When I graduated from college I received a homemade gift...
A Yellow Quilt
It was already special to me because it was hand made by someone who meant a lot to me...
My Dad's Mother.
It was made even more special by the fact that she made it for my Dad and Stepmother to give to me. I remember meeting at Jeff's parent's house after graduation to have a small graduation party with our families. While sitting in the den, my Dad brought the quilt in and spread it out on the floor. I could have never known at the time what that quilt would come to mean to our family.
We folded it up and packed it with our other things to return to our home...a home that we were renting, but still felt like it belonged to us. It immediately became part of our lives. On cold winter nights, it became our extra blanket. When the nieces and nephews came to visit, it made a wonderful picnic area. It was a perfect companion on those cozy days in the chair with my favorite book and nothing but time on my hands.
When we moved to our next rent home, it went with us. It covered our extra bed and welcomed guests to our home. Finally, when we bought
our first home, it was there. When Jeff and I were so anxious to spend our first night in our new home that we spread blankets on the floor so we would have a place to sleep, yellow blanket was there.
When the joy of our first expected child came, so did the nausea and exhaustion. I spent many hours on our couch with yellow blanket trying to get past that "joy stealing" first trimester of my pregnancy. The joy did come...so did Madison. Within 3 years, we had our boys, Patrick and Carter, and a new home beside Jeff's parents. So many milestones...rolling over, pulling up to knees, crawling.....happened on yellow blanket after that. It was the first thing I would grab as I headed outside with my three babies to enjoy the first warm day of spring. The clean yellow surface of the blanket began to show strips of grass stains and circles of spit up stains. I was told that I should buy another blanket to use outside so I wouldn't ruin my good one. It never occurred to me to. I didn't.
I never will.
It has been through too much with us. It has served as a table for pizza on Friday nights followed by living room camp outs, in which it never failed to warm my children through the night. It has brought in every New Year with us as we spread it out for games and hotdogs cooked in the fireplace. It has been there for "Friday Night Bingo", every inch of it covered with bingo chips and dollar prizes. We've spilled everything on it from coke and paint water to egg dye and ketchup.
As I sprayed it with Spray N Wash yet another time before I washed it, I knew that the spots would still be there when I pulled it from the washer. I knew it before I ever spread it out on the kitchen floor and called the children in to dye eggs on it. I felt a little twinge of guilt for having not taken better care of my gift, made by my Grandmother's own hands. I didn't look at it as I moved it from the washer to the dryer. As I heard the dryer stop spinning, I ran to pull it out and spread it out on the floor to examine it. It didn't surprise me when I felt my heart jump for joy when I saw the egg dye stains still there....right beside the craft paint spots and the green strips of grass stain....concrete reminders of the times we have spent on yellow blanket.
More importantly, they are reminders of the time that we have spent together.
Did my Grandmother know this as she stitched the quilt together.
I think she did.