I have a quilt that my Mammaw made over 30 years ago. It is a patchwork of squares made from her dresses that had worn thin and threadbare. She sat many a night working on that quilt — each stitch sewn with love by hands that always worked so hard. It is certainly a treasure and heirloom to have such a gift now that she has passed to Heaven.
That quilt laid on my parent’s bed for at least 25 of those 30 years, keeping Momma and Daddy warm. Momma kept it there long after Daddy died — comforted by the love of Mammaw and her memories of Daddy. I can only imagine the security she must have felt underneath of it — after all, we kids were all grown and moved away and had families of our own. When Momma finally joined Daddy and her parents in Heaven, I became the owner of that beautiful quilt and all of its memories.
Sadly, that old quilt is threadbare like the dresses from which Mammaw fashioned it. I have it put away “for keeps” so that it will pass on to my child. I have asked around on how it might be mended, but have been assured that to mend it would take away from its original work…and so, it must stay tucked away.
This quilt conjures memories — it is a reminder of love. Each stitch into each square sweetly fashions images of a home that lives in my heart. The old folks are leaving us so quickly now — the church bells toll more frequently with their mournful songs of buried love. Each grave, each soul — it takes one of those stitches out of the quilt that is family. Then, as we age ever so quickly ourselves, we find that we are getting a bit threadbare here and there.
It is good that God gives us blankets of family — quilts sewn through the ages — kin and kindred. We are all unique like each square in that quilt Mammaw fashioned. We are blessed to have known such love…and loss. We grieve — then when the grieving is not so raw, we take that quilt and place it gently in a box so that the next generation will have a bit of fabric that was us.
I hope that as we journey into the coming holidays that we all will be thankful for God’s gifts of relationship and love. More importantly, I pray that Christ Jesus will fill your heart with His merciful love.