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As I'm sure you all know, I am the proud possessor of a Daily Kos quilt that the community funded to keep me warm in body and spirit after the death of my husband and partner for pretty much the entirety of my whole adult life on December 5. Regular visitors to Top Comments also probably remember the wonderful diary BeninSC wrote about the quilt the community made for him to help him through his recovery from a horrific bicycle accident.

I too want to pay tribute and give a great deal of love to the two wonderful women who operate the Community Quilt Project, Sara R and Winglion.

I'm not going to be anywhere near as eloquent as Ben was in his diary, but I'll try to take you through the way I experienced the quilt in a rather different kind of healing situation, and this will also commemorate what would have been Jim's 67th birthday (February 17).

What makes the Community Quilt Project particularly special is the process that ends up with the creation of a beautiful and comforting object. I was surprised but pleased that the whole thing began with a Kosmail message from Sara R two hours after I posted my Widower after 41 Years diary telling me that Aji suggested the quilt and asking if I would MIND having a quilt. Mind? Of course not! So my quilt was put in motion.

You remember that I made some really boneheaded decisions in the first few days after, like queuing a diary I had ready for you instead of accepting the offer to let someone else take Top Comments for the day. This time, I let people do something for me, something I MUST get better at doing. The following Thursday, Sara R published my quilt diary. You wouldn't know this, but I wasn't really sure if I should comment on it, since in some way it felt like applauding for myself (which just isn't done) -- that goes to the trusting my reactions thing I mentioned the first day. Finally I understood that making a comment was a way of saying thank you, so I did about 90 minutes in, and this is one of the diaries I go back to often.

Sara and I had a wonderfully warm conversation about what color and what design I wanted the backing fabric to be about a week later, and then, in every diary the community quilt ladies published after that once my backing fabric arrived, my quilt was teased: first as a link to the fabric, then the quilt top, then in this WONDERFUL pootie pic

(that would be Dusty checking to see if it's comfortable), and then here, sadly, in some detail to herald a quilt for a very dear friend.

I've slept with it every night since it arrived. It's quite wonderful to wake up to a message from one of the people who helped me get through the first hours and days of my grief. Thank you SO much, Sara R and Winglion.

And thank you to all the wonderful and caring people who signed my quilt.

cooper888 and gotmooned
Damnit Janet
DeWayne Gibson
enhydra lutris
Finding My Voice
Frugal Granny
Glen the Plumber
high uintas
Joan Mar
Kitsap River
left rev
Louisiana 1976
Mommy of 3
Otteray Scribe
Outraged in SF
peregrine kate and Provoking Meaning
Sara R
side pocket
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Follow the link to a picture of your message and my additional thanks for it (incidentally, completely at random in the order in which I edited the pictures).

I wish you were still with me, Jim, and this quilt doesn't replace you. I didn't buy you a cake today, but this diary is helping me remember you and the life we had. So is the quilt, which warms me and comforts me in your absence. Thank you again -- YET again -- for this, Kos community.  I can feel the love, and we really ARE family here.

Because the messages are embedded in the comments, I'm publishing this now even though I'm off to bed (under the quilt) momentarily, since comments have an expiration time for tipping.  I should be back by 9-10 AM Eastern, and since I'm off tomorrow, I'll respond to everyone then.

Originally posted to Dave in Northridge on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM PST.

Also republished by Top Comments and DK Quilt Guild.

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