*I've been working on this post for a while, and haven't been able to complete it. I'm going to call it done even though I wanted to post more pics, but I want to call your attention to the prayer requests at the bottom of the post. Prayer is so powerful; it truly is. Even when the result may not be what we were hoping for, there's no subsitute for prayer. We draw closer to Jesus when we pray, and He is always near to us, just waiting for us to climb into His lap and pour our hearts out to Him. And if He doesn't answer us the way we'd like, He wants us to come to Him to ask Him why and let Him hold us and comfort us and let us know that He is sovereign, He is faithful, and He loves us more than we'll ever realize. Please lift up the requests at the bottom of this post.
Now here's the post I've been wanting to share:
On Tuesday, October 5, I went to the Methodist Children's Hospital (where Chrissie was carried into Jesus' arms). One of the wonderful chaplains, Diane, ordered a leaf for the children's memory tree at the hospital, and she asked if I might be able to stop by to put it on the tree in person.
For those who go by this hospital, the memory trees are on the 3rd floor of the children's wing by the oncology unit. Chrissie's leaf is on the tree to the right, in the very bottom part of the right hand side, next to the pink flower and blue butterfly.
Another reason I stopped by the hospital was to pray over this little guy:
Rowan is 4, and he was in the hospital at the same time that Chrissie was. (He's actually spent more days in the hospital than not in his 4 years of life.) Well, Rowan's mom, Carrie, was a huge support to me while Chrissie was in the hospital. Carrie and Rowan prayed continuously for Chrissie, and almost every day that Chrissie was in the hospital, Carrie would deliver something to me. Sometimes it was food or drink, sometimes it was a card and Scripture, sometimes it was a cross or an angel or an inspiring trinket, but ALWAYS the item had been delivered with love from a mom I had just met who had walked the hospital path far too often.
About half-way into Chrissie's hospital stay, Carrie asked if she could make us a quilt as a tribute to Chrissie's battle, as a triumph reminder for God's glory. Of course I accepted Carrie's offer, but on the day Chrissie went to Heaven, I assumed the quilt would no longer be necessary. WRONG! Carrie worked continuously from the time Chrissie went to Heaven for almost 5 months making the most amazing photo quilt in memory of Chrissie!!!
Carrie wanted us to have the quilt for Chrissie's birthday (Oct. 8), but Rowan went back into the hospital Oct. 3 in an emergency situation (he's still there). Carrie was bummed because she didn't think she could get the quilt to us, but lo and behold, I was trying to build the courage to go put Chrissie's leaf on the memory tree, and I knew God wanted me to pray over Rowan, so I told Carrie I would just come by the hospital to get the quilt. Carrie finished the quilt at the hospital, and we both knew it was God's will for the quilt to be delivered to me at the hospital, the same place where Chrissie was delivered to Him.
I was so nervous to walk into the hospital since I hadn't been back there after Chrissie went to forever dance with Jesus. I truly thought I would totally fall apart, but a few good friends were praying for me, and God gave me a total peace as I walked by the area where Chrissie was ushered into Heaven. I saw some of Chrissie's nurses who gave me huge hugs, which felt oh so good. One nurse (Hi Rosanna!) talked to me about how I should write a book about Chrissie's story, so that conversation was a fun distraction that kept me from staring at Chrissie's old room. I tried to maintain eye contact with Rosanna, then I headed straight to Rowan's room where I was so completely overwhelmed when I saw the quilt that Carrie made in memory of Chrissie.
This photo was taken in the PICU waiting room. Dr. Porisch held one side while I had the other, and 2 people (Carrie and the Child-Life specialist) stood on chairs behind the quilt to hold it up. That's Diane, the chaplain, on the far right. I was so totally blown away by this quilt, made by a mom I hardly even knew. I was overwhelmed that she took the time, effort, and money to put this together for our family. She truly poured her heart and soul into this gift, and it's the most treasured and perfect gift I've ever been given in my entire life. Seriously.
The quilt has 132 photos of Chrissie that tell her life from Serbia to Heaven.
