It was very late, the Oklahoma Symphony played its song. The crickets chattered in rhythm with the hoot of the owl. The deep, loud croaking of the bull frog puts his emphasis like the sound of the tympanum drum.
As I sat on the porch gazing into the clear, dark star studded sky, a falling star passed before me. My eyes lowered. The prairie was ecstatically alive with light flashes from the lightening bugs. I felt like a speck of sand but I realized how rich and full my life has been. It was chilly. I wrapped a small homemade quilt about me. My mind wandered to bygone days. I, like this quilt was getting older. The top was still beautiful even with its tattered edges and its jaded beneath, showing its wear.
I closed my eyes as I pulled the quilt closer. I had been 15 years old when I went to my first quilting bee with my mother-in-law. I sensed the feeling of delight I felt when I sat down around the lowered quilting wrack and watched the ladies hands whip the loops of thread in and out with such amazing speed. All eyes had turned on me when Mom touched my hands and quietly said, “Let me show you how.” It was then I realized my beautiful wedding ring quilt had been made by these ladies. It has long been a cherished gift.
Some nights we sat around the table cutting quilt blocks out of old clothes. The zippers and buttons had been removed. I couldn’t help but think “Why put new wine in old skins,” but we had to. Quilts were made out of necessity.
Since those bygone days I have made a quilt for each of my seven children. What was done because of necessity is now a fashion of beauty made skillfully with new material and love.
My mind reminisced to my Jo Jo. Her passion for quilting far surpassed mine. She made quilts for “ALL” her children. Every time they visited, much of our time was spent cutting squares for her next quilt or sewing what she had cut out. She picked up on the block quilting because it was much easier to transport her projects of love to my house for her visits. Nine year old Kala joined our circle. Her blocks were distinctive. Jo Jo’s protégée?
Every quilt has a story to tell. Love, patience and a certain frustration is woven into each. The poem “The Master Weaver” comes to mind.
“Sometimes a strand of sorrow,
is added to His plan,
and though it’s difficult for us,
we still must understand.”
A tragic accident caused serious injury to Jo Jo’s neck. Due to there only being a 50/50 chance she wouldn’t be paralyzed the surgical team kept trying to find another option since she was only 37 years old. The opportunity passed for medical intervention. She died in her sleep, her Comforter was there.
Her life’s heart break came from not being able to have children. “All” her children, the children she mothered were nieces, nephews and any child that was in need of love. There are no words to explain the pain one suffers with such a loss. But, Jo Jo lives forever in our hearts while we wrap her quilts of love around us and snuggle deep into the memories we each cherish. She did what no one else could. She wove living memories into the warmth of the comforters she left for us.
“We may not always see,
just how the weavings intertwine,
but we must trust the Master’s hand,
and follow His design.”
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