Sunday, July 17, 2011

Like a Patchwork Quilt

A beautiful song, one of my all-time favorites, is running through my head this morning – Sweet Honey in the Rock’s Patchwork Quilt. It’s about the AIDS quilt, and I’ve never once listened to it without a tear in my eye. I wish I could find a link to stream it for you.
My heart spills over, flowing with tears.
I cry for your suffering and for your shortened years.
Critter has been asking to make a quilt out of S’s t-shirts. I’ve been stalling, just couldn’t muster the energy. For whatever reason, I woke up at 6:00 this morning ready to do it. I wasn’t even sure where the shirts were, so it took some digging. By 7:30, we were unpacking the box on the family room floor when something entirely unexpected happened.

Our increasingly cranky 12-year-old mutt, Zoe, immediately came over to the pile of shirts and sat on it, whining. She nuzzled her nose into the shirts then put her paws on me over and over, like she wanted me to do something. It was heartbreaking.

As I start this project, I’m thinking of my middle school sewing teacher, Mrs. Pennypacker. I have no idea how old she was at the time, but I do know that her husband died while I was in her class, and that he was too young to die. She talked about it when she returned to school. She wore his ring on a chain around her neck. She told us that the doctor had prescribed sleeping pills, but they turned out to be placebos. I had to look up the word.  She was probably the first young widow in my life, and I watched as her life went on.

And now I send her blessings, wherever she is, as I use the skills she taught me to sew together some memories for my daughter.
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