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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : My sister died in a car wreck on Feb. 12, 2006. ...

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My sister died in a car wreck on Feb. 12, 2006. ...
Created By: Brenda DeLeon

My sister died in a car wreck on Feb. 12, 2006. Needless to say I was devastated and my aunt told me about the prayer shawl ministry at that time. When I came home I started the ministry through my church. We are a small group, only 3 or 4 of us who regularly make the shawls and give them to our pastor to share after we bless them in our Sunday school or bible study classes. I have another sister with cancer and just yesterday I was at the hospital with her for a procedure and we had a wonderful nurse who cared for her. I was in the process of finishing a shawl while I waited for her to be cared for and nurse Regina asked me about what I was doing and showed interest each time she passed. I have given shawls as wedding gifts, quincinera gifts, and through our church to many but the best experience I think I have ever had was when I gave nurse Regina that completed shawl on Feb. 14, 2008. Two years and two days after losing one sister while I sat with the other. Regina broke into tears even though I told her it had only been prayed over by me and not the church members as we usually do. My sister and I were both so grateful for the kindness and goodness she showed throughout the very stressful (for my sister more than me) day that we both felt like she needed something to show our appreciation. We told her it was for all the good things that she does and the kindness she shows. I usually include one of the prayers from the book "Knitting into the Mystery" when I gift my shawls but was unprepared at that moement and in some ways I think that made it even better. My sister has also told me that I have to make her favorite nurse at the Oncology clinic one. We just need to find out what her favorite color is.

One of our church ladies was also a recipient of one of the shawls done by our group and she shared it with her grandchildren daily. She would gather the two girls around her and they would put their hands under the shawl and pray together. When our pastor told us the story I made it a point to make some child size shawls so that when "grandma" was no longer with the girls they would have their own to hold on to. She has since gone on and I hope the girls will hold on to their shawl and remember the love they shared with their grandma.

Many of us work on our shawls any time we have a spare minute. We have been known to sit in meetings and knit/crochet. But we do have a structured time set aside on the 2nd and 4th Sundays when our children were in their youth meeting we meet. Even now that our girls have moved on in their senior year we continue to meet fro 5 to 7 the 2nd & 4th Sundays.

I have also sent one to a young woman who was serving in Afghanistan and a young man who is currently serving in Irag. In fact when I was working on the young womans the young man came to visit and asked if I would make him one when he deployed. I told him of course and sent it to him as soon as he was settled. The only problem is that I made it like the recommendations are, desert colors and he wanted black and pink. So if I ever get caught up I have to redo his!

We pretty much use whatever materials are donated and patterns come from our heads. Some are kind of weird, like nurse Regina's, and others are absolutely beautiful. One of our members made an absolutely gorgeous shawl and not one of us thought to take a picture but we will make it a point to do so in the future. We knit and crochet them according to what we do best and sometimes a shawl will just appear in the drop off location and we have no idea who did it. To me it is a living legacy of my sister. She would be proud, she was such a giver during her life. My other sister has two. One made by me and one by my aunt who shared the ministry with me.

She started a ministry at her church in Michigan when my cousin was killed in a Chinook flying troops out of Irag in 2003. It is a ministry that seems to grow from tragedy and yet gives so much to those of us left behind.

For someone to start a ministry I would suggest starting with a regular monthly or bi-monthly meeting and offering to teach anyone who is interested in learning how to knit/crochet. That is what we did and we have had a fair amount of success. So far we have been able to keep up with the demands of our church and our sister church on the other end of town. A friend from our Sunday group and I also meet once a month at our local "Starbuck" and spend two hours working on our projects. A group can be started and set up anywhere. It has been a blessing for me and my family is quite supportive.

It would be impossibe to put all the stories here. Our pastor regularly share stories of recipients as well as other members who ask for them to share. It is an extemely rewarding experience. Especially when you get to see the recipient.

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