There are times in life when we just want to wrap ourselves in a warm blanket. When facing breast cancer, Cindy Turner was able to do just that thanks to the handiwork of her sister Sylvia Whitesides.
Cindy is a breast cancer survivor. Just after she finished her first chemotherapy treatment her sister came to visit her in Van Buren. Wrapped up in paper was a lap quilt called Circles of Love. In the middle of the circles, family and friends had written messages of encouragement.
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength," Phillipians 4:13.
"Every time you wrap yourself in this quilt may you feel God's presence, love and healing power. We love you,"
Cindy was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2013. After surgery, she underwent 4 rounds of chemotherapy and 33 days of radiation treatment. She finished with all treatments in February 2014.
Cindy, and her husband Delbert, have 4 children and 11 grandchildren. She remembers being worried about her first chemotherapy treatment, but thinking after it was over, "I felt like I could do it."
As she continues to talk, tears come to her eyes, those of a grandmother.
"I carried my grandchildren's pictures with me during all my treatments. It gave me a reason to get through all of it. God helps you get through, your faith. And your family gives you love and support."
Which brings us back to the quilt and the messages of encouragement that are spread throughout the fabric.
"When the need is great, God's grace is greater! We love you."
"Before I did my surgery, I had an e-mail prayer list so I could let people know how my surgery went, what was going on. It was an easy way to let family and friends know what was happening,' Cindy said.
Obviously her sister was on that list. When she made the quilt, she sent emails to those family members and friends and it is their words of encouragement that are now forever etched on the quilt.
Cindy remembers feeling overwhelmed, in a good way, when she first saw all those words, love really, from family and friends.
"It was very touching to receive. It was very comforting to have it. I could go back and read what people had written," she said.
Her sister gave her the pen and Cindy has had others add their words, most of whom are the nurses who helped her through the treatments.
Now, Cindy wants to share these Circles of Love. Currently the quilt it on display at the office of Gilead Ministries, 212 N. Baldwin Ave., Marion.
"I just wanted to share it with others and show how important it is to reach out to people whether it is a card, phone calls, help. I hope it inspires people to do some gesture," she said.
If the Circles of Love quilt inspires you to reach out and help someone in need, no matter the act, let us know by dropping an email at email@example.com.