Since my babies were, well, babies, I have been saving up pieces of clothing to make a quilt. I’m sure that’s not unusual, mothers are just that way. Since my oldest is now 9, I actually began the hand sewing which would take all those memories of little smiles and little firsts and put them together into a cute baby quilt that he could someday use for his children. But then something happened that changed what I was doing. I remembered.
You see, those memories are not really his. They are mine. And although they formed who he is and impacted who he will become, they won’t stir in him a single memory aside from ‘Hey, I remember seeing a picture of me in that.’ That’s when I realized that I wasn’t making a blanket for my babies or their babies. I was making it for me. Because no matter where I am and no matter how much I can articulate the memories, I will never forget the love of holding my babies and kissing their little heads. Late at night or in the middle of the day in a house all alone, it was always me and them. They are the very best thing that God has blessed me with in this world and I will never lose that feeling in my heart no matter what else time and age steal away from me.
So I decided I will make them other quilts. Quilts with memories they can recall. Ones that bring a smile to their faces. But those very early memories will be mine. I’ll finish them and put a note on them, letting my kids know that if they find them, please bring them to me. If I’m in a home being cared for because my memory is slowing slipping away just wrap me up in those bits of cloth and my heart will not forget. The love we have for our children cannot be stripped away or lost behind the years. I will remember and when I smile they will know I am remembering them. Maybe their faces won’t match my memories and their names will falter on my tongue, but the love, the love will always be there.
And if by some sweet grace of God, I have the awareness to articulate still, I will hold those bits of cloth and recant to them the memories each one brings. Because when all else fades and time grows short in this journey we are blessed to travel, the mother’s love we have given and received will endure.
So if you’re looking into eyes that seem vacant and distant, don’t be disheartened, she remembers it clearly. The love, not the names, the joy, not the details, the hope, not the present. Maybe she’s lost there and it’s the only thing she knows, but I believe there is nothing that can sever it from her heart. And if you are blessed to hear the same stories told time and time again by lips that quiver and eyes that tear up or twinkle with a memory far away, don’t grow impatient. Let her live in those moments, for they are a mirror that reflects the flawless love of your past. A love that covers all things. A love that never fails or fades or grows old with time. Because there is no other love like a mother’s love and she will never forget the love that grew in her heart from the moment there was you.