Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)
TITLE: My Mother's Love Quilt
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My heart constricted tightly in my chest as a wave of longing for her swept through my heart. Longing to hold her hand one more time. Longing to sit at her feet and listen to her wisdom. I would have given anything in that moment, surrounded by the quietness of my home, to be with my mother just one more time!
My eyes swept over the living room and finally came to rest on the one object I knew would make me feel as close to my mother as anything ever could. It was her quilt. She made this quilt when I was just a child. It was her “love quilt” as she used to call it. Picking it up, I held it close to my face and inhaled slowly. Ahhh… it smelled just like her.
It was a unique quilt, or as Mama used to proudly say, “a quilt like non-other.” To the observer, Mama’s quilt wasn’t something that would have won prizes at the county fair, nor was it something one might proudly display in any formal setting. However, for Mama, this quilt was priceless.
Sitting down in my rocker, I rapped myself in my mother’s quilt and remembered the very first time she explained its significance to me and to my sister. It had been a rainy day and we had rushed inside after getting off the school bus - both of us quite wet. Mama had greeted us at the door with a smile and steaming mugs of hot coco.
We were huddled up around the fire, drinking our hot coco when Mama said, “Stay right there girls. I have something very special to show you!” My sister and I watched in some confusion, as Mama brought out what seemed to be an odd assortment of material all in various shades of red. Sitting down, she spread it out across her lap and we were amazed to see that each odd, funny little shape had been sewn into a great quilt.
Smiling, she explained, “You see girls, this is my love quilt. All of the crazy patterns and designs you see sewn together represent something so valuable to my life.” Pointing to a rather velvety looking patch, I asked, “What does this one mean Mama.” She laughed and said, “Well darling, that piece came from a dress I wore when your father and I went on our first date. It was Christmas and we were so in love.” Winking at us, she pointed to a silky piece and said, “And this one came from a dress I wore on our honeymoon. That was the night your daddy promised me that our love would never die.”
Pointing to a very soft reddish, pink patch, my sister asked, “What about this one Mama.” “Now this one is very special.” Hugging my sister close, she said, “This was the blanket I wrapped you in when you were born.” She then proceeded to show us the various pieces of blanket, baby clothes, and ribbons that we had worn as children. As we sipped the last of our coco, Mama stood up and wrapped the quilt around us and said, “Girls, no matter what life brings you, always know, you are wrapped in the warmth of my love - and that love will never die!”
Slipping back into the present, I realized tears were coursing down my checks as I remembered that moment so long ago. Yes, this quilt, filled with so many precious memories represented something so invaluable. Now I understood that though this body might grow old and wither away, love never dies! Wrapping myself in the warmth of my mothers “love quilt,” I whispered, “You were right Mama… you were right.”
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