I look about the room, I am a newcomer to this group of women. They greet me with smiles and tell me their names. I thought the room would be larger and certainly neater and they would be dressed in fabrics finer...why? I don't know, what do you wear when you are doing the work of Sisters with a passion for others? And volunteers no less.
I am introduced to several of the women, names...I am so bad at them. They enter my mind and swirl around like a dust devil in the desert, leaving as quickly as they arrived. I remember only a few....Carol, Joanne, Betty.
Carol takes me under her wing and shows me around. I wonder, "are you why I am here?" I don't dare ask.
And then I see her. She is thin, wearing a black velvet hat, with a wide brim and large black bow. It covers her head, there is no hair peaking out from underneath. She wears her heavy winter coat, though the room is quite warm and goes about the business of the Sister's passion. Yes, she is why I am here.
Bolts of fabric cover the walls. Quilts in all stages of completion lie about the room. Women stand at tables cutting fabric, others are at machines assembling these rainbow-colored pieces into coverlets that will then be quilted and bound into a their final stage of completion.
The beauty is not in the finished product. Oh, yes they are magnificent. They are works of art. The beauty is in what happens to the finished product. For each finished quilt...a labor of love, crafted from start to finish strictly by the hands of someone with a passion, from materials donated, is then given to a woman who is receiving chemotherapy through the James Cancer Hospital, to use as a lap blanket during her treatments.
The organization is called the James Stitching Sisters. It was a great day....I was humbled and proud to have had the opportunity to help and be counted as one of the Sisters.