I just had a panic attack when I realized one day I might not have this quilt.
I’ve covered up with the same quilt for the better part of 20 years. I can’t remember exactly when I got it, it was in a bunch that my grandmother sent us, and I chose it. She made it, by hand, and it’s been my comfort and my go-to for most of my life.
I recently happened to notice that the seams holding two patches together had come undone. I don’t have the skill myself to repair it the right way. Thats when I realized that I will likely one day have to put it away.
“What in the world am I going to cover up with then?!” I thought. For a moment, I couldn’t comprehend that there were other blankets in the world. Ones I own already, ones I could buy.
This quilt isn’t perfect. It’s not fancy or expensive or costly. But it’s mine. It’s dried my tears, kept me warm, comforted me after bad dreams. It’s currently keeping both myself and my child warm. When I asked her, as I do every night, “What blanket do you want?” She didn’t want the monkey, a new addition from her grandmother, the Paw Patrol, Unicorn, or the white one. No. “Share yours, mommy.”
True love is sharing a blanket when all you want is to burrito yourself with it.
And this blanket has been through a lot on its own. Back and forth to college, moved with me when I got married, and then to our new house. I wanted to bring it to the hospital when I had my kiddo. But, I figured it would be cumbersome to bring home with an infant.
Once, when I’d left it home during college, I came home to find burn holes in the corner. You see, my cigarette smoking brother preferred to sleep in my bed, as opposed to walking the 5-10 extra feet to his own room. And one night he fell asleep with a cancer-stick and burned a hole in my beloved quilt.
To say I was upset would be an understatement.
But, I was glad that the patches were basically polyester (I think) and mostly just melted silver dollar sized places, instead of cotton, which might have done more damage. Also my brother lived, I guess.
So I was willing to let it go, and keep the holes as a reminder. But, sadly, the fabric backing had been wearing pretty thin for quite some time, and I already had trouble keeping my foot from going into a hole. It was so bad that the batting inside the quilt was falling apart. I often woke with my foot tangled.
So I begrudgingly took the quilt to my grandmother to repair. I had it in my head that she could just patch it. But as a grown adult with minimal experience with fabrics, I now know better. She ended up removing everything from the topper and replacing it. And not only was the backer a different fabric that the original but she’s trimmed out the burns!
But I was grateful not only that my quilt was back to useable condition and that my foot could no longer hibernate inside it, but that my almost 90 year old grandmother was not only willing but able to repair my treasured quilt.
While my quilt has held up pretty well (old-fashioned handmade craftsmanship) over the years, my grandmother, however, has not. For several years now, she has been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. I will not go into details, but I’m sure the perils and heartache of this terrible disease are wildly known. And to be honest, it’s been years since I’ve seen her. She’s gotten worse over those years, and I know that, if she were in a place for it to matter to her, she wouldn’t want our memories of her to be tainted by anything.
I dreamed of her last night, in her old house, just the way it was when we were little, the smells the food the stories. She was happy and doing what she did best (besides, sewing, gardening, spoiling her fat chihuahua) making sure we were fed and taken care of. Great, now I want cat head biscuits and gravy!
My quilt will always be important to me. Falling part or perfect condition. It’ll keep me warm, comfort me, and it’ll do the same for my girl. We will use it until it falls apart.
Who knows when that’ll be. But nothing will replace it.
Thanks for reading.