Sunday, January 20, 2013

I wonder if I'll ever sleep without it.

Even though I'm 35 years and 5 days old, I still sleep with my quilt every night.  Obviously, I can sleep without it if necessary - like on business trips, vacations at hotels, etc.  But, if I'm in my own bed at home, I can't sleep without my quilt.

It's tattered now with frayed threads and torn fabric, but it's still one of my prized possessions.  It was created with a lot of love and given to me on a night I'll never forget.

My dad wasn't an experienced hunter back in November 1988.  I can't remember exactly when he started hunting, but up until that fateful night, he had not actually shot and killed a deer.  I don't remember if he called my mom after he shot it (which now seems unlikely considering we didn't have cell phones back then) or if he told her when he returned home from his adventure.  I just remember receiving the news that my dad had indeed shot and killed his first buck. 

To say I was devastated would be an understatement. 

I burst into tears.

I was so upset by the fact that my dad had shot a beautiful buck that I couldn't get myself calmed down.  I knew that we were going to eat the venison, so it's not like the buck was killed for no reason.  I just couldn't get the idea of a strong, swift, beautiful buck being shot by my own dad.  It was too much to take at the age of 10.

And there I was.  In my room, crying into my pillow, when my mom and older sister entered.  In my mom's arms was a colorful quilt with blue gingham backing.  I knew in an instant that it was for me.

Over the years, I had watched my mom cut triangle after triangle of fabric - hundreds upon hundreds of them!  I had watched her work long into the night, stitching the triangles at her sewing machine.  I had watched her loop and tie yarn at the triangles' intersections.  I had watched all of this over the years as she created quilts for all 4 of my cousins and my sister.  I had begged her for a quilt of my own.  "One day," she would always reply.

Little did I know, she had been staying up late - long past my bedtime - cutting, sewing, and looping a quilt just for me.  Her plan was to gift it to me during the approaching Christmas season.  But, knowing that I was in need of a pick-me-up, my mom chose that particular night to deliver my special quilt.

I looked at the quilt in awe.  Nearly every triangle of fabric held meaning for me; leftover fabric from Easter dresses my mom had sewn for me over the years; my sister's Scarlet O'Hare dress that my mom created for her many Halloween's ago.  Each square I touched held a special memory.

And now, 24 years later, I still sleep with it.  It's worn and soft and cool and warm all at the same time.  There are two particlar holes on the quilt that I slide my feet into while I sleep.  It's the perfect comfort that greets me each and every night I climb into my bed.  It's just what the doctor ordered after a long, hard, exhausting day of Life.

My mom has since made my neices and daughters quilts of their very own.  I'm not sure they realize it right now, but I hope they grow to learn and understand just how much love and sacrifice has gone into their quilts.  And I hope that they too are sleeping with their special gifts 24+ years from now, just like me.

So what about you?  Is there something you can't sleep without either?  An old stuffed animal?  A specific nightshirt?  A blanket or pillow?  What is it that comforts and beckons you to drift sweetly off to sleep?


MSO Rin said...

What a sweet story (the gifting of your precious quilt part, not the deerslaying part). No wonder you sneak it back in the wee hours if the girls try to claim it!

Wicked M said...

Oh, I love this! So sweet.