Grandma Carty’s Quilt

It’s been a month since my dad died. It’s not been easy most days but I remind myself he is in heaven with his parents. My Grandma and Grandpa Carty were 45 and 50 when he was born. His two brothers were twenty years older than he so he was quite the surprise. I was always worried I’d end up pregnant like my grandma but luckily that did not happen.

My grandma always said she didn’t have long to live. She was convinced she would die before my dad ever graduated from high school. That certainly did not happen. The very first time my mom met her she was barely out of the car before she said I’m John’s mom and I don’t have long to live. I am not sure why she thought this because she ended up living until the age of ninety one. She lived to me see graduate from nursing school and my sister graduate from high school. Maybe if she didn’t think she was going to die all of her life she would have lived past one hundred.

My parents divorced when I was five so my dad would take my sister and I to see our grandparents for the weekend every few months. They lived in Salem and we enjoyed going. There was no better nap than when the grown ups were talking. After my grandpa died, my grandma moved to like a senior citizen apartment and my aunt and uncle built a house in Salem close by to keep an eye on her. Her apartment was one bedroom so we would sleep on the pull out couch. We always slept under this pink quilt she had made. I loved it but had totally forgotten all about it.

After my dads service Brenda gave my sister and I a bunch of his stuff she thought we would enjoy. I cannot begin to describe the joy that overcame me when I opened a box and there was the quilt. I had no idea my dad had even had it. It was like finding a long lost treasure chest worth more than all the money in the world. My sister said she will never forget the look on my face and she immediately told me it was mine. I swear it still smells like my grandma.

Brenda told my sister a couple weeks later my dad slept under it until a couple months ago. His legs had gotten so weak (he had polio as a child which is another blog) that he couldn’t move his legs because of the weight. I slept under it for the first week but then put it on the side of my bed. It has to be at least eighty years old and I’m not sure how many more times it can be washed. Brenda said she was getting nervous to wash it because she didn’t want it to fall apart.

I knew that some of my sewing ability came from my moms grandma. She quilted and made things all her life. I had totally forgotten about Grandm Carty. She made my parents a wedding ring quilt by hand that was fantastic. Sadly we used it too much and it fell apart from rough housing with our dog. It would be worth major bucks in this day and age. It certainly is a lost art. There is no way I would have the patience to make one of those so if my girls ever get married I will have to come up with something else.

Mole moral ~ Brightest joy will come from out of darkest night. (Betsy Bircher)

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