Don’t be a square, man.  Let’s head to the town square for the fair.  The argument led to the boys squaring off for a fight.  His story did not square with the facts.  The shape of the garden was equal on all for sides, forming a square. He had loaned her some money, and he reminded her it was time to square up.  Adverb,  noun,  adjective and verb-pretty versatile word-square.  My southern tradition prompted an image of a quilt square as the definitive image of a square.

Quilts most often were made of scraps of material used for clothing-stitched together in squares or blocks, then assembled one by one to make a bed covering-making them a sort of scrapbook of the lives of the family.  Quilts tend to represent more than a blanket picked up at the mall-they represent something warm, comforting, meaningful in ways only our hearts know.

The National Kidney Foundation captured all the feelings a quilt inspires and created a program called Patches of Love Quilt.    Families of loved ones who died and donated their organs and/or tissues for transplantation or research efforts, and families who desired to donate but could not due to medical reasons are considered donor families and are asked to participate.  The Donor Quilt is a memorial created by donor families to remember, to honor their loved ones.  Families make the quilt square with special remembrances, photos, sayings to tell the story of their loved one, and it is added to the ever growing collection.  The quilt travels to events through out the world to promote awareness and education about donation.

After years of fighting Chronic Kidney Disease, the spousal unit was told his kidneys had given up the fight-he needed dialysis or a new kidney-you just need one to get the job done.  Stunned by the news, we sought education about the next steps.  We learned more than we ever wanted to know about the desperation of waiting for a kidney.  We were blessed beyond measure when friends and family stepped forward to be tested for a match.  During that time, we attended classes and met folks who were “on the list,” some had been waiting years.  We heard heartbreaking stories that humbled us as we waited to hear which of our 10 prospective live donors would match.  Our youngest son was the best match and his dad looks, acts and feels more like the 30-year-old kidney he received than he has for years.  Check out the link below, read the touching tributes memorialized on the quilt squares, and then, maybe reflect on giving the most important gift you will ever give-the gift of life.

PATCHES OF LOVE – a tribute to donors

Have you or someone you know and love ever received or made an organ donation?  Share your story with us.