More than just warmth.

March 22, 2009 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

I don’t put a lot of stock in material things.  I know that things can be taken away in an instant; after all, that was proven to me and my family in the 1991 tornado.  I have never had a hard time parting with clothes that don’t fit or items I no longer use.

I do have a few possessions that I cherish.  My books, for instance.  While I have no books of any value, they are all old friends that I revisit frequently.  Periodically I go through my books and sort a few out for donation to the library.  Deciding which books to donate is always a difficult decision, for who knows when I might have the urge to read the ones I donate again?

Among my treasures are quilts from my grandmothers.  Both my Grandma Ella and my Grandma Shirley have given me beautifully crafted quilts on different occasions.  Grandma Ella gave me my first quilt for Christmas when I was 15.  I had the quilt on my bed when the tornado hit our house four months later.  Miraculously, the quilt was still among the rubble of the house; the bed was completely gone.

Grandma Shirley gave me a quilt that she pieced together from blocks her mother (my great-grandmother) had made.  I use that quilt when watching movies.  She has also given me a couple of other beautiful quilts that she has done.

Alissa has also been the lucky recipient of quilts from both her great-grandmothers.  Grandma Shirley put together a custom quilt based on a Pottery Barn blanket I had seen in a catalog.  Grandma Ella gave Alissa a quilt that has the “Now I lay me down to sleep” poem embroidered on the front, with pink gingham backing.

That was the last quilt that I received from my Grandma Ella, at my baby shower in 2007.  Grandma died in October of 2008 after a prolonged sickness.  I was two months pregnant with this baby.  Grandma knew about her new great-grandchild, and she told my mom before she passed that she was sorry she didn’t have a quilt for the new baby.

I wish things could have been different, because I would love for our new little one to have a beautiful gift from her great-grandmother, just like Alissa has.  I know Grandma Shirley is making one for our new little girl, and I am overjoyed that she will have that.  And while I understand why Grandma Ella had to leave us, I wish things could have worked out differently. More than anything, I wish Grandma would have had the chance to meet her new great-grandchild.

But I will tell both my girls stories about Great-Grandma Ella.  How she loved her chickens.  How I loved her cooking at holidays.  How she loved desserts and her family and her cats.  How she seemed old to me even when I was young, but she always had funny stories to tell and loved to laugh.  How she demonstrated great strength in the face of great tragedy, as sickness took away her husband, a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandson.

Most of all, I will pull out the quilts that she gave us and show my girls the love she put into them.  My girls will know that they were molded not just by me, but by many generations of strong women on both sides of their family.  And if they ever get scared, or cold, or just need a good cuddle, they can wrap themselves in quilted love.

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Entry filed under: Life in general.

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