The 2nd PSI Traveling Memory Quilt is in the Making
by Donna C. Kreuzer, PPHA Board Member
By July 15, 2017, the 2nd PSI (Postpartum Support International) Traveling Memory Quilt will be complete and making its debut at the 30th PSI Annual Conference, July 14-15, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA. What a beautiful, meaningful, tangible way to honor the many lives lost to Perinatal Mood Disorders across our nation.
The reason this quilt “is in the making” is because the demand of the 1st PSI Traveling Memory Quilt has become so high! The original quilt is available to be on display by any organization dealing with Maternal Mental Health & Wellness for conferences, conventions, meetings, and special events. Since mid 2006, this quilt has made innumerable trips East to West, North to South, and several more in between around our nation. At each event, heartfelt thanks are expressed for honoring and remembering all those names on the quilt, and sadly, as well as the many that are not, but none are ever forgotten. Because of the notoriety and demand it brings, the logistics of getting it to the next destination have become problematic. However, the completion of the 2nd quilt will definitely aid in relief of this dilemma we have had to face in the past.
I had requested that the beautiful and very touching quilt be featured at our inaugural event of May is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month in Texas, April 29, 2016, at our state Capitol! It was stunning to say the least, front and center for all to see, reflect, honor and memorialize the brave, young lives we have lost to the devastating Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders. Everywhere this gorgeous quilt travels, it seems to provoke deep thought, and is a serious reminder that we still have so much work to be done in effort to bringing more awareness and a cure to Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, Psychosis, and yes, Death.
Having lost my one and only incredible child to this debilitating disorder, I have made it my mission to work towards bringing more awareness to PPD/PMADs and trying my best to help others who have been in my daughter’s shoes and mine, as a Mother, grieving for the loss of our very own flesh and blood. In my passionate efforts, I accepted the challenge, lovingly bestowed upon me by Postpartum Support International, to become the Chairperson for the 2nd PSI Traveling Memory Quilt back in September 2016. Initially, I had great desires to make my daughter’s loving heart for the 2nd quilt, but had not sewn for several decades. As I thought more and more about this “new venture”, it became apparent that I not only wanted to make my daughter’s beautiful honor heart, but that I wanted to make as much of this quilt as I possibly could. I became emotionally involved with each name we were successfully receiving permission to embroider on the hearts for the 2nd quilt, so I took a private lesson from an excellent quilter, and it was with her confidence in me and my ability, both driven by my strong passion, that I have completed the 38 hearts for the new quilt. What an amazing journey it was for me!
With every stitch, I had my most loving, beloved daughter, my beloved Mother (who was an excellent seamstress), and my beloved doggie (who was my constant shadow) in my heart and thoughts as I excitedly appliquéd and finished ALL 38 hearts! I thank PSI so often for giving me this opportunity because it has been very therapeutic, as each stitch is infused with love and I have been honored in doing so. I am truly humbled and grateful.
Postpartum Support International and I have been searching for names and permission for all 38 hearts for our new quilt. We still have several hearts available to honor a loved one(s) who unfortunately lost their battle to this most horrific disorder. If anyone would like to have the name of a loved one on this new quilt, please do not hesitate to contact me, Donna C. Kreuzer, by phone 713-854-4047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are children/or other family members who unfortunately lost their lives as well, we would also love to honor them. There is no fee involved, but we do need permission from the next of kin to have the name(s) on the quilt. We will continue taking names even after this quilt is completely constructed, as my professional quilter will be able to embroider additional names on the quilt at a later date.
I urge anyone who has been affected by PMADs to please join in on the fight to bring more awareness and an end to this horrid condition that so many beautiful mothers so needlessly and sometimes tragically suffer from during the most important part of their lives. Be a champion for your wife, your daughter, your friend, your sister, your niece, your cousin, your loved one, so that they can be AND enjoy, the beautiful role of “Mommy”….they deserve our support and undying love!
Thank you for all that you do for the continuation of “the circle of life”.