Courtesy Dean Bartel
One Saturday night I saw a baby quilt sell for about what it was worth. Each year the Lost Creek Methodist Church has its annual men’s barbecue dinner, followed by a quilt sale to raise money for mission projects. Several quilts were on display that evening, but the baby quilt at the end of the lineup caught my eye.
The auction began after dinner. As the auctioneer sold one after the other, I kept my eye on that baby quilt, because I knew the story behind it. I wondered if the quilt would be the last one up on the auction block. Sure enough, it was. A parishioner held it up for everyone to see, and a woman in the audience stood up to speak.
“It’s going to bring tears to my eyes, but you need to know about this quilt,” she said. “You see, the woman who made it, Mrs. White, brought this quilt in several weeks ago, just before she was scheduled for a major operation to remove a cancer from the upper half of her right lung. The doctor told her she had as much of a chance to survive the operation as she did if she jumped off a three-story building. She told me she wanted to donate the quilt for the auction regardless of the outcome of her surgery.”
I looked around at the crowd and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. That’s when I saw her. The very woman who donated the baby quilt was there that evening through inspiring faith, prayer and positive thinking. Mildred White, whom I have known for many years, was just as pretty, joyous, and full of life as ever!
The bidding began at $25. It wasn’t much of a start, but soon the bidding picked up in $25 increments. The auctioneer spoke in a blaze of syllables, and as the bidding reached $500, I glanced at Mrs. White to see her look of surprise. This gracious woman who loved babies could hardly believe what was happening.
At $750, the bids began to dwindle a little, and soon the competition narrowed to just two buyers. Finally, the auctioneer brought his gavel down. “Sold for $825 to the young couple in the front row!” he bellowed. The crowd cheered, and Mrs. White was thrilled that her beautiful quilt received one of the highest bids of the evening. Later, I spoke to the winning couple. They told me they had come to buy Mrs. White’s quilt and were prepared to pay much more if necessary.
Mrs. White and the dear friend who brought her that evening left with big smiles on their faces. She is a sweet lady with unwavering love for God, life and her church. She still falls in love with every baby she sees and continues to quilt for the Lost Creek Methodist Church fundraiser.
Story by Dean Bartel