Thursday, April 7, 2005

Blanket of Dreams

Tamyra Gray  : The Dreamer  : 'Raindrops Will Fall'

For years it laid, neatly folded in the old, battered gift box.  Never forgotten, never used.  A gift to my mother from her best friend Phoebe, shortly after my birth.  I remember the day my mother gave it to me.  I was 13 or 14, we still lived in L. A., and Mom and I sat quietly on her bed on a beautiful sunny April day.  Mom told me the story behind the blanket, of how Phoebe gave it to her, for me.  Mom thought it was beautiful...and so delicate, and she couldn't bear to use it.  So she neatly folded the blanket, wrapped it in the tissue paper, and placed it back in the box, for some future time.  She wanted to save it for me...save it for me to give to my child someday.

And so the years passed by, and throughout my high school days, every now and then I opened the box, carefully unwrapped the tissue, and unfolded the delicate blanket.  And I would dream.  Dream about the future.  Dream about the day I would tenderly wrap my child in this blanket.

But fate can be cruel sometimes, and some dreams are not meant to come true.

Through it all I kept the blanket, wrapped in the same tissue, in the same old battered box.

Every now and then I came across it, and the sight of the box gave me cause to stop, and momentarily...remember.

A couple of years ago I decided I would give the blanket to either Amy or Kari,  whoever had a baby girl.  I never told them about this blanket, but last month I told Kari.  And on Saturday, Amy will know.  On Saturday I will pass this blanket to Amy.  I will tell her the story of this blanket...the entire story, one she doesn't know.  I will tell her how old this blanket is.  And the real reason why I never used it.  Whether she chooses to use the blanket, or just hold on to it, is entirely up to her.

I am filled with such emotion right now.  Sadness, joy, and love, all at the same time.  Sad because the blanket has always been a part of me...a part of my life...all my life.  For years it served as a reminder of a broken dream.  I feel joy because now the blanket will take on a new life.  In a few days, it will be transformed into a symbol of joy.  With love, this treasured blanket of dreams will be handed to another generation, for another generation.  Four generations.  Four women.  Phoebe, Millie, Dona, and Amy.  I hope Amy tells this story of love to her daughter.  I hope she connects the story of this blanket to the women who have touched it.

The other night, I retrieved the old, battered gift box, unwrapped the faded tissue paper, gently unfolded the delicate blanket, and washed it for the very first time.  There was no dirt, just a light layer of 48 years of dust.

When it was time to throw away the tissue paper, I felt a slight pang of regret.  It's just paper...but it is also one of the last things in my possession my mother ever touched.  I stood there, with the faded tissue paper in my hand, hesitant to let it go.  Silly.  It's just an old piece of paper.  A musty, faded piece of paper.  Maybe a part of me was afraid the memory of that day with my Mom would disappear with the paper.  And I stood there.  Wanting to let go, and not wanting to let go, all at the same time.  Finally, I let go.

Here's to all those precious memories, locked deep within the momento's we carry throughout our lives.  May they never fade and may we always carry them close to our heart.  And pass them on to someone who will.

 

UPDATE:

She loved the blanket.   I cried.

Today I had many, many gifts for Amy and Baby D.  But when I left, the blanket was the one gift she thanked me for.

She's not going to use it.  She will keep it, and someday pass it on, just as I have done, just as my mother has done.

When I think back to that day long ago, sitting with my mother, with that blanket on my lap, I had no idea this simple interwoven fabric would touch so many other women.  I think the women at the shower today left with feeling that they had witnessed something...that they were are part of something very special.  And, so are each and every one of you.

 

17 comments:

queeniemart said...

What a beautiful story. I know that Amy will treasure it for always. My grandma was my hero and she died in AZ in 1998...i am in Ohio and had only been able to see her one time in 10 yrs previous to that. My uncle who also lives in AZ mailed me a half dozen quilts she had made. They are worth more than gold to me. Thank you for sharing this.
Lisa

gwatcdr said...

The blanket is beautiful.  you are doing the right thing it is to beautiful to keep closed up forever.  I am sorry that you are sad but in the long run you will be ok.  Smile God loves you,  Nicki

labdancer51 said...

The blanket is exquisite, just so beautiful.  Amy will doubtless treasure it as you have done.  Bless you Dona  :-)   Sandra xxx

heartsingr said...

How lovely....a lovely blanket, a lovely entry.  Thanks so much for sharing the story.  :-)

~Laurie

pixiedustnme said...

somebody pass the kleenex...

gaye835 said...

