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This is dedicated to my son Shawn Patrick Monahan

The Quilt

As she unfolded the tattered quilt, she thought of many things.
Memories of her young son.
These memories carried her back to the day that she made it.
She turned the quilt over and fingered the date. 1978.
Her son was six at the time that she made it for him.
She recalled the happiness on his face when she completed it and gave it to him.
The joy, smile and breathless excitement of a child.
Why would a six year old boy be so pleased with a quilt that his mother made?
She did not know. Perhaps she would never comprehend.
However it was enough that he did care.
Perhaps it was because he knew that she cared for him.
There was love in that quilt. Made by stitch by stitch by hand.
Hands that loved him. Possibly that was all that there was to his devotion to it.
She folded the tattered quilt and placed it in a plastic bag for storage,
Thankful now that she possessed it, she reflected on it's history.
Once when he was a teenager,
She suggested that she buy him or make him a new one.
Tattered and ratty looking, it craved for a replacement.
"No, Mom. I have never slept without it."
He emphasized NEVER. "It is tradition.
I can't be without it."
Nevertheless, she bitterly reflected, now he was sleeping without the quilt.
Because in 1990, he died.
He now lay in his grave without the comfort of that quilt.
Now she folded it, put it in the bag for storage.
Nevertheless she realized that it was a treasured memory.
This tattered, raggedy old quilt had given her son comfort and warmth for eleven years.
During those eleven years he was not without that warmth,
And in possession of the love that it signified.
Now it was a treasured memory.
A tribute to her son.
Love was stitched in the fabric.
Intertwined were fond memories.
Memories of a young boy who was very much loved and cherished.
Yes, the love and joy that he had returned while he lived.
It tugged at her heart strings and tears came to her eyes.
She folded it and put it in the bottom of the closet.
Sealed in a plastic bag for protection.
She sighed. If only she could have protected her son.

Life is oftentimes like that quilt.
Tattered and ragged.
Sometimes we have to piece together what is remaining, And keep going . . .

Dale Monahan

Mom to Shawn Patrick Monahan 7-27-72 - 1-9-90


On July 27, 1972, a young man was born. His name meant precious gift from God. And he was. A beautiful little, chubby baby. A loving, smiling, happy child. He grew up to be a handsome young man. Talented. Played guitar. Very loved. Very loving. On January 9, 1990, he died. Whole story. Anything else that you hear, remember this story. He was a beautiful person and I loved him.

On January 9, 1990, I lost my youngest son. I have put together this web page that I dedicated to him in his memory. He was a loving 17 year old whose life was cut short.

We can reach out and touch one another and share our grief. Please feel free to write and tell me your story. Perhaps we can help one another.

While I miss my son, I have the wonderful hope of seeing him again. In fact, there is hope that we will see all of our loved ones again.

People will say: "It takes a long time to get over it." I used to get annoyed but not any more. I just say: "You NEVER get over it. You learn to live with it... But you never get over it... You pick up the pieces and continue... But now so much later, I can say that I can fondly remember him and not cry at the mention of his name. But there are times that I get misty eyed... Death is an enemy, not a friend.

I don't want to be negative but honest.

Our son died on a Tuesday. Very unexpected. I don 't know how but we managed to have a funeral that following Friday. Our son and my husband went back to work on Monday. No point sitting around the house. I went back to work on Wednesday. I couldn't stay home alone and deal with the death.

It is so hard to believe but my co-workers had a birthday party for a co-worker on the day that I came back. They KNEW that I was coming and that I don't celebrate birthdays. Also that the co-workers birthday was on the day that our son died. I was told by the supervisor that they waited for me to come back to work. Huh?

Amazing. Just amazing.

I went out to lunch alone while they had the party. Called in Thursday and Friday and didn't go back to work until the following Monday.

But I survived. Somehow.

Feel free to write me at :

dalemonahan@embarqmail.com

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