By Cathy Novakovich
It was such an exciting time of the year, for me especially. Christmas was just around the corner, the signs of which were already appearing at the malls, and my baby shower was just a week away. Mom was worried about how many people would actually come, considering Christmas was so close. She had worked so hard on planning the perfect baby shower for her first grandchild. She was so tickled, I laughed just watching her trip all over herself planning it.
She had really hoped I would find out the gender of the baby so she could have a pink or blue shower, whichever was applicable. She also wanted to include that tidbit of information within the invitations; at both of her showers she had received a lot of boy items, and of course, she had had two girls.
I knew Mom had gone over her budget on the shower, especially with Christmas right around the corner. I made her promise that she would not buy a shower gift in addition to all she had done. I was worried about the money, but I also had another reason. I had not found out if it would be a boy or a girl, and I wanted Mom to be the one to pick out the special "coming-home outfit" for my child.
December nineteenth, what a day it had been! I will never forget that day or that date. I felt like I had been opening presents for hours, and what wonderful presents I had received. The generosity of my family and friends overwhelmed me. As I replaced the top of the box on what I thought was the last gift, I was handed one more. I hadn't seen that one. Where had it been? It wasn't wrapped with traditional baby shower paper; it was wrapped with beautiful Christmas paper adorned with angels singing hymns, the words written in gold so delicately on the paper. There was no gift tag attached, but there was a Christmas card. "To my daughter . . . ," it read. Mom had promised not to buy a shower gift, but I had said nothing about a Christmas gift! I gave her one of those "I'm going to kill you" looks, and she just sat there, smugly smiling.
"This one is from my mom," I announced as I opened the gift. Inside was a quilt. I tried to smile as I held it up for all to see, hoping Mom couldn't see my face. She would know my smile wasn't genuine; she could read me like a good book, cover to cover. The quilt was not very pretty, you see. It was Ugly. It was not a "baby quilt." It wasn't made of pink, blue and yellow materials; it didn't have bunnies or bears. It was just a patchwork quilt sewn of materials that were of all different colors and patterns. Holding the quilt up, I noticed a note tucked in the bottom of the box.
Not realizing the note was intended to be private, I set the quilt aside, picked up the note and began reading it. Mom had made the quilt for me. The unmatched materials were remnants of my life she had saved over the years. She had cut swatches of material from items dating back to my first Christmas dress and as current as the shirt I wore to the doctor the day I found out I was finally pregnant. She had accumulated "patches" of my life for all those years to make this quilt for my child.
By the time I finished reading Mom's letter telling of the "patch" of her old robe - I remembered it well; it was fleece and I used to insist she wear it so I could lay my head on it when she rocked me - and the "patch" of Dad's flannel shirt I used to put on after my bath, and each and every other "patch" and its meaning, there was not a dry eye in the dining room. I picked up the quilt and held it against me and I cried....and cried. To think, just seconds before I had thought it ugly. It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful quilt I had ever seen. This quilt was made of my life and with my mother's love. She had sewn her love into every stitch. To think my mom could sew!
The quilt now hangs on my son's wall. It is a reminder of my life stitched together with my mother's love. It is the most beautifult thing I have ever seen. Every time I look at it, I break down and cry. I love you, mom.
By Cathy Novakovich
Chicken Soup For The Soul
"What the heart gives away, is never lost, but a seed planted for phenomenal return."
Have a great day!