Thursday, May 14, 2009

Project Update: The Safe Motherhood Quilt

The events of the day held a myriad of emotions for me. A sick little b and a soaked cell phone greeted me when I woke, sending me a clear message to slow things down a bit. I listened. I held little b all morning long, in the sling he hasn't requested in months. We read books, we played, we nursed. We went to pick up Big B from school, full of gratitude for these moments in our day. The three of us continued the slow pace, enjoying simply coexisting the afternoon away. I was grateful to be a mother, and grateful to be with my children.

And then the mail came. I never thought I'd see this return address in my mailbox:...this is a home on The Farm, the home of Ina May Gaskin, the home of one of the true heroes of my life. The package contained a quilt top with eighteen squares from her Safe Motherhood Quilt Project. When I took the neatly folded 15'x3' panel from the envelope, this was the square on top. I couldn't believe my eyes.
Jennifer Wollheim was a midwife in Gainesville, Florida. When she died giving birth to baby Lila, the midwifery community rallied, helping her husband Neal with their new baby in whatever way they could. This included donations of pumped breastmilk for Lila. My dear friend was able to give to Lila in this way, finding the strength within her own tragedy to provide much-needed help for a suffering family.

These are just a few other squares on the quilt panel I received, each commemorating a mother who has died of pregnancy or childbirth related causes in the U.S. since 1982.Now I will select a backing and finish and bind the quilt, and return it to The Farm to join several others already completed. Papa and I laid out the panel in the driveway, and within moments our neighbors walked over, curious. I could watch Ina May's intention at work as a bit of visual realization crept onto the faces of our friends. I'm thankful that things were slowed this morning, and proud that we all felt happy just to be in each other's presence. I was reminded today of the importance of each moment, in a very real way.

7 comments:

Kathie said...

WOW! This post gave me goosebumps! Such a very beautiful and touching post. Your blog is one I visit daily to remind me of our roots and inspire me to remain enlightened, grounded and always remember what truly matters in life. You also give great ideas for crafting and such. I pay extra attention to the knitting since i'm a beginner (as you know from a previous email). Quilting is next on the list but for now, I'll just obsever your quiltting journeys.

P.S. I might have left you a little bloggy award over at my blog. ;)

Rose said...

I'm speechless.

Mama Bird said...

Thank you for sharing this touching post...what a beautiful and powerful quilt this will be.

Amy - Park City Girl said...

Such a touching post. . . Thank you

Marydon said...

I am the Mother of a son, Sean, who was killed at age 3, now forever an angel. This moved me terribly ...

Love as if there is no tomorrow ... cling with all your heart ...

TY for sharing this ... how wonderful.

TTFN ~ Marydon

amy smart said...

What a beautiful treasure. How wonderful to be a part of it.

Diane Dawson said...

Jennifer was my friend. I was with her when she found out she was pregnant. I miss her so much.