Mom dragged me to the church basement. I was not happy. It was Wednesday night, and I hadn’t been back in six months. My sister Lisa hurried down the steps ahead of us.
We entered the long dimly lit hall that led to the choir room. The shadows on the wall fit my mood. My mom pulled me towards the double doors. “I know you’re upset, Grace, but it’s time for you to move on.”
I pulled away. “You don’t understand!”
Mom stopped and tried to pull me into a hug, but I held stiff and hard. Six months ago Grannymae went to “be with the Lord”. No one had yet explained to me why God needed her more than I did. HE could’ve picked anyone else, but HE didn’t. Grannymae was the only one who understood me. She would let me play dress up with her scarves, shoes, and hats. I put on her sparkly jewelry and would pretend I was a princess. Grannymae would exclaim that I was beautiful. She never got mad either. Once I spilled a tin of buttons all over the floor, and she didn’t yell and make me feel bad. I cleaned them up, and she let me choose two buttons. They’re with all of my other treasures hidden in an old breath mint tin. Then she got sick and was gone.
“We all miss her. But she wouldn’t want you to be hurting like this.”
I crossed my arms and turned away, fighting back tears. I didn’t want to be here, this place that reminded me that Grannymae was gone forever. I heard her sigh and head into the choir room, leaving the door propped open. I stayed in the dark hallway, alone with my grief.
Through the door, I could see the purple choir robes hanging in a row on the racks. They looked sad and empty, just like me. I noticed the coffee pot surrounded by a variety of baked goods. My eyes lit up when I saw them. Cake! I forgot that they always had cake at the Sewing Circle. We only had fruit punch and sugar cookies at Jr. Bible Study.
I inched towards the room. I could hear the ladies talking as they sewed the quilts. I knew that these blankets were going to the “Mission Field” for poor families.
Half completed quilts covered the long tables. Stacked on the ends were piles of scrap cloths. Most of the chairs were filled. I looked at the ladies who were sewing. They laughed and chatted with each other. Their faces were kind and wrinkly, just like Grannymae. If I squinted, I could almost see her in her chair, joking and sewing. And I realized that she wasn’t really gone, she was here, with her friends, in their smiles and love.
I entered the room. Lisa noticed and scooted over so that I could sit next to her. She handed me a swatch of cloth. Mrs. Davis, the pastor’s wife, leaned over and helped me thread my needle.
I started sewing.
Image credit: Quilting Bee photo courtesy of Folk Fibers blog