Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dottie's Treasure

Last week, when Gregg was in Spain on a business trip, I received a package. I knew it was coming - I was looking for it - but there was no way to prepare for what was inside.

I wrote previously about sending Katie's clothes to Dottie A., and posted photos of the gorgeous quilt that Dottie made from Katie's T-shirts, which is now on Katie's bed. Last week, Dottie finished and shipped a second quilt, made by her loving hands out of Katie's other favorite clothing. There really are no words to describe how I feel about it, so I will show it to you.
Here is beautiful Dottie, holding the quilt
Here it is, on Dottie's bed, before she sent it to us
This is the fabric I chose for the backing
Here is a detail of one of the squares.
Katie chose this Blondie cartoon fabric when I taught her to sew.
She made a pair of pajama pants, and wore them a LOT.

This is the label which Dottie sewed onto the back of the quilt.
When I called and left her a message of thanks, Dottie replied, "I could just see you snuggled up in that quilt last night! Remember the quilt is truly from Katie, my hands just made it possible."

It's impossible to adequately thank Dottie for a treasure so precious - beyond price. And not just the gift of the finished quilt, but the time she took to find the right fabrics to go with Katie's clothes, the design that went into it, the labor of hand-stitching, the way she handled Katie's clothes, felt her spirit, saw her essence. This gift is an experience of the heart, not really expressible in words. The quilt is now on our bed, bringing plenty of comfort each day.
Dottie, thank you for this treasure!
I'm sure Katie would be very happy to see what you have made from her clothes with your loving hands.
Katie in her Blondie P.J. pants, with Latte (when he was a kitten)
All of this has happened because of Dottie's daughter, Linda, the physical therapist who took such creative care of Katie in the hospital. That relationship grew beyond Katie's passing. The circle of love and caring keeps growing out of that terrible, difficult time; it is transformed by loving hearts and hands.


Stacy Marshall said...

What a wonderful, beautiful gift! Thank you so much for sharing the story and photos. I'm sure the feeling you had upon opening the package was, to a certain degree, indescribable. Hugs.

Kay said...

Amazingly beautiful gift! I am in tears. So happy you've been blessed with this wonderful gift. It's truly a work of art! (I'm so jealous..I have been wishing I could have one made from L's clothes..sigh...)

M said...

It made me teary eyed to see it...and then big tears reading the back!
XXOO- just beautiful!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Wow. What an amazing gift Karen. Dottie is a remarkable soul....what a giver she is; with her time and her heart. I love this. I also love how many relationships you've made and nurtured because of Katie.

Karen said...

My friend whose daughter passed from cancer emailed me this morning to ask if I had seen Katie's quilt on your blog. She loved it so much and was quite emotional over it. For some reason, she isn't able to comment on blogsites. I clicked on over to your site and saw this beautiful precious treasure, and visual representation of your daughter's spirit. My friend Sharon wanted me to tell you how much she loves it, and I couldn't agree more. I know it will bring you great comfort over and over again, the kind only a blanket of love can give. Dottie is a truly wonderful soul.

joanlvh said...

I found your book and your blog late last night and have read the book and much of the blog. We had a very similar cancer experience in 2004-2005. My son also began with a Stage 4 diagnosis and died 10 1/2 months later. So much of what you write about mirrored out families experience, including after his death, peoples reactions and my feelings, thank you joan

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Dear Joan, I'm terribly sorry to hear that you've taken this journey with your son, but so glad that you found my book - I hope it brought some comfort to you. God bless you and your family!

Karla said...

That is beautiful and fabulous in so many ways.