What special gifts did you receive from your parents? Mine include a Motorola transistor radio, turquoise and black, Christmas 1957, a pearl ring for birthday sixteen, a Smith Corona portable typewriter, graduation 1962, points on a continuum. The real gifts were their threads, threads that created color and texture to our lives. We, in turn, enhance and intricately rework those threads to create the unique tapestry of our own lives.
My mother added pigments of red and yellow. Red, desire, striving, and an unrelenting drive to my life. “Practice, study, learn.” Yellow conveyed support, “You will do it. You can do it. If I didn’t think you could do it, I wouldn’t make you do it.” It, included lessons of ballet, dance, swimming, violin, piano, ice skating, diving and school work. I didn’t always like It. Sometimes I hated it. But, I was always curious about what was next. I learned not to procrastinate, to do the ‘A’ jobs first. I learned strength, a toughness of the soul and to keep my eye on the goal.
My father blended the softness of blue and purple mixing security with surprise. He took the family on Sunday outings, the destinations to be revealed upon arrival. He carefully chauffeured giggling girls, piled in the back of his yellow pick-up truck, up and down the street for imaginary parades. And while in college, he penned weekly letters, a comforting reminder of his love and support. I learned compassion, confidence and the importance of a loving listener.
Initiated by the gifts of our parent’s threads we weave our richness and share our tapestry with each other.
Above is the handmade quilt created by my great grandmother, Emma Jane Divel, circa 1875.