#20 – The Clothing Quilt – Elise Osorio

Once there was an old forgotten grandmother, (at least I thought she was forgotten until her freckle faced grandson started visiting) who lived down my street, in a red brick house with a green lawn and spring tulips forever in bloom.

I noticed that once a week (when I would pull back my curtain and stare through the window), every Saturday night, a little boy with perfect freckles and red hair would come and visit her, and  with him he brought the forgotten grandmother all sorts of clothes in cardboard boxes.

Red shirts, child’s skirts, used jeans, onesie pajamas, all sorts of clothes!  I wondered what the forgotten grandma would ever do with such clothes, and so many.

After a couple months passed, I decided to work up the courage and leave my window side, and walked to the front of her green grass lawn with the tulips forever in bloom, and met the red haired boy, but this time, he had no cardboard box with him.

“No clothes today?” I asked him.

He gave me a very toothy smile, “No, not today, she’s finished.”  He noticed that I was a bit confused, so he offered his small hand to me, “Would you like to see?”

Inside we went, the house felt more like a cottage, warm, and wood, the lights were sparkling and golden.  All was clean, all was welcoming.  There were colorful jars in the kitchen, couches and pillows, and coo-clocks adorned the walls.  And then in the middle of the living room, I saw what the boy had meant.

There lay the clothing quilt.  Patches of jeans, squares of the soft onesie pajamas all cut up and outlined by red shirts, and children’s skirts.  The old forgotten grandma had sewed on the remaining buttons and zippers all throughout the quilt, as if all of these clothes were being pieced and held together by their old buttons and zippers.

The old forgotten grandma looked on at us, as the little boy and I approached the quilt and traced the patterns with our hands.

If you think about, the quilt was quite mismatched and, perhaps doesn’t seem like anything special.  But in that moment, in that golden house, with the freckle faced boy, I traced with my fingers the clothes of their family: they lived their lives in these clothes, laughed, worked, cried, played, loved in these clothes.  Oh the memories!  And it was all put together into a large blanket, that would cover her generations to come: starting with her freckle faced grandson.

~Elise Osorio, New Delhi, India

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