Many of you know I have a daughter named Grace. This post is not about her. This story is about another Grace. I was never able to meet this Grace, a beautiful and creative ten year old who was wise and brave beyond her years, but I did get to know her in a very different way…through her clothes.
I made this quilt for Grace’s mom and dad. They wanted to be able to wrap themselves up with her essence. It was a humbling experience, but so rewarding for me to be able to help (just a little bit) in the healing of a broken heart.
Here’s what I learned about Grace from her clothes: She had style, she loved American Girl dolls, she had a thing for the color purple, she loved peace signs, she was a cool kid with her striped leggings and her “just peachy” shirt, she loved the beach, she was a Girl Scout, she was loved by many.
I reached out to Grace’s mom to see if it was ok for me to write a post about Grace and the quilt. Although we have not met in person (yet), she is one of my heroes. Here is what she wrote about her daughter:
“Our daughter, Grace Marie Evanko, “Amazing Grace”, passed away at the age of 10 on March 2, 2013. She battled an inoperable DIPG brain tumor for two and a half years. She possessed strength, determination and an ability to overcome physical challenges, all with a smile on her face and never a complaint. And she had a lot to complain about…many surgeries, 6 weeks of radiation, a year of chemo, lost her hair and in the end the ability to walk or talk. Our daughter showed a zest for life and a will to live in her short 10 years that most people will spend a lifetime searching for; she inspired so many in such a short time. Grace loved playing with her friends, laughing, dancing, being creative and anything chocolate. She was obsessed with American Girl dolls! She could play school or tea party for hours! Grace adored her older brother Riley and truly looked up to him. As a family we were blessed to have her in our lives and have created many memories that will last a lifetime!”
I believe that children like Grace, the ones that leave us too soon, should be remembered and honored every single day. Whether it’s through prayer, planting a tree, walking for charity, writing a thank-you note, helping a friend in need, or more simply by lighting a candle and paying attention to how lucky we are to be alive. Celebrating those brave and beautiful souls is like sending a balloon up to heaven!
PS: To reach out to Grace’s mom and dad, Denise and Fred, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.