I need to give a little back story for this piece. Probably almost 25 years ago I took part in Christian retreats called Emmaus Walks. The Arkansas group that sponsors these retreats is called the Noah’s of Ark (Arkansas) Emmaus group. These three-day, intensive times of study and worship are meant to, and succeed at, introducing the believer to a closer walk with the Lord and opening one’s eyes to His presence, much as the disciples were surprised to recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus.
I became very attached to Ark imagery. Fourteen years ago my husband, Arlin, found this quilt at a craft show and brought it to me. Because of the detail and the hand stitching, I put it away, not wanting to “wear it out” with daily use. It has always been there, waiting for the time God intended to bring it out of its protective case in my closet and into my life.
In December of 2018 I thought of the quilt. And I felt it was time to bring it out and enjoy it. So my husband retrieved it from the closet shelf and I unzipped its protective case and folded it on the end of our bed. Every time I straightened the bed I would admire the hand-cut blocks and the tiny stitches and wonder about its creator.
Then came the moment. As I folded it one day, I noticed a signature on a back corner. It took my breath away.
You may think that finding a dated signature is not such a momentous occasion. But it was. Because I knew a Donna Gordon. You see, Donna Sue Gordon of Bald Knob, Arkansas, was a beloved patient in the cardiology practice where I work. She had passed from this life on November 2, 2018, after a long and difficult illness. It was clear that I needed to speak with her daughters about my “find.” Could this quilt be one of hers?
Carolyn and Jennifer assured me that this is, indeed, one of their mother’s quilts. They said hearing from me was as though their mom was saying hello from heaven. They said that she loved me (and Dr. Blue and all of the “Blue Team”). I know that we were blessed to know and serve her during her illness, because she never failed to brighten out days with her sweet smile and gentle voice and patient suffering. Yes, nurses and doctors do grow to love some patients because of the many times we visit and the valleys we travel through with them. And I loved Ms. Donna.
All this may not seem very important to many of you. But it’s important to me. It tells me that our lives are woven together in so many invisible ways. It tells me that individual’s spirits can speak to one another in special ways and that special bonds are woven that we may never fully understand. I am blessed to know about this one.
To me, this is like a “God-thing”, that in His wisdom this quilt came into my possession even before I knew Ms. Donna. And she made a Noah’s Ark quilt just for me, yet not knowing that it was for me. And the whole thing just makes me smile and be grateful for special people and special symbols and perfect timing.
I am reminded that God is good, all the time, and, all the time, God is good. May you be blessed by those coincidences that are really God-things. They are all around us.
P.S. I have (of course) received permission from Carolyn and Jennifer to do this piece and to feature their mother’s picture. 🙂
4 thoughts on “A quilt story . . .”
I just want you to know how much I appreciate you writing this story. My name is Howard Fuller and I am Donna Gordon’s only son. When Carolyn told me about this article I couldn’t wait to read it. I love this story and I loved my Mom dearly. That you for all the care and love you gave my mother. You do not know how much this means. Thank you for sharing!
Howard, thank you for your comment. This amazing story has been on my heart ever since I saw her name on the quilt. Knowing your mom and your family is a wonderful blessing.
I love how lives are intertwined! I likely never knew Mrs. Fuller, yet the picture reveals her sweet spirit, reminding me of so many similar ones in that special county. I continue to be grateful for your reflections and writing.
And I am grateful for your comments!