I have in my possession a quilt, as yet unfinished. I started it a couple months before my eldest daughter's 20th birthday. She was in the military. It hadn't been an easy time for her, that year. Everything seemed to be a real challenge after flunking out of college. There were drinking issues the Mister and I hoped had stopped because of the new environment. I wanted her to be able to wrap home around her.
It's various shades of purple: Soft lilacs, almost pinks, bright fuscias, darker violets, with touches of greens, tans and whites here and there. Purple used to be her favorite color. There are squares from her college friends, squares from relatives, all wishing her well for her 20th birthday. It's BIG, comforter-sized for at least a queen, if not king, bed (I don't measure, I just wing it). Four large rectangles hold the smaller squares, 2 with a flocked white on ecru, and two with very bold yet homey purple calico. There are also hearts in all those various shades of purple. Some of the hearts are embroidered around the outside. I wanted it BIG, because my love for her was even bigger than the quilt.
As her 20th birthday fast approached, I knew it wasn't going to be finished. I copied the squares from family and her friends in color, and sent those, along with a heartfelt note and some good books. I hoped to have it finished in six months, if not by her 21st birthday. It filled a place in my off-work hours.
By September of that year, I was informed via email that Madame was pregnant, and not sure what she planned to do about it. By Thanksgiving, I was entertaining family and a new son-in-law at the casual "generic" reception the couple requested, complete with hand-embroidered sweatshirts stating Bride and Groom. Madame requested we use the rest of the money we'd saved for a wedding for her to ship her stuff to her next duty station (It wasn't much- she didn't give us enough time). By the spring, I was grandmother to Belle, and the phone calls came every 15 minutes. By the next year, there had been 2 long-distance arguments, at least a month of the Silent Treatment and no contact with Belle, 3 lies regarding needing a loan from us, calls about baby-sitters, numerous calls about the in-laws who also lived at their duty station interfering in her life, a 6-month deployment by the son-in-law, and Baby was on the way.
They came to live with us by the next August, bringing along with them the new van they couldn't afford. Baby came home to our house. SIL left to go back on his ship, and they divorced. I've been caring for Belle and Baby ever since, first to help Madame get through college, then because Madame abdicated parenthood, along with treating her bipolar disorder through her own self-devised methods.
I never stopped loving her. I never forgot about the quilt. I just didn't have a moment to spare. The year the Mister got so ill took up months of my time, and the children's time. We had a schedule to keep between the hospital, school, working with doctors and just making ourselves rest from the exhaustion having a critically ill spouse and parent entails. We moved, and all that entailed. We became more interactive in the kids' education. There was no time.
I brought too much stuff when we moved. We are talking a few walls of Rubbermaid containers, those big buckets that say they hold 18 gallons, and which can hold about 70 pounds of junk. So I have been going through them, one at a time, looking for junk.
And there was the quilt.