatant conversation Mark and I ever had and Marks' words would come to me again at a later time.

On Sept. 17, 1997, I was making dinner when I got a call to go to the hospital. I soon was to live through a mother's worse dream. Mark had been murdered by a family friend while trying to recover a TV cable box for his sister- in-law. He never knew what hit him. The murderer hit him once in the back of the head causing injuries from which he would not survive. He died 17 hours later on Sept. 18.
I did what mothers do best. I searched for something I could do for my injured child. My thoughts drifted back to the day I sat rocking his daughter. In my darkest hours, Mark had left something for me to do, a gift to give that would continue to give me the strength to endure not having him with me.

Two months later as I sat alone facing the Christmas holidays, I wrote my first letters to the recipients. From that moment on, the healing began through their generous sharing of the life and the future they now have.
All the recipients send letters of hope and love, but the young man who received the lungs was as eager to meet me as I was to meet him. We seemed to hit so many closed doors at first. Everyone trying to protect us from something. The recipient, Scott, and I were strong in our demands that we could deal with meeting. On April 7th, 1999, we celebrated Mark's birthday by sharing dinner together.

Scott is my prince in Cinderella's story. He was adopted, suffered from cystic fibrosis, was preparing for death, and had fallen in love with his full-care nurse. After his surgery, he was surprised to wake up and be alive. Scott told me he wanted to thank me then, but he was told that most likely we would never meet face to face. Our meeting was not filled with tears. It was a celebration of life, Scott's life. We shared stories, his and Mark's. He brought along his "nurse", the love of his life. I sat looking at this wonderful couple and the future they have together, knowing that Mark's love for life had joined us all together.