A needle. A thread. Fabrics of red and green. Love. Kindness.
Hours, days, weeks, and months go by. A group of sweet ladies sew away. A scrap of fabric added to another and then another... soon beautiful quilts emerge. Lovely Christmas quilts.
As batting is layered with fabric, and panels are tied, the women ponder the difficult experience that NICU parents endure. The quilters are touched and want to give just a little something to brighten a day, to bring a smile to a weary mom.
The ladies have considered that some of the infants would be home for the holidays snuggled in their new quilts. But, they also knew very will that some of the quilts would only held in the arms of a mom or a dad, as they sat by their baby's bedside, peering into an isolette and watching the hard working nurses and doctors keep their precious little one alive.
A few days ago the call came. It was time to pick up the bounty of blankets, in flannel and cotton. An incredible woman, my sister, went to work, throughtout an entire day, laundering dozens upon dozens of tiny treasures. Finally the quilts were ready. Ready to be united with their little boy or girl
Arriving at the hospital with my car loaded up like Santa's sleigh, I brought the hand-made gifts up to the NICU. After piling the quilts high on a cart, I began to push them from NICU room to NICU room. And sure enough, when the parents and nurses caught sight of the handmade presents, their eyes brighted. They gathered around the cart, amazed at all of the beautiful choices. It wasn't easy to decide which to pick. They were all so beautiful.
Soon, many little cherubs had little quilts wrapped around them. More smiles filled each room.
Some of the babies parents could not be at their bedsides when I arrived. But, my own heart was touched again as I watched the NICU nurses search through the abundance of blankets, choosing quilts for "their babies".
"Look Emma, " a nurse said sweetly as she brought a quilt to her tiny patient, "I picked this one just for you!"
It was beautiful to see the labor of love of the many quilting "angels" bless almost ninety NICU families this Christmas with their simple, meaningful gift.
It is the true spirit of Christmas.
I send out a special thank you to all of the NICU nurses out there who offer such extaordinary care and love to premature and sick babies and their families. You are amazing.