“Wrapped in My Mother’s Love,” Ensign, Dec. 2002, 52–53
When I was about three or four years old, my mother was the ward Relief Society president. Part of her responsibility, it seemed, was to always have a quilt in progress in our home. Sisters would filter in and out of our basement at any given time to quilt for a while. Often my mother would thread a needle for me and let me “quilt” with the sisters (my clumsy stitches were patiently removed when I was not around). I relished these moments and learned at a young age to love the quilting bee and the Relief Society.
My mother suddenly died when I was only five. It wasn’t until years later that I found she had left me a great gift of love. The Christmas of my 19th year is one I will always remember, for that was when I received this most precious gift from my mother, although she had passed away 14 years before.
Unbeknownst to me, before my mother died she had pieced together two special quilts from swatches of fabric, one for my older brother and one for me. Unfortunately, she passed away before they could be completed.
When I turned 19, my older sister felt it was time to complete the quilts for my brother and me and asked a ward Relief Society to finish them. These sisters sewed the intricate stitches without knowing how much it would have pleased my mother.
When I received the quilt on Christmas Day, I loved the gift with all my heart, but I had no idea how much more it would yet come to mean to me.
Years went by, and I married and started a family of my own. I kept my quilt wrapped in a plastic bag in a drawer for fear something would happen to it. One day I took it out and was carefully admiring it when one of my little boys came into the room and asked me where I got the quilt. I explained to him that his Grandma Brown had made the quilt for me before she died.
“Who is Grandma Brown?” my young son asked.
How it pained me that my children had never known the mother whom I cherished, that she was not able to put her arms around them and tell them she loved them in her tender, gentle way. I explained to my son once again that Grandma Brown, my mother, was someone special in heaven who loved him.
“Why do you have that quilt, Mommy?” he asked.
Suddenly it came to me. I knew exactly why I had the quilt. I unfolded it and wrapped it around his little body.
“I have this quilt so Grandma Brown can give you hugs even though she is in heaven,” I said.
A big smile spread across his face, and I could see that this was the best answer I could have given him. Since that time the quilt has made its way out of the drawer much more often. Whenever a family member is hurt, sad, or in need of extra love, the quilt is a great source of comfort. To me, it is still the greatest gift I could ask for. I love touching the quilt, knowing my mother’s hands have touched it also.
Many years have passed, and I can now quilt correctly. My sisters and I have spent many hours around quilting frames talking about our mother. Since I am the youngest, my sisters tell me stories about her to help me know her better. Yet no matter how many stories I hear, nothing has helped me or my children turn our hearts to my mother more than the quilt I got for Christmas the year I turned 19.