"Threads of Love" Donor Memorial Quilt: Quilt 10
Eugenia A. Gibbons
Tribute to Mom
Our life as a family changed forever on the morning of January 5, 2005. My mother, who was the rock of the family, suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and was declared brain dead by 6:30pm that evening. She was the one we all believed would be here forever; it never entered our minds that she would be the one to die first. My father, after all, had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer only that May before and most certainly, we all believed, he would die first. However, here we were faced with the one of the most difficult decisions anyone has to make in life, and yet we al knew donation is what my mother would have wanted. She was, after all, a caregiver all her adult life and now she would be a caregiver in death. She had given the greatest gift- LIFE- first to my father as his wife, then to six children as mother and in the end, to others as a donor.
This experience has been both awe-inspiring and healing. I know that mother would be proud of the choices we made and it gives me comfort to know she is honored each day as other live on because of her courage and strength.
My mother had many passions in life. Many have been integrated into the quilt square. First and most important as wife, her marriage and enduring love for my father for almost 53 years. Next, as a mother to six children lucky enough to be able to call her “Mom.” Then as a nurse for almost 30 years, a career in which she took great pride and a community in which she remained active until her death. And lastly, as a friend to my father, her family, her church, neighbors and as a volunteer.
The red in the quilt is representative of the color of a cardinal, the sight of which brought great joy to her life. Purple is for the African violets that she nurtured throughout her life. She also had a passion for animals and animal causes, which received her donations regularly. The legacy of my mother is in her many gifts and the honor given them everyday. Whether it is through donating to animal causes, registering as an organ donor myself, caring for others in my daily life or through beginning the process of becoming a volunteer with Gift of Life program. There are the ways I honor my mother and know there is a part of her with me always. With love to my Mom.
Kathleen M. Gibbons, Daughter of Eugenia A. Gibbons