Lisa had saved her daughter’s clothes since she was born, not sure what she would do with them. She read Jon’s blog for years and knew about me and my work through his writing. Lisa said she knew other people who could do it, but a “heavy feeling” told her to ask me. So, a few months ago, she emailed me asking if I would make a quilt from her daughter’s clothes. I probably would have done it anyway, but her story grabbed me. The quilt isn’t just about Olivia, it’s about her father, her grandmother and her Aunt Janet.
Matt, Lisa’s husband was adopted as a baby. When he was 36 he decided to try and contact his birth mother. He found out that she had died six years earlier, but he was welcomed and accepted by the rest of her family. He reminded them so much of his mother, they were grateful that he found them.
Matt and his mother’s cousin and best friend Janet, had a special connection. They became like mother and son. When Olivia was born 5 years later Janet treated her like a granddaughter. Although they lived in different states, and didn’t get to see each other as often as they would have liked, Janet sent her beautiful clothes, toys and books. She wrote letters to Olivia, say “You are my sweet angel” and “You are another jewel in your Aunt Janet’s crown” and “My heart melts every time you smile” and “I’m sending you lots of hugs and kisses” signing them “Love you lots…Aunt Janet and Uncle Lee.” It’s as if Matt got to know his mother through Janet and Olivia go to know her Grandmother.
Not long ago Janet had a stroke, and she can no longer take care of herself. Now Lisa, Matt and Olivia visit her in the nursing home where she lives. When they do, Olivia runs to her Aunt Janet’s bed and crawls in next to her. They lay side by side smiling, just happy to be together.
Lisa plans on giving the quilt to Olivia, a remembrance of her childhood and her Aunt Janet.