Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mother's Day Reflections

Today my grandson had a soccer game. It was COLD, COLD, COLD!!! It's supposedly Spring here in Michigan but today it was windy and in the mid 40's. That 40 degree temp felt more like 32. Being the smart gal that I am, I opted to not attend the game and sent my honey-man to be the cheerleader. The soccer field is within walking distance of our home. Within a short time I heard my husband bounding into the house digging through closets for Winter garb.

Grandma Duley's Blue Jean Quilt
My grandson's cheering section was freezing and my honey was searching for warm gear to stop the fans from shivering. While digging through the closets we happened upon the quilt that is pictured here. It's a blue jean quilt made by my Great-Grandma Duley. These aren't just any blue jeans, oh no! These are the blue jeans that were worn by the farmhands and family members who worked in the cotton fields of my great-grandparents farm in the South.

This was a quilt gifted to me by my Grandma just before she passed away. I had forgotten about it and when my husband pulled it out of the closet, an overwhelming sense of loss enveloped me. In this quilt was family history. In this quilt was the blood, sweat and tears of family that toiled in the fields. In this quilt was the nimble hands of my great-grandmother who cut, pieced and stitched this humble work of art.

Grandma Duley's Blue Jean Quilt It brought back memories of summers I spent on my great-grandma's farm. I remember picking cotton to take back home for show and tell in grade school. I remember making doll clothes from scraps of left-over fabric. I remember picking giant sunflowers that grew in the garden next to the house and the chickens that wandered around the yard not knowing they might be the evening meal.

Seeing that blue jean quilt caused me to reflect upon the woman I am today. In just that instance, I realized that part of who I am has been shaped by the women in my past. It was from these great women that I learn to sew, cook, paint, create, design, write and most importantly, how to be a good mother. Today, that blue jean quilt means the world to me. It may be tattered, torn, and soiled, but, it's a reminder that my past and family history are an inherit part of "me".

This weekend, I salute all the women who have given guidance, counsel, quiet shelter, and a beacon of light in the changing scenes of life. The blue jean quilt tells me I belong. Yes, I belong to my past, and that past helps me find my way in the future. I hope you have something or someone that speaks to the greatness you have within yourself.

Happy Mother's Day to each of you!

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