My mom has made all her kids and grandkids some sort of gifts from my dad’s jeans and plaid shirts—his uniform-of-choice for years. Several months ago, she mentioned getting rid of some of the remaining clothes she had kept, since she probably wouldn’t make many more quilts or other items out of them.
I realized she was the only one in the family who didn’t have something made from my dad’s things. So, I got crafty in more ways than one. She’s observant, and despite my efforts, I couldn’t sneak anything out of her house without her knowing. I waited until she’d be out of town, then let the neighbor know what I was up to, so he didn’t call the police (or her!). When I snuck in, I did nothing but get the material. No getting a drink, opening the frig, using the bathroom, walking through the house. I assumed she would notice. I got what I needed and left.
Then I got crafty with my supplies. It was a simple, quick project, but it took me a while. Other commitments seemed to overshadow my need to get the blanket done. I waited longer than usual to finish it. But when I did, I enjoyed it. It went smoothly. I stayed up late to wrap it up and wash and dry it to give it the final fluff.
In a way, I felt as if my dad was helping me with the gift for my mom. Not that he knew a thing about sewing. And he wouldn’t have been patient enough to cut squares or trim threads or cut tiny slits to create the frayed seams. In practical terms, he wouldn’t have been very helpful at all. Yet I felt as if he and I were in the process together. So many memories—not just my memories with him but the memories my mom has with him.
The blanket is not fancy at all. The seams aren’t perfect. The design is random. But it’s a reminder of the life they lived together. It’s years of outside chores and meals together. It’s projects and crises. It’s laughter and tears. It’s important stuff and stupid stuff. It’s adventures and routine.
It’s snippets of life.