Whatever is Pure, February 2003
Dedicated to the people who made a difference in my cancer journey!
As I reflect on the process of creating this quilt I realize this quilt has a story to tell. This is the story of my quilt…..
After going through the last year of tests, surgery, chemo and radiation I needed to get my mind active again and to regain my energy. I always wanted to learn how to quilt and this was a good opportunity to try my hand at this art. I had no idea how many similarities there were between learning quilting and my cancer journey.
At the first class we learned that there was a plan guiding how these quilts were going to be made. The instructors would rattle off the plan that was all Greek to me! "Take these fat quarters, cut this 2", this 3 1/2" and you will need 2 strips of this and 3 of this….." In life we also may have a plan of how we are going to live our life. One day a doctor calls you into her office and tells you that you have breast cancer. Our life plan falls into pieces in front of our eyes. We are not sure how the pieces of our life are going to come together again and now everyone is speaking Greek! (or maybe it is Oncologese).
The participant's first task was to choose the fabric bundles that would make up our quilts. We also have choices of how we are going to react to the diagnosis of breast cancer. After the initial shock I choose to be positive, to be informed about the disease, to keep my sense of humor and to gain strength to do all of this with God's help.
The flowers represent the spring time in my spirit where I experienced fresh and welcomed spiritual growth something I had longed and prayed for during the last 7 years. Life is sometimes like that. We find what we longed for in the most unusual circumstances.
Quilts have light and dark fabrics that help create the beautiful pattern of the quilt. There are "light" and "dark" days in our cancer journey but just like the quilt the dark pieces are balanced with light pieces. The challenges (some people call this darkness) in life make us appreciate LIFE and LIVING in the "light" days of our life. The God who is the creator of my life has a plan. He did not plan or give me the "dark" days. Never the less, He uses the "dark" days for good and will not allow more dark days than I can handle. He brings into my life "light" times, in balance with the "darkness".
The fabric that looks like stained glass, the purple and the green also has spiritual meaning to me as I look at my quilt. The stained glass pattern represents my choice to look to God, the source of my strength, no matter what lies ahead in my path. the purple represents God and His Glory and my worship of HIM, woven even more into the fabric of my life. The green sashing represents the green pastures spoken of in the 23rd Psalm. The green pastures are places of rest and restoration that I experienced in the last year.
A watercolor fabric surrounds this quilt. This represents being surrounded by God and His hosts in heaven and also my family and friends on earth who through their hugs, words of support and prayers give me strength to face the challenges of life. All are cheering me on to the finish line.
The quilt plan was given to us one step at a time. The precise measuring, cutting, sewing came together in a quilt. I can look back over the last year and see how God and my choices wove pieces of my "life" quilt together. The diagnosis and treatment of cancer is only one part of my life quilt. You see my LIFE journey is not done! There are more sections of my LIFE quilt yet to be created. Cancer will not define who I am but it moved me to look at life with new eyes. I would like to look back on this cancer journey as a time where I really began to LIVE AND TO LIVE LIFE WELL. A life lived with intention and no regrets. There is coming a day when there will be no more cutting and sewing together the pieces of my life. That will be a time when there will be no more tears, pain and sorrow. I look forward to looking at that FINISHED CREATION OF MY LIFE QUILT and to the one who welcomes me home with outstretched embracing arms.
© 2003 by Bonnie J Bamford (Including photo)
As of May 2012, "WHATEVER IS PURE" ARCHIVES will no longer be seeking submissions. As most authors and poets now have their own blogs, we noticed a significant drop in submissions over the past year and felt it was best to move on to other endeavors.