Okay, today’s post is going to be pretty cheesy, but Thanksgiving brings that out in me. I’m indulging myself. My mother used to write out, by hand, her favorite poems and keep them in a notebook. When she died, I got that old book with yellowed, frayed pages and faded ink. She had a lot of favorites, but for this holiday, I reread “Grandma’s Patchwork Quilt.” I couldn’t find it online, and she didn’t list its author, or I’d give whoever wrote it credit. And just a warning. My mom was a fan of rhyming and sentiment. Not my usual thing, but sentiment’s all right on Thanksgiving when lots of memories, some good, some not so good, well up that form the tapestry of the cloth of our family and life. And I’m grateful for all of them.
Did Grandma ever tell you about the patchwork quilt,
That lies across the sofa in her room?
It is made from scraps of dresses
That she wore when she was young
And some of them were woven on a loom.
Sometimes when it is raining, and I can’t
play out of doors,
She lets me spread it out upon the floor,
And as I choose the pieces I like to hear about,
She tells me of the dresses that she wore.
Oh, it isn’t just the dresses that she tells about,
Its the things that happened when she had them on;
And almost every little piece in that dear old patchwork quilt,
Holds the memory of a sorrow or a song.
Oh, things were very wonderful when
Grandmama was young.
You ought to hear her tell about it all–
The ladies all were beautiful,
The children all were good,
And the men were all so gallant and so tall.
She called the quilt her memory beds,
And every little piece is a flower blooming in its scented fold.
There are red ones for the roses,
And blue for don’t-forgets,
And yellow ones for sunflowers of gold.
There’s one she calls “sweet lavendar”
That smells like baby clothes,
And one of purple, like the sunset skies;
Oh, I never ask about these or the gray ones like the rain,
For when I do dear Grandma always cries.
My grandma told me once that life is just
like a patchwork quilt,
Of births, and deaths, and marriages, and things,
And that sometimes when you’re looking for a lovely piece of old,
You only find a knot of faded string.
But she says the red is redder when it’s by a
piece of brown,
And gray is not as gray by sunny gold.
Oh, I hope I’ll have a lovely patchwork quilt
To show to little children when I am old.