Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Sweetheart's sister Sherry is in town from Colorado. The above pic is Sherry and I in her loft sewing room in Colorado about 9 years ago. Sherry and I have been very close over the years...more like sisters than sisters in law. She has been a spiritual mentor to me and also was the person who started me quilting! You can read about that here. She changed my life in more ways than one!

Sherry lost her husband in a plane crash about 18 years ago. She was with him in the 4 seater piper plane when it crashed. Devastation is too light a word. Since then she has remarried and adopted 2 little boys and lost her husband of 17 years to cancer...instead of re writing it all, you can read Sherry's story here. She is an incredible woman.Her littlest guy is about the tiniest kid I have ever seen. There may be a rare form of dwarfism, but testing is not concluded. He is so sweet! He LOVES Kyle.It was hard to get a good pic of him...he moves A LOT!His name is Shane and he is a big part of our lives. My Rachel cared for him the first 6 months of his life. The state would not let Sherry take him to Colorado until rights were terminated. He has the same womb as Charlotte and Zachary. I was called to "come pick up your baby" almost 3 years ago. I was so freaked out I smoked 3 packs of cigarettes that day!! I have not had one since, so I can thank Shane for me being a non-smoker again! The guilt racked me. How could I NOT go get him? Yet, I had 2 VERY needy children and an adult "child" who needed me. Could I be stretched that thin? I was told the baby was very little and very crack addicted, but he could come "home" the next day. I called Sweetheart who instantly said, "NO". He was not being harsh...we could end up having 6 more kids if we took all her babies. There had to be a family who wanted a baby, right? I called Sherry. Before I could say anything, she told me how Conner (her then 5 year old) got up that morning and said, "I had a dream last night that you got on a plane and went to get my new brother...he has brown hair." Long story short....Sherry got on a plane the next day and came to get her new son. Since the state would not release him to her because she was out of state (she is a biological great aunt to the baby) they wanted to release him to me. Ok, so I KNEW if I did that he would never leave here. Rachel said, "I will take him." So she did. We thought it would be a few weeks, but it turned into 6 months. Sherry came out to Illinois every month for 1 week to bond with the baby and make court appearances. Finally she took her baby home. It was during all of this that her husband became ill with esophageal cancer. He had never smoked a cigarette in his life. He was a computer software designer and lots of this type of cancer is showing up in "computer guys". Now I have always had a twinge of guilt. I could have kept another sibling together (there are 5 and I have numbers 3 and 4). Still I know God had a plan. The first 4 kids all look alike...dark hair, dark eyes (except Charlotte has dark blue eyes). Shaney's brown baby hair turned white blonde and he has light blue eyes and looks JUST like Conner and Sherry! When I saw him the other day, my twinge of guilt lifted. He is exactly where he belongs!!
Today, Sherry, her son David, his beautiful wife Valerie, her granddaughter Tori, and the 2 boys will spend the day with us and go to the softball game to watch Sweetheart and Kyle play. We were unable to celebrate Rachel's birthday, so we will do that today.She went to a concert over the weekend and had a great time. We will have a cake and an early dinner since my son has to be at work at 4pm. It will be a fun day of family!
There will be no time to machine sew, though I did get another row on the basket quilt. The big baskets are a breeze!!!!
I will be able to hand quilt while visiting this afternoon. DeNiece's runner is taking longer than I thought, as I am putting some extra dense quilting on it. Still, I am at the end...just a border to go and it is finished! I will try to take some good pics of Sherry and her family along with Rachel's birthday pics. Have a wonderful Tuesday!!


Milah said...

What an amazing story. I'm thankful for women like you, your SIL, and Rachel. This may sound harsh but I hope the womb is finished! What a tormented woman she must be.

grandmatomato said...


What is the pattern you are using for
the baskets? Did you get the pattern locally?


Anonymous said...

An incredible story with a good ending in spite of the sad details.

~Bren~ said...

The pattern for the baskets is from the Eleanor Burns book, "The Underground Railroad Sampler"
I have used the blocks to make the entire quilt and have used several of the blocks in other projects. It is by far my favorite quilting book.

Winona said...

Oh Bren, I know much of this story, but it was touching to read it today. My daughter married into a family that has one of these wombs. Out of 5 children, she kept 1. The others are with her aunt, her sister, her grandmother, and a paternal grandmother. I think she finally had her tubes tied. Your basket quilt is looking gorgeous, as I knew it would. Happy belated birthday to Rachel. Enjoy your visit with Sherry and her family. Winona

blushing rose said...

Oh, Bren, what a heart warming story of great women & deep love. You touched me deeply ... TTFN ~Marydon

Donetta said...

Sherry is an amazing woman. Where does she live now?

Love Bears All Things said...

I'm glad you will have this time with Sherry and the boys.
Mama Bear

Guðrún said...

I hope Shane is all right, it must be normal that he is small as the womb filled him with crack. Enjoy your time together.

~Bren~ said...

Shane is more than fine, Gudrun. He is very advanced in his fine motor skills and just a joy to be around. Dwarfism is not a side effect of crack use...it is a genetic thing. Either the mother or father need to be a carrier of the gene. Nothing to do with drug use. Now that is not to say he will not or does not have symptoms of that. Size is not one of them though.

Niki RuralWritings said...

What an amazing story, is right!!! Sounds like a wonderful day planned for all of you. The quilt blocks are looking great
Have a wonderful time together