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Monday, October 17, 2011

A Quilt for Dallas


Dear Dallas,

Who can get into more mischief, make me laugh more often, and take on more impossible tasks with a hopeful optimism than any other little boy I know? It's you, sweet boy. And you're only two! Your smile is contagious. You have a Superman opinion of your abilities. Your energy would rival the Energizer bunny.  


Even at one, you were making us laugh with your antics.  One time when the cable guy came to your house, you secretly absconded with some of his tools from his toolbag and hid them in your hideout under the stairs.   But, it wasn't stealing--it was a trade.  Because later on, he discovered a stash of your magnetic alphabet letters in his bag.  Silly Dallas!  

You know that blue and orange quilt in your bedroom?  The one Grammy Suz and I made for you? Well, here's the story of that quilt...


The story of Dallas's quilt begins long before the flicker of life that is Dallas first came to be. The story of Dallas's quilt is a special story because it begins with the two Dallases who came before you--these two little ones who lived, and were loved, but who never made it to birth.


You know, Dallas, your daddy, Christian, and your mommy, Kristi, are neither of them the type of people who bottle things up. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. And while other couples might keep certain things close to the vest, Chris and Kristi made their baby schedule known to the family. The excitement of anticipating their first born was shared by us all, and as soon Kristi knew there was life inside her, so did we, with a picture of brilliant blue plus sign sent to our phones!


They had just moved away from their beloved home of Dallas, TX, and were missing it terribly. And so, boy or girl, they decided the name would be Dallas. Kristi, an artist and designer, had been contemplating colors for the new baby's room, and so, boy or girl, Dallas' room would be a pale light blue with a bright orange peel accent. The joy of this little life spread through the family like a Texas wildfire. I hurried over to the nearest quilt shop to look for fabrics and inspiration, and came home with a fabric or two and a definite design idea. But Dallas the First lived no more than a few weeks in the womb. The joy came to an abrupt halt. The quilt design and fabrics were put away.


After wiping away tears that were much larger than Dallas the First had ever been, we moved on, and it wasn't long before news of Dallas the Second was happily proclaimed. There was joy once again, and I went back to work collecting fabrics for the quilt. I went to every fabric store in a 50-mile radius. The colors had to be perfect, so I asked any and all the women both working and shopping at these stores for their opinions. The blues had to be soft and go well together but not be too alike. The oranges had to blend to be the perfect brightness without being garish. As soon as I had the perfect combination of fabrics, I set to work cutting and sewing.


We were all so hopeful. Kristi set to work putting your room together, and Chris wore the proud air of a papa-to-be and was absolutely positive it would be a girl. And when we all sat around the Thanksgiving table that November, we had a lot to be thankful for.
 
But December came and so did the bad news. Dallas the Second had stopped living, little more than two months in the womb. There was a procedure, and the baby was gone. The quilt was put away, in favor of tear-stained tissues.

Then the darkness came again. Christmas, that year, was strained and sad. We all felt the absence of that little joyous life we loved.

Then the new year came and brought well-needed happy news of a little person in the making. It was you, Dallas. And for nine months we held our breath in wait. Every day was a prayer; every week, a victory; and every morning sickness of Kristi's, a blessed curse. Each month felt like a lifetime. It was a nine-month marathon that you were getting closer and closer to winning. And we all rooted for you with so much love in hearts! I finished sewing the quilt layers and passed the quilt along to my mother. Grammy Suz sewed love into every hand-quilted stitch. And then, right on time, you kicked your way into the world. And the first thing you did, Dallas, as those who were present can attest, was to lift your head and look around, as if you knew how anxiously we had been waiting to meet you.  You are loved, Dallas, more than you could ever imagine.

And so, sweet Dallas, I hope you treasure your quilt, and I hope you know that the real treasure.... is you.

Love forever,
Aunt Mary 

Dallas and Christian
Dallas and Kristi


9 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful piece! It is so wonderfully written. You have such a gift, Mary. Dallas is absolutely adorable....

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  2. this was beautiful mary... and so is the quilt!

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  3. The lead picture of Dallas is all you need to know him completely! Beautifully written, Mary! - Joel

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  4. A beautiful story. Mary has her mom's gift of words. He's adorable. Such a blessing!

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  5. Your words captured perfectly every moment of tears and every moment of joy. Outstanding and moving writing! DAD

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  6. A touching story of two journeys of love--the creation of Dallas and the creation of his quilt.

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  7. What beautiful work, Mary! Both on the quilt and in the writing. Dallas and you/your family are truly blessed. Imagine one day meeting Dallas 1 and 2; what a lovely reunion that will be! :) Blessed and joyous Christmas to you! ~Jeanne

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  8. A friend of mine lost his 7 year-old son this week. And I thought of this blog and how lucky I am to have my son. And how lucky he is to have you.

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