On August 22, 2016 Sherry Bailey lost her battle with leukemia. Many grieved the passing of this wonderful wife, mother, and friend. Long-time friend, Cindy Lentz, struggled with losing her “BFF” of 42 years. She decided to channel her grief into something positive to honor Sherry’s life and provide comfort to children in the hospital.
Lentz started a project called “Hugs from Heaven” to provide soft fleece blankets to any child staying at Medical Arts Hospital. She and her granddaughters along with others make each blanket by hand with love and remembrance. Lentz recently delivered the first round of 20 blankets and plans to provide Christmas printed blankets to brighten the holidays. Each blanket has an attached note telling about the Hugs from Heaven mission. “We are humbled to receive this beautiful tribute and precious gift on behalf of our patients,” says Melissa Matlock, Communications Director at Medical Arts Hospital.
Cindy was inspired to make these blankets because they reminded her of Sherry and their time together. Lentz reports that in the last years of Sherry’s life she was always cold. She had a blanket with her most of the time and Cindy carried a blanket in her car just for her friend. This blanket is still in her vehicle. Lentz doesn’t have the heart to remove it.
Cindy plans to make approximately 50 blankets each year for the children at Medical Arts Hospital. In addition to Lamesa, Hugs from Heaven blankets will also be sent to Sherry’s children, Dru and John Lane, to share with children in their home towns each year on Sherry’s birthday, August 16th. “I just might make myself one so that I have a hug when I am missing Sherry,” say Lentz.
Hugs from Heaven has been blessed by many people who made blankets and have donated fleece fabric for the project. A Facebook page has been set up for those who would like to learn about this project. Search Facebook for hugsfromheaven2016. This page also features parent submitted photos of children with their Hugs from Heaven blanket.