It's my birthday today!
I am celebrating by making a block for the 70273 Project. Have you heard about that already?
It's a huge undertaking by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers to commemorate the lives of the physically and mentally disabled people murdered in 1940-41. You can read more about the project here. She is collecting blocks and quilts to create a display that will travel internationally.
I worked for many years with differently abled adults and wanted to contribute in my own small way to this project.
My block is being made in memory of a little boy who was born in 1974 with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. It was thought that he would likely not survive after he was born, but remarkably he lived for 35 years. He was one of the first babysitting jobs I had, and certainly my most challenging job due to his special needs. He taught me so much about the challenges that some people endure. He was my teacher, my "ring bearer", and my dear friend.
I'm sending this block to be a small part of the 70273 Project in memory of my friend David, who was considered "disabled" by the world, and had he lived in Germany in 1940 he would most certainly have received the dreaded XX. But this fragile boy grew up to be an inspiring man who knew how to fully love others, how to be a true friend... and without fail, he remembered to call me every year on my birthday. I will miss that call again this year.
If you feel inclined to make a block for this project, perhaps in memory of someone who is/was not a perfect human specimen and suffered from physical or mental illness, the details are here. Thank you to Jeanne for undertaking this huge project which reminds us of the value of differently abled people, with the hope that we do not repeat the atrocities of generations past.