Fluffy cotton caresses my face as I lie with my tear-filled eyes against my blankets. I am laying on my bed, alone in my dark, damp room. The only noise that is made is the tiny echoes of my soft whimpers. Tears stream slowly down my droopy face as my thoughts continue to be only of the news I had just received. Down to my stomach my heart sank as my friend, Amy, informed me of my best friend’s suicide. I was absolutely devastated and heart broken.
Throughout my life I have only been able to resort to one comfort when my life seems to take a sharp turn and leaves me stranded, my baby blankets. When I am alone and sad, I gather up each of my blankets and cuddle with them. As soon as I have them in the grasp of my tiny hands, I am at peace.
From the moment I was born, I received my first baby blanket. My grandma had embroidered the brilliant colors into the soft cloth and wrapped the blanket gently around my petite body. She had picked a design made of Disney characters that seemed to dance right off of the cotton. As I began to grow, I carried my “blankie” with me everywhere. If I went, my blanket went too. At night, if I did not have my blanket, I could not sleep. It became an essential part of me because it was from my grandma.
My grandma and I have always been very close. When I was almost about four years old, my family decided to pack up our things and move from Omaha to Sioux Falls, tearing me from the grandmother I loved so dearly. I cried each time I would have to leave the loving arms of my grandmother and travel back to Sioux Falls. On my fourth birthday I was completely surprised with a new, handmade blanket from my grandma. A huge smile grew quickly across my face as she handed me the beautiful gift. I took the white, soft blanket and held it tightly against face. As I embraced the new “blankie,” I breathed in the scent of my sweet grandmother. At that moment, I knew this blanket would be my most treasured possession. Not only because it was from her, but for the simple fact that I could feel closer to her now even though we were apart. Each time I held my blankets near, I thought how much I missed being near her; however, the blankets also helped me to feel close to her at the same time.
As I grew older, I decided that I wanted another blanket. I informed my grandmother of this, and being the loving grandma that she is, made me a third blanket for my eighth birthday. I remember opening gifts that day and tearing quickly through every present in order to find it. At last, I came upon a rectangular shaped box wrapped in blue wrapping paper. Impatiently, I tore the wrapping paper off the box and started to open it. Lying inside was a neatly folded baby blue blanket. As I pressed it against my face, I wondered if anything I had felt before had been softer.
Even though I grew older, my baby blankets still went with me everywhere. When my family and I traveled, my blankets would go with me and they started to pick up scents of the places we had been. I cuddled them close and inhaled the fresh scents. Just like when I was younger, I could not sleep without them. I longed to have them close to me; they became my security and comfort from the moment I was born. As I would hold them close to me, I soon became at peace. All my worries and thoughts disappeared in thin air and I could gently close my eyes and begin to dream.
My blankets have seen eighteen years worth of happiness, tears, and anger. Even now, I find comfort in them. This Thanksgiving break was my second time home since starting college; my blankies of course, made the trip with me. Denver to Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls to Omaha, Phoenix, and back to Denver again, my childhood companions were as dependable as ever. My family, noticing the stowaways, had a few good laughs. To them, they were mere scraps of fabric, reminders of a silly little girl snuggled up for a nap. When I arrived in Phoenix, I was excited to get some rest and recover after being sick before the break. Unzipping my suitcase, panic ensued when my blankies were not to be found. After a frightening phone call to my grandma, their presence was confirmed in Omaha. I was so relieved that they were not gone forever! As soon as I arrived back in Colorado, I picked up a box at the mailroom. My wonderful grandmother had them rush delivered. Even though my roommates gave me a hard time, I was so relieved.
Besides making the trip to college with me, the blankies had traveled far and wide. This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel all throughout Europe with a choir group. Through England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Germany, and they were right by my side. So many memories from that trip and other trips are implanted on those blankies. Perhaps that is why they have continued to be so special to me. So many experiences travel with them, and a part of me relives those experiences every time I pick them up.
Along with feeling closer to home when I hold my blankies, I also feel more intimately connected with God. So far this year I have really struggled being away from home. I miss my family and all my friends more then I ever imagined. Sometimes at night, I will walk into my room and lie down on my bed and start crying. The soft cotton of each blanket absorbs my soft whimpers as I lie there in tears. As I snuggle them against my wet face, I feel a soothing presence come over me. I am in God’s presence now. He gently whispers his promises of love to me as he wipes each glistening tear from my eyes. The blankets that I love so dearly have become a constant reminder to me that no matter where I go, God will always be with me no matter what. As closely as I cling to my blankies, I am comforted to know that God holds me even closer. Being here at school and far from home has become one of the biggest challenges, but God has a plan that is beyond my understanding and comprehension. I am so glad that he has blessed me with a loving grandma who has created such strong companions for me to carry. Little does she know how much those scraps of cloth have helped me and what an impression she has made on my life.
I am wrapped in the sweet embrace of God’s love and her love when I am snuggled tightly in the warmth of my blankies. Overflowing with love, his presence consumes me. When I am cuddled in them, I am surrounded by thoughts of home and of love. They may appear to be only fabric to some, but to me, my blankies are my escape and comfort. Wherever I may go, I am secure and reminded that God and my family is with me through the softness in every fiber of my blankets. Even if my blankies were to turn into little square pieces of colored fabric, I would still cherish them just as much. I am comforted to know that when my grandma is no longer here, I will always hold a piece of her tightly in my arms.