Chasing Contentment

Tuesday, December 13

I've been thinking about my grandmother a lot lately. Something about the holidays sparks those thoughts, I suppose. I spent the first 33 years of my life with four healthy grandparents (something I didn't realize was unusual until I met my husband when I was 22). Then, I lost two grandparents within 18 months of one another, and some days, I'm still surprised by their loss.

My Gran was this delightful little Southern lady. She wore pearls but only on special occasions (I have those pearls now.). She made her own hot fudge sauce, and she grew her own garden. She worked her entire life, retiring from two separate jobs. She reared three wildly different children, and she always appeared to be very much in love with her husband.

She died a few months after our Eliza was born, and I hate it that Eliza won't get to know Gran. They would have loved one another... two equally independent little women, full of life and fire and love.

Gran began quilting in the last few years of her life, and I have the distinction of having been given more of her quilts than anyone else in the family. Griff's was one of the first she made, and it arrived on my doorstep as a surprise. Packaged in a medical product box and secured with duct tape, there was no note. There was simply this beautiful little boy quilt with an inscription of sorts on the back.

As a college student, I loved to get letters from Gran. She always typed her letters, and she typed really badly. She also wrote in a very stream of consciousness style, and so my friends also loved to read Gran's letters because they were always genuine and funny.

When she made a quilt, she would type - badly, of course - an inscription and sew it into the back of the quilt with a message from her and the date. Those are precious beyond words... on all four of my quilts - one for Griff, one for Eliza (the great-granddaughter she never met), and two for me.

We were at the home of some friends recently, and I was noticing a beautiful quilt hanging on the wall. My Gran would be so unhappy with me if she thought her hand-made quilts were on my wall and not on my bed.

It was only after her death that I began to actually use her quilts. And I know that the kids and the dog will get the quilt on my bed dirty and messy, but that's exactly what Gran would have wanted for it. She would have wanted us to live with it, and so we do. And I get this feeling of lying underneath love.

On nights when I wake up and can't get back to sleep or nights when I'm sick or when I'm worried, there's something comforting about lying beneath that quilt and thinking that I'm literally wrapped in love.

[  posted by Chel on Tuesday, December 13, 2005  ]


Oh Chel- that's such a sweet story... you almost made me cry!

May God richly Bless you with plenty of joy, even in memories of your departed loved ones this holiday season.

By Blogger Stephanie, at 2:14 PM  

i did not realize we had this in common. After all these years of being friends, I just found this out. I, too, have my grandma's quilts and love them. The last one she made was for Todd, right before she died! It is neat to learn something new about someone even after knowing them most of my life!
Lee Ann

By Anonymous Lee Ann, at 8:13 AM  

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