Quilts, Sharpies and Time


The women on my mother’s side are quilt makers. Quilts were passed down when my great great grandmother died and when my great grandmother died. They were made into pallets when grandkids spent the night and some were so precious they were displayed on a quilt rack.


When I was in elementary school, my grandmother decided it was time to make each of her granddaughters a quilt. Mine was a pastel dream: calico patterns in pale pink, lavender, baby blue and yellow. I LOVED that quilt.


When it was time for my oldest daughter to have her own room, I knew just what to do. I painted her room a perfect shell pink and tied it all together with my grandmother's quilt at the foot of her bed.


My daughter had a passionate love for black Sharpies. It didn’t matter how well I hid them, she always managed to find them. One day, as I was making her bed, I noticed to my horror long black Sharpie slashes on her quilt.


I do not remember if I yelled or not but I do remember being so, so sad. I didn’t want to keep my beautiful quilt hidden but I also didn’t want it marred by Sharpie!


I made a choice right then to leave that quilt with her. I straightened it every day, ruefully noticing new additions of pink nail polish and pen.


My daughter is 16 now. Yesterday I took her to the DMV to get her driver’s license. She nervously obeyed the instructor’s tasks and she passed. She’s a driver now!


When we got home, she excitedly asked if she could drive herself to the beach to meet her friends. Of course I said “yes” but then she just left. Just like that, she drove away without me. The little girl who scribbled on my grandmother’s quilt was not little anymore. She’s a young lady who is gaining independence and will one day become a mother of her own.


I look at that quilt now and gosh, I am so thankful for those Sharpie marks! It makes me sick to imagine not having those precious little slashes across the solid pink squares. What caused me such pain is now one of my greatest treasures. What if I had kept that quilt hidden away, safe from harm?


Squares that were lovingly pieced and stitched by my grandmother were layered with my little girl’s scribbles. It's such a treasure!

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