Randy Van Zalen
The story behind this quilt block all started on September 12, 2005 when my younger brother Randy Van Zalen, who was a residential builder, fell at the construction site and suffered a closed head injury. He was working in Greenville and was taken by helicopter to Spectrum Health downtown Grand Rapids. He was put on life support but never regained consciousness. He was left on life support for 5 days while the family came to begin to understand the irreversible reality of his injury. At that time Gift of Life came in and talked to us about organ donation. It took awhile for everyone to get to that point, but then it became clear that to our family that our loss could really impact a lot of other peoples lives, so the decision was made. When I found out that Gift of Life had quilts that travel to promote organ donation and also to honor those who have died, I wanted to do that in memory and honor of my brother. The hammer,saw and nails represent Randy's work as a builder. The gun and deer represent his love of nature and hunting and the cross represents his love for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The verse was in a card that his wife received and they truly describe the kind of man my brother was. His life touched many others and his death continues to do the same.