Friday, April 11, 2008

Quilt For Cancer

Apparently there are certain techniques and patterns you have to do in a quilt to be considered a full fledged quilter. One of these is to make a bug quilt. I had never heard of it so Jill gave me some of her bug fabric to make another quilt for cancer. This is like a whole other world to fabric. I was amazed once I started looking, at how cute some of this fabric is. (click on the pictures to get the enlarged version)

I thought this pattern looked like Chinese lanterns that would attract bugs. Then after I got it done I found a pattern for bugs in a jar. So now I am collecting my own fabrics to make one of those. I'm trying to focus on quilts for boys since people are donating about 70% of their quilts in little girl themes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

*S*pirits *H*aving *A* *H*uman *E*xperience

Using the first letter of each word from the title of this post....SHAHE.... is the meaning behind my email address. Just some random info.

This year in quilt group we were given the goal to pursue our passion in regards to quilting and to learn something new. I am doing both with the quilt I am now working on. My passion is to make quilts that have meaning behind them.... the embellishments I will use to put on the final touches will be something new. The quilt title is Spirits Having A Human Experience.... and is a depiction of what I call a Near Death Experience I had almost 20 years ago.

Whenever I come to a crossroads in my life, I am reminded of messages I was given by what I believe to be my guardian angels. After it happened I wrote down as much as I could remember and then I wrote this a few years later. Maybe it was just a hallucination, or chemicals in the brain releasing endorphins during a stessful time but then perhaps there is a spiritual design to the universe that we are all a part of. Whatever the cause it was an awesome experience. In light of the past few days, I want to share it with you...

My Experience
In February 1991 I went into surgery to remove a lymph node they thought was cancerous. After it was over, it became apparent I have a rare condition known as pseudocolinesterase deficiency (lacking an enzyme to process a certain anesthesia). Something a good friend of mine died of while having his wisdom teeth pulled.

After surgery I heard the doctor, "Wake up now, everything went fine, the tumor was benign." "She's not waking up." a female voice said. "I told you to leave her alone. She's paralyzed and won't be waking up anytime soon. We'll all be here for a long haul today. Get her down to ICU, Stat," said the anesthesiologist. I listened to this conversation in a deeply unconscious state and found it very interesting (the anesthesiologist later said that was impossible and didn’t want to discuss it further when I repeated their conversations. He did confirm I heard accurately.)

I tried to move my arms and legs but couldn't. By darn, he's right, I thought to myself. I am paralyzed. I wasn't at all alarmed but instead became wrapped in a cocoon of complete well-being and peace.
"You're going to be OK. It's just going to be a matter of time. We'll keep you safe in here until you wake up." That wasn't more conversation I heard but thoughts that were spoken to me in my mind somehow. I then entered a blacker beyond black pyramid-like casing tunnel, much like an iron lung. The deep blackness brought even more comfort.

Four hours later I started to awaken. Gone was the peace I felt, replaced by confusion and helplessness. Alarms were sounding, and people were moving all around me. My arms were tied down and an x-ray was being taken to make sure the breathing tube was in place. I couldn't breathe. I fought with all my will to free my hands, cry out for help and gulp in air but couldn't. I was a deer frozen in the headlights of a blinding light that will not let it escape it's imminent danger. I have never wanted to live so much in my entire life. A frenzy of wild panic seized me. "Get her husband, quick” a nurse yelled. Suddenly his face was above me saying, "Denise, you had a reaction to the anesthesia and it paralyzed your body. It doesn't feel like you can breathe but the machines are doing it for you. Try not to fight it. You're going to be OK." Oh, God, I can’t breathe. I’m going to die and I can’t make anyone understand.

As the feeling reached a peak of intolerability, I was again encased in a complete love and peace, permeating every pore and cell of my body. Mere words are incapable of expressing the completeness and well-being, the stark opposite of emotions felt just a moment ago. Gone was the excruciating need to draw the next breath. I became a world unto my own. I floated away from Ken’s face and the rushed activity of the ICU ward.
I was filled with a saturated gratefulness for the love of Ken, and his care of me. Surprisingly, those emotions encompassed the family I grew up with, but never felt very close to. I loved and belonged to them and felt lucky to have been a part of their lives. I relished memories of each one of them and knew that was the family experience I was supposed to have for my youth.

