‘The tapestry is held together by love’

When I was growing up, my grandmother lived a short distance from our house. From her kitchen, she dispensed milk, cookies, fried apple pies, advice, wisdom and love. I was not the only grandchild so favored, my grandmother distributed everything evenly whether it be shiny coins to buy penny candy or milk and cookies served on her back porch.

My grandmother believed you could tell a lot about a woman by her handwork, especially if you looked on the wrong side. Grandma was proud of her crocheting, tatted lace and hand-hooked scattered rugs. There was no right or wrong side to grandma’s work. Any item was perfect any way you looked at them.

To a child, grandma’s sewing box was like a treasure chest: neat rows or brightly colored spools, glass headed pins and very small scissors in a tiny leather case. Best of all was the button jar filled with blue wooden flowers, sparking rhinestone buttons and lots of Mother-of-pearl buttons. Most of the buttons were cut from clothing to worn to wear…Grandma never wasted anything.

As a little girl, I thought my grandma could make anything. She was a stern woman expecting good behavior from her grandchildren, especially the boys. However, if I needed a new blouse or skirt, all I had to do was tell her and in a few days the skirt or blouse would appear with grandma smiling as if it was nothing.

Grandma died many years ago, but I still can close my eyes and in a flash, my mind will take me back to her house on the lane. A few months before her death, she called me to her bedside. She wanted to give me something from a small box next to her bedside filled with pieces of her handwork neatly folded in stacks. She selected yellow linen handkerchief edged with lace. The handkerchief held together with one green thread stitched in the middle so that it could not be opened fully. She told me she loved me and did not want me to worry about her. She knew her time on Earth was soon to end. She was not afraid to die.

That was the last time I saw my grandmother alive. Many weeks after her death, I cut the stitch holding the hanky together. Inside I found a ten dollar bill with a note that said “I love you.”

Memories are like golden threads woven in the tapestry of a family’s life. The tapestry is held together even though some of the threads are missing. The tapestry is held together by love of the remaining threads woven strong and binding.

My quote for today: our loving thoughts for persons close and far away always reach their destination.

Mildred Higgins