The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a tribute to lives loss during a troubling time in our nation’s response to a health crisis. It also is an amazing tribute to the craft of quilting.
A 2012 trip to Washington, D.C. coincided with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the quilt and with the thirty years of life with AIDS. I had wanted to see the quilt since I first heard about it in the late 1980s.
No, I do not directly know anyone with AIDS, but I was still a hospital nurse when the crisis started in the early 1980s. I still remember the first young man who died from it on my floor. I remember the fear some health care workers had when they had to care for him.
I am sad to also report that I remember a comment made by a respiratory therapist that the disease was God’s punishment. I responded that I don’t believe anyone deserves to die that way. Anyone dying a horrible death deserves compassion and kindness; not judgment. And, back then it really was a horrible way to die and there was little that helped. The medications are better now, but there is still no cure.
Yet, despite the sad reason for its creation, the quilt is beautiful and a joy to behold. I hope it helps those who experienced loss due to this illness to heal. I’m glad I finally had a chance to see it.
This post is inspired by The Daily Post weekly Photo Challenge where Shane Francescut asked us to capture an image that tells a full story in a single frame. I can’t think of anything that tells a full story better than this quilt. Can you?
Sending healing light and God’s love for true forgiveness.
You are a blur to protect you.
I’m really trying to believe you have changed. I see signs that you have, but I am skeptical where both of you are concerned. I have believed in you in the past only to watch you crush my daughter’s spirit. She will be okay in the long run. I know because she is stronger than she seems. After all, she is my daughter.
Still, forgiving those who almost destroyed her is not an easy task especially when she has never received a sincere apology from either of you. One of you flatly refused to give her what she needs to heal more quickly. The other one tried to convince others that she made things sound worse than they really were. I know this is not true and so do you if you are honest with yourself.
Yet, I also know that she and I need to forgive you to heal ourselves even if your changes are only surface deep. Perhaps that is the only change you are capable of making right now. I do not know. I am merely grateful that you are both out of our lives.
The most important thing I have learned from our experience is that we are all connected. Of, course, I know we do not appear to be as connected as either one of you, but in this web of life, we are. That is why I will continue to ask God to help me to learn to truly forgive you, and I pray you both continue to grow in true understanding of others. I especially pray that you no longer perceive anyone as not worthy of you.
A Mom’s Advice During Bullying Awareness Month
First, do not avoid anyone just because you do not know what to say. Of course, you do not want to say the wrong thing and inflict more pain, but an e-mail, a card, or a voice mail saying just that can mean so much. Just knowing someone cares can provide comfort. Complete silence says no one really cares.
Second, while I appreciate that you have concern for the parent and believe me I am grateful for your support; it means more when you express your love and support for the child. Those who imply they feel sorry for the parent seem to be implying that they do not understand the severity of the pain the child is experiencing. In effect, they are implying that the child is inflicting pain on others by being wounded. This doubles the pain of the parent who knows this is not the case.
Third, if you know the child, please acknowledge her by sending a short note saying that you are thinking of her. Please realize your support matters even if the child cannot respond during this time. However, if you do not know the child, it is okay to let the parent know that you are thinking of them. All support matters to the entire family.
Lastly, please do not assume that all is magically okay when the child is no longer in the environment where the bullying took place or if she has returned to school. Deep wounds might not heal quickly despite appearances. But, if you continue to show your love and support, you will help them to heal more quickly.
I believe in the healing power of God’s love, so I like Gary Zukav’s quote.
Today I am grateful for all who are helping to educate others about ways to create a bully-free world and for those who continue to give my family love and support.
The Universal Language of Healing
I’m a firm believer in music’s healing powers and I’m grateful that there are so many wonderful songs about peace.
The Peace Challenge this month is invoke the power of music. We are to:
- Post a song or video of a song that has brought peace to your world. Feel free to explain how this music has created peace.
- Tell a story about how music “tamed the savage beast.”
- Write a song for peace. You don’t have to write the music, just the lyrics.
- Sing a song for peace and write a post about what you felt.
- Make a top 10 list of songs/artists that bring peace to our world.
- Interview a songwriter about what inspired them to create music that you find peaceful.
- Post anything about the intersection of music and peace.
Since I’m no singer and I’m certainly not a song writer, I put together a playlist on You-Tube of my top ten songs about peace. Rather than show the videos on my blog, I ask that you click on the link to see them as I do not want to infringe on anyone’s copyright.