Jill Read’s daughter would be a Laurel right now. She’d be learning to drive a car, going on her first date, and thinking ahead to high school graduation. But sadly, Sister Read’s baby girl lived only a short while before dying of sudden infant death syndrome more than 16 years ago.
When Sister Read was given the chance to hold her baby one last time, the baby’s tiny body was wrapped in two large, crisp hospital sheets. “I couldn’t feel her; I couldn’t see her,” says Sister Read.
Easing the pain of losing a child is difficult, if not impossible. But after hearing Sister Read tell her story during a youth conference meeting, and hearing another talk given by Kevin Capener, a young father who lost an infant son, the youth in the North Ogden Utah Ben Lomond Stake were eager to do anything they could to help. So, as a youth conference activity, they decided to “blanket” a local hospital with service.
The nearly 400 young people attending the conference spent an afternoon making more than 500 infant quilts to be given to parents whose newborn babies have died. After the parents have held their baby in the blanket for the last time, the blanket can be kept as a reminder to the parents.
“I hope that this blanket will be used, held, and cherished,” says Mark Miller, a priest. “I want [the parents] to know that there is someone out there who cares about them.”
In just a few short hours, the youth had a stack of quilts ready and waiting to be presented to a representative from Ogden’s McKay Dee Hospital.
It may seem a little thing, making tiny quilts for parents to use after the loss of a child. But sometimes the things people do aren’t measured by the size of their service, but rather, by the size of their hearts.