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VIRGINIA TECH: Hugs for My Hokie Daughter, One Year Later

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A year ago, today, the first thing in the morning, (PST) I turned on my laptop to discover that there were nearly a dozen students dead at my daughter’s school, Virginia Tech. I immediately called her cell, which went to voice mail.

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During the next two-and-a-half hours, as the death toll slowly rose, I had the opportunity to do some of the deepest spiritual work of my life. I had to bring myself to the place, rich in faith, belief and understanding, that my daughter was absolutely OK—whether she was still the possessor of a body, or not.


A foundation for my journey had been built by previous family deaths, a strong, quantum, spiritual perspective, and a personal near death experience. Still, it took an energetic dance to move myself to that place of serenity. But I got there.


Nevertheless, it was a relief to get her return call. She had been in class on the other side of the campus. They had known little of the news that was stunning the world, until the text messages started coming in.


As a Californian, too far from my daughter for a hug, I jumped into making her a Hokie Comfort quilt. Then I made a quilted wallhanging for the school, with images of hands reaching out in comfort, sprinkled with hearts to represent the love being poured out to the school.


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Both quilts were on exhibit at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City two weeks later, as a way to raise awareness for the Hokie Memorial Fund. [1] Currently, the Hugs for Hokies segment which shows these quilts is airing on Quilters TV. [2]


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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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