Deja's Garden

Hello All-

I wanted to share with you a special blanket that I finished knitting the other night.  I have named it Deja's Garden, and the pattern is "Chevron Baby Blanket" from The Purl Bee. 

So, now the big questions...who is it for and where did the name come from??  Well, here's a go at...who is it for?

Recently, my Father-in-Law sent me an email that talked about two girls from the Dominican Republic who both have heart conditions.  Through the generosity of the Rotary Club in Maine, the girls and their families are being flown up to Maine to have surgery done...by Hannah's old surgeon!!  Dr. Quinn is doing the operations on both girls, aged 6 months and 11 years. 

As soon as I heard what was going on, I knew I needed to make something to send.  When Hannah had her surgeries, she was given the most beautiful hand knit blankets and quilts from complete strangers.  These blankets are the reason why I knit for charity.  I know how special they are and when you are going through the ordeal of having your child in the hospital, it is so comforting to know that you have the support of those around you...even those who you'll never meet.

So, I started looking online for pattern ideas and soon came to a decision...which leads to question two.  Where did the blanket name come from?

When Hannah had her third operation, we had moved to Alberta and were living in Calgary.  Her operation was done 3 hours away in Edmonton, where we ironically live now.  During our 3 week hospital stay, we became friends with a very special family...Deja's family.  We had never met them before, and they took us under their wing.  Deja was another heart child, and she was in the ICU when Hannah was there.  The family was from Edmonton, so they had lots of visitors coming in, and they always stopped to make sure that Hannah was well, and that we were ok...no matter what they were going through.  Even after Hannah was moved out of the ICU, we stopped down to say hello regularly and after we left the hospital, my husband and I regretted not staying in touch with them.  Even more, we regretted not ever getting the chance to actually meet Deja. 

About a year later, Hannah had to go back to Stollery for a follow-up cath, and as we were getting ready to leave, I heard a familiar voice.  It was Deja's Mom!  Hannah and I were so thrilled to run into her, and it was such a blessing to see that in the stroller she was pushing was Deja!  It was a short reunion, but one that I will never forget. 

Fast forward a few months, and I got a late-night phone call from Deja's Mom.  She told me that Deja had earned her angel wings on Easter...about a week after we had run into them at the hospital.  I cried for hours after we got off the phone, and I still tear up thinking about that call.  I hated myself for not knowing and for not being there to support a family that had been so supportive to us. 

Now, a year later, as I was pouring through patterns for a blanket idea, I decided to make one in honor of Deja.  Her Mom posted a photo of her wearing a chevron patterned sweater.  Deja's smile is the highlight of the photo, and I knew right away that this was the inspiration that I needed for my blanket!  A quick approval from Hannah, and we were off to pick out colors.

So there you have it.  In the heart community, you learn that everyone is somehow connected and how important it is to "pay it forward".  I hope that this blanket brings much love and support to the family in Maine, just as it's inspiration did for my family.

Happy Crafting!

P.S.  The quilt I posted about previously is going to be given to the 11 year old girl. Both blankets are being mailed out this week to make it to Maine in time for the May surgeries.

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