Focus On Beauty

by Kimberly Hickok

I really struggled writing this post. I don’t mind sharing things about myself  I am reluctant to do so when it comes to other people. Someone who’s very close to me recently had a child with Down Syndrome. They are all doing just fine.

Here’s where it gets personal. When Justin was born he weighed less than 2 pounds and was in the neonatal intensive care unit for 10 weeks. I stayed at a Ronald McDonald house to be near him since our home was over 100 miles away. His dad couldn’t go back and forth because of his job and would just come on his days off. So I was beholden to the kindness of strangers while living in my home away from home waiting for my little one to overcome each obstacle along the way until he was healthy.

One of the gifts we received at the time was this lovely handmade quilt.

Isn't this pattern beautiful?

Isn’t this pattern beautiful?

I love the texture and pattern of this so much. And the color too.

I love the texture and pattern of this so much. And the color too.


The quilt is about 4' square. Oh, wait. Can you see it.

The quilt is about 4′ square. Oh, wait. Can you see it?

Yup. There it is. Right in the middle. THE SPOT.

Yup. There it is. Right in the middle. THE SPOT.

I have no idea where this spot came from. Maybe it happened during one of our moves. I tried as hard as I could to get it out and no matter what I tried I just couldn’t get the spot out. So disappointing. I just shoved it in a drawer and left it there. I felt that it was ruined.

Then one day, years ago, I went through that drawer and found it again. This time I decided not to focus on the spot but on the beauty of the quilt and proudly displayed it on the wall. After a while I didn’t even notice the spot. In fact, when others saw the quilt, the first thing they commented on was its unique pattern.

Fast forward . . . I am sending this quilt to the aforementioned family. Yeah I know it’s a pretty obvious metaphor for the situation they’re in but more importantly, this quilt symbolizes so many things for me. It’s a memory of that difficult time when Justin was a preemie. It’s also taught me a beautiful lesson about not focusing so much on the things that are ‘wrong’ but to focus on its beauty.

I hope this gift isn’t misunderstood. I don’t think it will be. In fact, I know it won’t.

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