Last Thursday, two ladies drove one hour to surprise Daisy Wilson, but they received the surprise themselves. Cheryl Hart and Brenda Tanner attend Smyrna Baptist Church in Deepstep, Ga. The ladies of the church formed a ministry called "Quilts of Honor," in which they make memorial quilts and present to families of soldiers killed in the war with Iraq.
"(Mrs. Wilson) had such a happy spirit about her. She was tickled and laughed when we said we were from Deepstep, and that tickled us so. She had such good memories of her son," Mrs. Hart said.
From left, Daisy Wilson, Susan Milton, Cheryl Hart, Brenda Tanner and Kell Tanner pose for a picture with the quilt memorializing CSM Jerry L. Wilson.
Photo by Lynn Davidson
Mrs. Wilson's son, Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Wilson, was killed in November, 2003 while fighting in the war in Iraq. Command Sgt. Maj. Wilson's sister, Susan Milton, was with her mother when the ladies brought the quilt.
"It's a wonderful idea," Mrs. Milton said. "People are so supportive. We are still being blessed that people still haven't forgotten us. They are helping us keep his memory."
While they visited, Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Tanner both talked to Mrs. Wilson, asking her questions about her son. Mrs. Wilson showed them photos, and told them of the many ways people have expressed their sympathies and comforted her since his death. Mrs. Wilson discussed verses of scripture and books which the visiting ladies recognized, strengthening their connection of being there.
"It just did something to me to know that somebody is that concerned," Mrs. Wilson said.
Mrs. Tanner said the quilt ministry started when her sister read of a similar ministry in a 2003 issue of The Ladies Home Journal. She said 12 ladies in the church began in June, meeting weekly to sew.
"We meet on Mondays, take a potato and stick it in the oven, and sew," Mrs. Tanner said.
The ladies said it takes the group two workdays to complete one quilt. The group has made eight quilts for families of fallen soldiers from Georgia. Mrs. Wilson's quilt has patriotic colors, with two white squares bearing Command Sgt. Maj. Wilson's name, rank, and the unit in which he served. Mrs. Wilson said she is going to hang the quilt on a wall in her home.
Mrs. Tanner said finding the names of the soldiers and locating their families is the most difficult part of the mission. She said at first they tried contacting officials of various cities, "but they were rude, so we got frustrated. Then we just started looking on the internet. We know it was God helping us, because things would just pop up and we would just find them."
"The Thomson City officials were very cordial, though," Mrs. Hart said. "We do not want to invade anybody's privacy. ...We're going to see (the quilt ministry) through until the end of this war, so it'll be an ongoing project. We're being more blessed by it than they are."
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