Wow Dona, this is so beautiful. I love things that have a story behind them. In my family I dont think we have anything that has been around for generations. I wish we did, but we dont. That blanket is beautiful and I can just imagine how hard it has been for you to give that up. I know it would have been hard for me. To know that you are giving something so valuable, filled with all of these memories and emotions is scary. Its scary because u never know how that person that recieves it is going to handle it. Are they going to cherish it like you have or are they going to put it to the side. I know if I gave something of that kind of value, those 2 questions will always be in the back of my mind. But I know you trust Amy, and I bet she respects you enough to pass it to her daughter with the meaningful story behind. May that blanket never die and possess the life that was given to it by Phoebe. May that fire live on....
                                     Gaye

astaryth said...

What a beautiful blanket... and I am sure Amy is going to love it, especially with that story behind it! Great entry! And, thank you for stopping by my Journal!
http://journals.aol.com/astaryth/AdventuresofanEclecticMind

lindainspokane said...

what an amazing story...and a very beautiful blanket...i am sure that it is very hard for u to part with it...i just hope that amy loves it as much as u do...but im sure she will...it truly is a wonderful gift that u are giving...thank u for sharing this story and your blanket with us...

linda
http://journals.aol.com/lindainspokane/LifewithLinny
http://journals.aol.com/lindainspokane/LinnysLuciousLickings

lv2paynt said...

Dona,
I know the feeling of letting something that intense go but you will always hold deep in your heart your mother's love. This month marks the anniv of my mother's death and I still have a simple piece of paper she wrote a note on just to have something she touched.  And to see her handwriting lets me feel the touch of her soft hands when I close my eyes.  She was only 59 when she passed an awful long drawn out death.  But that simple piece of paper gives me something.  Giving the blanket to Amy will give you that each time you visit and see it and touch it.
Thanks for visiting my journal and reading about Grant and the wet towels....Diane aka Deb  LOL

delela1 said...

Ladies, thank you all so much.  It is difficult to let go of this treasured part of my life.  But the time has come, time for the blanket to have a new life, to fulfill a new dream.  Your heartfelt comments mean so much to me, and I am glad to have touched you with this story.  And Kelly...awwww.

kokoapuffy1 said...

Dona,
Thanks for sharing your treasured family heirloom, and memories. I sure your Amy, will treasure it as much as you do...and will feel the same way when its her turn to pass it down.          ~Deborah

boiseladie said...

What a precious gift you are giving to Amy.  I'm sure she will treasure this beautiful blanket with the love and respect you have for it.

robinngabster said...

Great entry Dona. It reminds me of an antique set of dishes my Grandma gave me, they were the first 'real' set they had. They saved and saved to be able to buy each piece. I always admired them at her house and one day she gave them to me. She had long since stopped using them and they just sat in her cupboard. I was so honored she wanted me to have them. I remembered as a little girl I loved them cause they were pink. (imagine that) but now I treasure them because of the history. She saved the original recipet and packing. I had intended to keep them in my cupboard...save from harm and then decided not too. I should enjoy them while I am here and that is what I do now.  Amy is a lucky girl to have the blanket and what a wonderful story to pass down. xoxo

sarajanesmiles said...

What a beautiful blanket, I'm glad none of you ever used it, and chose instead to treasure it and pass it on when the time was right.  Family heirlooms like that are very precious to us aren't they, I have things in my house - a beautiful wall clock and a rocking chair amongst others - that belonged to my Great Grandfather, in fact I believe he actually made the chair himself.  Then they were owned by my Grandfather, then my Mother.  Now I have them.  I never knew my Grandparents, but I do feel close to them every time I look at these things that were so special to them :o)
Sara   x

brandilynneliz said...

Uuuuh you had me crying. It is beautiful and precious. I love that you are able to pass it on to someone who will love it just as you have. Thank you for shareing this with us.

Brandi

delela1 said...

Again, I can not thank you all enough for adding to the story.  You see, yesterday I decided to make this blanket even more special for Amy.  At some point of time, I will print this entry and all the comments, on paper.  I have a photo of Phoebe, my Mom, and me (Mom's 1961 wedding photo to my step-Dad).  I'll scan the photo, print it as well, and give those to Amy.  So don't be surprised if I contact you by e-mail asking for your location.  I want to include that info as well.  :)
~Dona

boiseladie said...

Waiting anxiously to hear how the baby shower went...