All my life I have felt an alienation from others. I was awkward socially, even as I entered adulthood. Sometimes not even feeling human at all. Now I felt a connection with every human being in the universe as if a fine thread was sewing us all together. An image of that appeared in my mind above my bed. I felt how fragile we all are, how much our actions affect one another, how important to try our best. Being on earth and having the experience of life was meant for me and I belonged, truly belonged here. "You are a part of everyone and belong here on earth. All of your lives are difficult and full of trials. You are all struggling. It is so important to live your life well, so you do not create any hardships for others that will make that uphill climb any harder. You can never know what someone else has been through. Do not judge too quickly how easy you think their lives may have been." Those were words again spoken in my mind with the impression so strong I knew that loving spirit. I felt two other spirits there also, though they never spoke, just sent love and comfort.

Meanings of some of my difficult challenges were revealed to me, and how they were helping me live my life well and grow. And I did, I wanted with all my heart to live and do well. Though I can no longer remember the meanings of my challenges, I feel the revelations are placed somewhere in my soul, helping me.
The love, peace, and contentment just glowed. I wanted to feel this way forever and stay with them. But I knew I had been told all there was for me to hear. Still I tried as hard as I could to follow them in my mind. But they said no and gradually faded away. They left me with the thought, you are a spirit having a human experience.

Once again I was acutely aware of discomfort in my body, Ken wiping tears from my face. How long did this encounter last? I don’t know. It felt at least 20-30 minutes, but time seems to have swallowed the experience to but a blink of an eyelash. That blink of an eyelash has had long lasting changes to my personality. I am more compassionate, less prone to believe I have the hardest challenges in life. I have lost my fear of death and now believe our individual struggles are ours alone, but we don't always have to struggle alone. Regardless of our different challenges, we are one family of humanity and each life is important. Much is taken, and much is given. And now sometimes when I say, “Why me?” I also mean why do I have so many wonderful people in my life?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

With Deep Sadness

We are so sorry the outcome for this little girl was not what everyone had hoped for. She was found murdered in the complex she lived in.

With deep sadness we offer up prayers for her family. Some suffering defies all reason or understanding. We can only hope that her family will find some kind of solace and peace in the outpouring of love from a community that embraces them.

I'm going to SLC in the morning to be with Andrea.

I love you all....

AMBER ALERT For MIssing Girl In Utah

I just received a call from my daughter, who is a behavorial specialist aide at the elementary school of the missing girl. Hser is one of the students she has been assigned to. She joined the search for her last night and this morning. Andrea asked me to let anyone I know, to pray for her safe return and keep her in your thoughts.

The following is the article about her from the Utah Deseret News this morning.

SOUTH SALT LAKE — An Amber Alert has been issued for a 7-year-old girl last seen Monday afternoon.

South Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Snyder said the alert was issued not because of any additional information that was collected, but because of the lack of evidence of what happened to the girl.

"This, to me, has turned into a foul play situation. This is completely out of character for a 2nd grade, 7-year-old girl," he said. "I'm not taking any chances."

Given the time that has passed from when she was last seen, the decision was made about 9 a.m. to issue the Amber Alert. The alert is repeated on radio, TV, Web sites, text messages and freeway billboards to get the public looking for a child believed to have been abducted.

More than 120 volunteers joined law enforcement overnight to look for Hser Nay Moo. She was last seen about 2 p.m. Monday at her apartment near 2250 S. 500 East. She was drawing with her 10-year-old brother and the two got into an argument, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.

Moo was upset and left the apartment, presumably to go outside to play. When the children's parents got home, however, she was still missing.

"We checked door-to-door throughout the apartment complex more than once," Keller said. "We've expanded the search and used volunteers to go through the neighborhoods.

The Utah Attorney General Office's CART (Child Abduction Response Team) team has also joined the search effort and likewise has found no evidence of foul play, he said.

In addition to CART, the CERT team (Citizens Emergency Response Team) is assisting with the search as well as the group Destiny Search, named after Destiny Norton who was kidnapped and killed in Salt Lake City in 2006.

South Salt Lake police activated their Emergency Operations Center to act as a command post for investigators.

Citizens wanting to volunteer for the search need to sign up at the LDS Haven Ward Stake Center, 2350 S. 300 East.

Moo is 3 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds. She has long black hair and is missing her front two teeth, police said. She was last seen wearing a pink coat, blue jeans, and black and pink sneakers.

Moo goes to Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, but the school is currently off track.

Her family is from Burma, but she reportedly spoke the best English in her family. Investigators were seeking a translator Tuesday morning who spoke the family's dialect.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 840-4000.

"We're taking this very seriously. We're treating this as a foul play situation," Snyder said.