A Quilt for Emma
Once upon a time, there was a woman who yearned to be a mother. God soon granted the woman her heart’s desire and a baby girl was born. The woman was so happy. She thanked the Lord as she snuggled baby Emma, who from that day on, would be her princess.
Emma thrived in the woman’s care and she grew to be a precious toddler, a precocious preschooler, her daddy’s girl, and her momma’s princess. The woman looked forward to all that her princess would achieve and become.
As the woman watched Emma grow, she taught her all sorts of wonderful things and she dreaded the day her princess would go to school. The woman realized she had been teaching her princess since birth. Why stop now, she thought.
The woman searched until she found the perfect way to teach her daughter as she grew. She found 'Five In A Row' and joined the creator’s online support group. From that point on, the woman had friends who agreed with and supported her decision to keep Emma at home with her. Even though most of the mothers never met in person, they developed a strong bond with the mother, and she with them.
Then one day, as Emma grew, the woman realized she was not well. The doctors confirmed that she was ill and that she must be strong and fight. So, the woman was strong. The woman did fight. She beat that sickness-for herself, her husband, and her princess.
And life went on…..
As the months passed, the woman knew that she had room in her heart for another beautiful girl. She found a girl who needed a momma and she took her home. The man, the woman, and the princess called the girl Eden, and made her a part of their family. (Eden has a special story, too, but this is Emma’s story.)
The years went by and the family grew stronger and stronger. The girls became sisters and the woman stayed well. As she approached the fifth anniversary of her sickness, she looked forward to finding more babies to love. She looked to the future with big hopes and dreams. Then, just like that, the woman realized she was not well.
The doctors confirmed that her sickness was back. They told her once again that she must be strong and fight the sickness. So, she stood up tall and she was strong, much stronger than many other women. But, this time, she could not fight the sickness.
The woman prayed and tried to understand God’s plan. She did not want to leave the man, her princess, and Eden. But, she trusted God and knew he would take care of her family.
One late spring day she took God’s hand and went with Him to Heaven. It was a day to rejoice and a day to grieve. The world did not stop, so the woman’s family lived on without her, but forever in their hearts.
To be absent on earth is to be present with the Lord...
But, there is more to this story….
Upon hearing the news, the woman’s 'Five In A Row' friends cried, grieved, and wondered why this had to happen. They knew that the woman had done all the right things, like keeping regular check ups and taking her medication. It did not make sense. They were sad.
It did not matter that most of the mothers had never met in person. They had shared so much. They cared so much. They wanted to give the man and his daughters a gift from their hearts.
Each friend made a quilt block from her own hands, (or donated money, helped with sewing, or organized the project) with plans to put them together into quilts for the man and each girl. They would each have a quilt of sweet memories.
Since Emma had special times and memories using 'Five In A Row' with her momma, the friends made her a 'Five in a Row' quilt. Each block represents a book from the series.
I am thankful for the time and way I knew your momma, as limited as it was. I did not know her well at all, but I know that she loved you with all of her heart. I know that she taught you many things and that you had fun learning with 'Five In A Row'.
I wonder which 'Five In A Row' book was her favorite. Which book did you like the best? My favorite is “Very Last First Time” by Jan Andrews. I made my quilt block to look like the front cover. When I read this book to my little boy, or whenever I remember our times studying this book, I will think of you and offer up a special prayer.
I prayed for you while I stitched my quilt block. I prayed that this quilt would bring you comfort, joy, memories, and love. I prayed that God would protect you as you grow and learn. I prayed that God would guide your daddy as he raises you under God’s own principles. I prayed that God would give your family strength and peace and love…..always love.
(‘Lisalyn’ on the FIAR boards)
This is the cover of 'Very Last First Time':
This is the quilt block I made for Emma's quilt:
*Fran was only 31 when she learned she had breast cancer in 2005. She shared her treatment experiences and personal feelings regarding cancer on her blog, Welcome to the World of Breast Cancer. Fran lost her fight against breast cancer on June 15, 2010. She was just months from her 5-year remission anniversary when her cancer returned. Emma will always be her princess.