In this picture my mom is comforting my daughter. I don't know why the Princess has a sad face. Maybe she was overwhelmed. With six kids and all of that Santa loot, it was quite a scene!
I came across this picture in my computer folders this afternoon and was struck by the emotion in it and the emotion it evokes in me.
My mother lost her husband, my step-father Doug, only three days before this picture was taken. She was exhausted and sad, bittersweet at having all of her children and grandchildren for Christmas but so overwhelmed with family and emotion, decisions and planning.
When Doug was in the hospital, we took off his wedding ring before the medicines caused his fingers to swell. Mom slipped his ring on her own finger and has kept it on. You can see it here on her middle finger next to her own wedding band.
When I see this picture, I see the sweet, timeless moment of inhaling a child's hair. I spend many of these moments with this small girl every single day. I can't get enough of her. Seeing my mother enjoy the same thing is satisfying and comforting. I see the thick gold band of Doug's ring and think of the fifteen years that he was in our lives. The meals he cooked, the jokes he told, the trips he went on with us. The love he gave my mother and the attitude he gave her in the last couple of years when he began feeling so bad. The casual conversations he had with the people at the grocery store and the way he had of making you feel like you were the only person in the room.
I see the place that a handmade quilt takes in our homes and in our lives. It comforts and covers. I raced to complete this quilt for my mother so that I could leave her something to wrap around herself when I was unable to. It was a gift of my love to her, crafted in soft cotton, peaceful colors, and a simple pattern. There is part of me that wants to speak in the language of quilts.
The first quilt I made was for my first unborn child. He is sitting next to me right now at the healthy age of 8. The second quilt I made was for my adored older sister. It lives in the frozen Twin Cities and is a symbol of my gift of warmth and love to her so far away. I lose count but I made a quilt for my younger sister and she uses it to cover her lap when she's writing her novels. I get to be there in spirit while she creates those stories and follows her dreams!
So I speak in the language of quilts. I give you a quilt as a way of saying I love you THIS MUCH.
Extra Quilt Love for you quilters: Angela at Fussy Cut blogged about this similar notion and it really touched something with me. Thanks Angela! If you haven't checked out her blog yet, go for it. It's gorgeous.