SHARE Atlanta Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Grief Support

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A Common Thread

Sunday, October 24, 1999

Prelude: Joel McGinnis, bagpipes

"I Am One Voice" by Don Eaton

Audience joined in on the last three verses.

I am one voice and I am singing
I am one voice and I am singing
I am one voice and I am singing
I am not alone

We are two voices, We are singing
We are two voices, We are singing
We are two voices, We are singing,
We are not alone

We are a hundred voices singing
We are a hundred voices singing
We are a hundred voices singing
We are not alone.
We are a thousand voices singing
We are a thousand voices singing
We are a thousand voices singing
We are not alone

We are one voice and we’ll keep singing
We are one voice and we’ll keep singing
We are one voice and we’ll keep singing
We are not alone.

"Kyle's Quilt" in memory of Kyle Vaughn Clark (12/2/98-1/4/99)
Viviene Clark

"Kaleidoscope" by Tess "MoMo" Hart (grandmother of)
In Memory of Dakota Celka (4/95)
Read by Ondrea Celka

Dearest Ondrea, When I first got the fabric for the quilt, I remembered some wonderful buttons I had seen at Michael's craft place, all kinds of themes and shapes. Since I don't cross stitch or needlepoint, and you know the only thing I know how to embroider is flowers, I thought I could use the buttons to build a conglomeration of buttons with a childhood theme, not anything too somber.

Then I saw all the heart buttons and of course it reminded me of our last name. And the heart is the universal symbol of love. And because I sign my name with a little red heart, the big red heart button really caught my eye.

Well, I went to town on buying buttons. I wanted it to be a colorful patch, something Dakota would have been happy looking at, something that everyone will feel joy looking at, maybe even chuckling a little in the middle of viewing what will be for some a very heartbreaking memorial quilt.

And it is for Dakota---who is surely a colorful, wild, and energetic little angel, if she's anything like her sister.

But then as I progressed, hand picking every button and it's placement on the patch, they took on individual personalities all their own. Then after you talked to me about your dad, when you said it was a miracle you turned out as "normal" as you have with the parents you were born to, I started to see the buttons as representing all the colorful and crazy relatives who came before Dakota. The colors, and sizes, and styles, and designs made me think of the kaleidoscope of personalities of generation after generation, living, loving, and learning about life as best they could----and not always getting it right. We're all just patches on one big crazy quilt. I love you, Ondrea. Mom

"Joining Memories" or "The Story of Two Quilt Squares"
By JoAnn Walter in memory of Ian Walter (9/11/97) and "B.G." DeMann (6/53)
Read by Karen Gipson in memory of Robert Gipson (8/12/92)

When I first heard about the SHARE Quilt Project, I immediately started thinking of ideas for designing a square in memory of my son, Ian, who was stillborn September 11, 1997. Any chance I get to remember Ian in a special way helps comfort me. At the same time, I decided to order a quilt square in memory of my sister.

My sister was stillborn in 1953, 9 years prior to my own birth. A sister I have only known by the nickname I coined for her, "B.G.", which stands for "Baby Girl," she was my parents first daughter and, of course, Ian's Aunt. My parents chose not to name her. From what I understand, it was uncommon for parents to name their children during that time period. Most parents were told to "just forget about the baby and go on with your life."

My Mother did not get to hold her firstborn daughter or even see her. How sad that is. How fortunate I was to be able to hold my son and spend time with him.

Approximately 8 months after Ian's stillbirth, I learned my parents purchased a stone for B.G.'s grave a week after we held Ian's graveside service. Perhaps some people outside my loss experience will consider this strange, but I do take comfort in knowing that if it weren't for my son Ian's stillbirth, the ceremony and other remembrances we've done in his memory, my parents may never have bought a stone for B.G.'s grave. Although we don't discuss it, I'm sure there is a special comfort for my parents now in knowing that B.G. has a grave marker in her memory.

Special thanks to the SHARE group for allowing me to join the memory of my son, Ian, and my sister, B.G., by stitching two quilt squares. What a unique way to preserve the souls of two unique individuals.

I sometimes imagine Ian and B.G. dancing in Heaven together. When my time comes, I hope I get to dance with them.

"Precious Blooms"
In memory of Mary Catherine (10/22/85) and Alex (12/2/88) Jordan
Diane Jordan

My quilt square memorializes Mary Catherine, who died 14 years ago, October 22 and Alex, who died almost 11 years ago, December 2.

I'll have to say I think of them mostly as babies- my babies in heaven, and I do believe they are in heaven with God. In Isaiah 49:16 the prophet speaks of the fact that God not only knows us, He has our names written on the palm of His hand symbolizing His love and care.

But babies, rose buds as I have depicted my two, are suppose to bloom, grow, mature, and I believe God is providing the ability for Mary Catherine and Alex to do just that. So how can this same blooming happen in my heart?

If I keep my babies in a special place in my heart they stay beautiful little buds, but if I open that place in my heart to someone else who needs healing because they've also lost a baby then the place in my heart enlarges and Mary Catherine and Alex have room to bloom with the same beauty I see in my other children who are growing in a physical way each day.

I just love to watch each one of my precious flowers bloom.

Litany of Names and each parent was given a small quilt square with their child's name on it.

"Stitch by Stitch"
By Jennifer Greer
In memory of Jesse (1/14/93), Jamie (12/16/93), and Jacob (3/30/98) Greer

Stitch by stitch, piece by piece
Gathered together in your mother's womb
Created by the loving hands of God...

I can just hear the conversation now between God and His angels...

Holding you gently up to the light He asks, "The blue or the brown for the eyes? The red or the black for the hair?"

Some of the angels scoff and whisper amongst themselves. "Can you believe the time He spends on the ones no one will ever see?"

God's shakes His head. "That's not true. His mother and father will see him every night in their dreams. They will imagine his first day of school, his prom date, his children and grandchildren. It matters to them."

He steps away from you and looks with caring eyes to make sure all the parts of you are perfect - not just for the baby you, but for the toddler and teen yous, the parent and grandparent yous.

One of the angels rolls his eyes and says, "That model isn't meant to last that long! It doesn't matter. No one will EVER see him like that!"

God smiles patiently at His angel and asks, "Would one of Monet's paintings not be art if some tragedy prevented the world from seeing it? Would Mother Teresa not be here with us if the world had not witnessed her sacrifices? Not being able to see something doesn't mean it isn't real. I would think you'd know that."

The angels look comprehending and a little sheepish as He holds you up to the light again and says, "So, freckles or not?"

Stitch by stitch, piece by piece
Gathered together in your mother's womb
Created by the loving hands of God.

by Celine Deion
sung by Nicole Swann in memory of Kristin "Taylor" Dooley (3/6/97)

Indelible" by Mary Joe Hannaford
Read by Pam Renner in memory of Baby Renner (10/25/95), Baby Renner (2/4/96), Allison Angela (11/15/96), and Baby Renner (6/22/99)

Without intending
We came together
Unknowing that
In a short period
Our lives would blend
To giving
Part of ourselves
To each other.

Now we leave
No longer able to
Remove the impact
Thus experienced.

You have become
A part of me
That I cannot erase
What I carry now
Is there

-Mary Joe Hannaford
The Joy of Sorrow

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