Carrie hand-quilted the entire thing, and she chose the most amazing fabrics and embellishments in the entire world. Carrie put a ribbon border around each photo, and she matched the ribbons to the photos. She printed Scripture onto pink fabric that she cut into hearts and hand-sewed them on, placing them near photos where the scriptures would have extra significance. Carrie sewed on all kinds of precious princess embellishments and darling "bling" buttons that I adore. Oh my word, this quilt is amazing, and Chrissie would have LOVED it here on earth. I pray God will allow her to see this beautiful piece of art from Heaven.
This is Rowan imitating his favorite Chrissie photo. It's the one of Chrissie with her hands on her hips being bossy. (You can see the Chrissie photo in the pink border next to Rowan.) Rowan kissed and prayed over every picture on the quilt as his mommy so lovingly and carefully designed each quilt square. So, one can just imagine how close Rowan grew to Chrissie, even after she moved to Heaven, as Rowan spent day in and day out praying over her quilt photos while his mommy so lovingly hand-sewed this king-sized quilt. Carrie even hand-sewed the front to the back of the quilt, using swirls and twirls and all things girly and beautiful. It truly is amazing. I wish you all could see it in person.
This little rock that Rowan is holding is a scripture rock that Rowan held on to all day, waiting to show it to me so he could stash it into a special pocket on the quilt.
Rowan stuck his scripture rock into the heart-shaped pocket that says "Christyn "Jewelry" Patterson".
Just look how darling this quilt is. Oh my word. It feels like Easter candy to me...I could just eat it up. The colors remind me of all things Easter...pastels that are just bright enough to make you want to salivate! Easter is a reminder of new life. And what a new life Chrissie has. A new life where she is whole and perfect and all things Easter, with swirls and twirls as she dances with Jesus. This quilt couldn't be more perfect. Words cannot describe my love of this gift. I am so unworthy of such a treasure. Carrie's selfess act of service, her generosity, the time and attention to detail, the countless hours and pin pricks, the unending prayer and tears poured into this project are more than I can fathom. More than I am worthy to receive, yet I accept it with a heart that is more grateful than I will ever be able to express. This is a love offering more precious to me than anything I've ever received. Now I kow what Jesus probably felt when the woman washed his feet with her treasured perfume.
Thank you is simply not enough, but THANK YOU, Carrie!!!
You have blessed my family and me more than I'll ever be able to express.
Now, here are the prayer requests that I beg you to lift up to our Savior. Our family was so very blessed by the army of prayer warriors during Chrissie's hospital battle, so I ask you to get on your knees for the following requests:
- Rowan is still in the hospital, and he will be having brain surgery at 7AM tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 19) to help drain excess fluid that is causing way too high of intrcranial pressures, which is beyond migraine level pain for Rowan. Rowan is a true warrior who is wise beyond his years, and he says Chrissie is his girlfriend. He still talks to her and loves her dearly. Rowan's life is a miracle, just like Chrissie's was. Click HERE to follow his story/progress via his mom's Facebook.
- Rowan's mom, Carrie, has been there by his side non-stop since Oct. 3, and she's only gone outside twice for sunshine for a few seconds. I completely understand what this is like, and I know Carrie could really use some extra prayer coverage as her son goes in for brain surgery. Rowan will be in the PICU for an unknown amount of time following his brain surgery. If you'd like to deliver a meal or goodies to Carrie, please leave a comment to let me know and I'll get you in touch with Carrie. I was so blessed by so many of you as total strangers who stopped by to bless me with meals while Chrissie was in the hospital, and I would love to give Carrie this same blessing.
- Also pray for Rowan's family. He has 2 other siblings and his daddy is taking care of them while Rowan's mommy stays by his side at the hospital. This is hard. Very hard. Please pray for all of them.
- The last request is for a baby in Haiti who is in Rhyan's care, a sweet young lady who prayed fervently for Chrissie. Click HERE to learn more about how to pray for Baby Bianka, who may not make it through the night.