Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Most nights I sleep under a heavy patchwork, polyester quilt. I couple it with sheets and a down blanket, inside a duvet. I sleep in a camper - beside a window. My bed is a nest fit for a raptor - with breathtaking views of the city below, and serene trees and hillsides all around. Nellie Shoebe, Dolores McDonald's mother, made the quilt. I don't know when, or where these pieces used to be. All I know is her daughter, my grandmother, wanted me to have it. Dolores McDonald left two earthly treasures specifically for me - a November birthstone ring (OUR birthstone) and this quilt. I think about her every night as I tuck myself into a hope of warmth. I wonder and sometimes dream about what she was thinking when she scribbled down that I should have this family history. The day I went to her house -after her death, and my aunt handed the queen size quilt to me, I was baffled. And to be honest, still am. My grandmother was no perfect woman, and I think we loved each other amidst the imperfections in both of us. My grandfather (maternal) was no more perfect than my grandmother (paternal). Both stubborn, independent, opinionated, spiritual and outspoken... After moving to Montana he gave his fly rod and reel. They are the only gear I fish with. As I lay me down to sleep... I think about them. Their persevering life stories. Their generous love for me. Sleep hasn't come easy for awhile. Between dying domestic rabbits, after hour visitors, new classes, important meetings, saying goodbye to my Grandfather, losing access to my car, losing propane in my home... I just started to think... sheesh. I am ready for a change of season. Exhaustion, but little sleep. I crawl into my nest; finding some earthly comfort in two people who believed in my heart. And I tuck myself under the quilt. My mind swims with their gifts to me. The time spent together, the meals shared, the hugs, smiles, and laughter. And I miss them so much. But they're still here, wrapped in and around me.