Stan and I started our trip across the US last Thursday (July 22nd), but before we left Stan had a wonderful surprise. Amanda came over Wed. night and presented the 'magic quilt' to Stan. In her quiet caring way she told him about the quilt and the love that went into its creation. Stan was very touched.
We brought the quilt on the trip and have told people of its message as we have traveled.
Our first destination was Nauvoo. We rented a house, overlooking the Mississippi, just outside of Nauvoo. All of Lila's living siblings except one, and some spouses spent 4 days touring, watching the pageant, in the rain and attending the Nauvoo Temple. The spirit of the sacrifice and their devotion to God, stayed with us wherever we were. Unbeknown to us when the trip was planned, it was a miracle that we were there at that time. In mid-December I decided to rent the house and set the dates, even though very few could commit at that time (I have seven sisters and one living brother). Stan's cancer had not been confirmed when the trip was planned but by the time we left on the trip he was at a point where he could leave the doctors behind but still be well enough to travel. A few days before she was to leave for Nauvoo, my youngest sister was diagnosed with bladder cancer. She went right to surgery but was well enough to travel to Nauvoo and be back for her next appointment. We didn't know this would be our only window of time, but the Lord knew and he knew how important that it was that we spent this time together.
After Nauvoo Stan and Lila and 4 of our relatives went to Mt. Rushmore. Stan got very sick at the site and Zelda, (Lila's sister) picked a man out of the crowd and asked him if he was a Mormon and could he help give a blessing. We found a spot that was away from the crowd and circled Stan. This young man, that was a stranger to us, gave Stan the most powerful blessing. As his voice cracked he spoke to our Heavenly Father and to Stan as if they were both his best friends. It was such a moving moment.
Stan and I left so that we could find him some medicine and help if he needed it. The next day we drove past Martin's Cove and decided to stop. It was too early for the buildings to be open so we started the two-mile walk to the cove. We took it slow and stopped at the benches to admire the view and rest. Stan was getting very tired but we could see a little cabin ahead and pushed on. The cabin was manned by 3 senior missionaries. Stan sat on the bench and asked them if this was the cove. When they said that it was a mile farther up the trail you could see the pain on his face because he wanted so much to see the cove, but he knew he could go no father. I explained to the missionaries his condition and his desire. One of the sisters went into the cabin. She used a walk-e-talkie to ask them to send a rover up to pick up Stan. A wonderful missionary drove us up to the cove. At the cove he explained what happened there and told us we could take all the time we wanted. The spirit was so strong, as we held onto each other and looked at the spot were so many had given so much, I couldn’t stop crying. Their faith was so strong and even though their trials were great, they were never alone. As we drove down I looked out across the mountains and saw a handcart company coming in. It was about a mile long of youth and leaders experiencing their own faith promoting experiences.
Friday night we were in the arms of our sweet little grandchildren. Stan wanted them all to see the 'magic quilt'. As I told them the story of the quilt I could see Stan lovingly rub his hand over the quilt. This is when I knew how much the quilt meant to him. I would like everyone who was involved in this magic to know how much it has touched our lives and the lives of all of those who love Stan.