This past weekend I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to visit family and friends. I really wanted to spend some time each day there (four days), visiting my 87 year old mother in her nursing home. It was a chance for me to give my sisters, who live in the area, a break in their visiting routines. A win-win for all!
Typically, my Mom is quite happy despite the debilitating dementia riddling her mind. However, I/we make the best of each visit, as so many can attest to with elderly loved ones, and this visit was no exception.
The day I left, I made a point to visit one last time before heading to the airport. While my mom was in the all-purpose room and “watching” TV (college football was on at the time), she was fidgeting and not “engaging” too much at all. I continued to talk and tried to rattle some vestiges of a long-ago memory (mostly from her childhood), with limited success. I then ran down to her room to retrieve her baby doll and her activity/sensory blanket to see if those items would “help” with her memory bank.
As I entered her room, I stopped dead in my tracks because when I looked over at her bed, it was graced with a quilt I made for her and my Dad in 1990. It was one of the first full size quilts I made, and I almost burst into tears seeing it, lovingly worn, in this setting. During the past six years that she has lived in this nursing home, I don’t ever recall seeing this quilt on her bed, rather mostly folded up and placed on the top shelf in the closet.
As any quilter knows, we love to “pet” fabric, and so I marched right up to it and ran my hand across this well-worn and loved quilt. I was amazed that it was so faded; and tried not to look at my “not-so-perfect” hand quilting (I was still a newbie with less than two years of quilting experience at the time the quilt was started and finished). But I knew my parents loved this quilt, and it’s one of the few items that my Mom has in her room besides family photographs and her clothing.
It is “quilting from the heart”…and a full circle quilt moment for sure.
Pinwheel quilt made for my parents: Christmas 1990 (the hand embroidery "label" is quite primitive, as I embroidered right onto the quilt...)