[dropcap]I[/dropcap] once knew a woman who used to give away quilts each Christmas. Many of which should hang displayed on a wall, instead of in a closet.

She quilted every damn day. And in case you don’t know, quilting isn’t sewing, it’s geometric painting with fabric.

I have four of her blankets. One is a bear-claw-pattern, which has topped my bed since I was five. It took her one year to finish. I’d sell my house before I parted with that faded thing.

The year we lost Daddy, only a few months before Christmas, she quit quilting. And she gave up more than just her loom. That poor woman misplaced her confidence, self esteem, and surety. And you don’t get things like that back.

That Christmas, she laid in bed the whole day. I made cupcakes, which was all I knew how to make. I brought one to her. She thanked me, but wasn’t hungry. Other Christmases she did her best pretending to be festive, but Mother wasn’t fooling anyone. Her face wasn’t in it, neither were her eyes.


I’m pleased to tell you that things are different now. This year, she has a fine Alabamian gentleman who baked her a cake, just yesterday. Chocolate. After eating, I sang to her. She waited for me to finish, her hands resting in her lap. It was then that I noticed something in the basket next to her sofa. Mismatched fabric swatches and a wood hoop frame.

She’s quilting again.

As she damned well should be.

Happy birthday, Mother.