Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Sick Quilt And My Will

It's not really a quilt. It's actually a comfort since it isn't quilted, just hand tied.

It is one of my most prized material possessions. It is the last blanket my Grandmother ever made.  It was gifted to me, after her death, by my Aunt and I have cherished this blanket for so, so many years.

The best part of it is it is made out of scraps of cloth that my Grandmother used to make clothing for her, my Grandfather and various family members.  I can see rectangles of the fabric she used to make two of my favorite dresses when I was in third grade.   My Grandpa's shirt, her blouse. 

To know the woman I loved so dearly actually once touched all of these pieces brings me a quiet joy.

I call it a "comfort" because that is what is to me. Comfort.

It has always held a place of honor in our home.  It is merely twin sized, but has always remained on our bed because, as I said, it is one of my most prized possessions.  The kids have always known how special it is and that they aren't to touch it.

Except. . .when they are sick.

It's why we call it the "Sick Quilt". 
We all believe that this blanket has healing powers.
One of them has the sniffles? The flu?  A sore throat? A concussion [looking at you Wallene]?
 It comes off my bed and is wrapped around one of our ailing offspring.

Nothing makes them feel better than having this simple comfort snuggling them.
 It's the next best thing to a Motrin, Vicks and a Momma's head rub.

My children covet this blanket.
I think sometimes they over dramatize a cold just to get this quilt on their bed at night.

Here's the problem I am having right now.

I have recently been updating my will. 
I guess it's what you do in my situation. No apologies, it is what it is.  While I don't have a lot to leave my children, I do have a few things that need strong consideration and I have had to decide who gets what.
I don't want tears after I am gone and I don't want Steven to have to decide.

I do what I can.  And actually, I thought this was going to be easy, being that I don't have a lot.

No one knows this little tidbit of our lives, but our two youngest, Squirrel and Wallene, are named for my Grandmother.  The seamstress of the "Sick Quilt".

So I should pick between these two, shouldn't I?  And you would think this would be easy.


This is how the conversation has been going in our house lately regarding this blanket.

Bear with me. I do find it truly funny, but frustrating at the same time.

Mom:  "Okay, Squirrel you get all of my jewelry, with one wedding band going to Wallene. And Wallene you can have Ozcarz."

Squirrel and Wallene completely ignoring the "riches" I just bequeathed them, immediately responded, in unison:

"Who gets the Sick Quilt?"

Mom:  "Huh?  The Quilt?" 

Squirrel:  "Yeah, Mom. Who gets the Quilt?"

Mom:  "I. . .um, I don't know.  Why? Who wants it?"

Girls in Unison, again -loudly- "I DO!"

Seeing their reactions I was a bit surprised. Who knew?

In good Momma fashion and realizing a cage match might be in my daughters' future I tried to come up with a solution.

Mom:  "No, no. Wait a minute.  You can't both have it. Let me think a minute."

So, I did.  For a few days.

Unable to sew any longer I decided I would hire a seamstress to cut the quilt in half and  make them each their own by adding additional borders and such.

You would've thought I suggested cutting the dog in half.

"No Momma. You can't do that.  It won't be the same.  We would only get half way better with half a quilt."

[And yes, they actually argued the "half way better" angle with me.]


Okay, so now I can't divide it up.  What to do, what to do? 

You have to know that they are both being entirely generous to the other and saying "No, no. . .give it to her. No give it to her."  They aren't being greedy, I swear, but you can see that each wants it as much as the other, but to keep me sane, they try to be as magnanimous as they can to the other.

I told them to let me think on it a few days and I would let them know.

I finally settled on the sharing of the whole quilt. 
Six months with Wallene and six months with Squirrel each year.

Okay, okay. I know.  Bad idea.

Steven kicked me under the table on that one. ::giggle::
He knows that as well as our daughters get along, and they do, he wasn't having any part of that negotiation come June and December each year.

Finally, I called Squirrel at school.
As she is the oldest of the two I decided to tell her my decision first.

Mom:  "Honey, I have decided on the Sick Quilt, okay?"

Squirrel, tentatively: "Yes?"

Mom:  "I am going to be buried with it."

My darling, beautiful daughter, not missing a beat, replied:

"Oh, okay Mom, but to be honest my resume is shaping up pretty nicely at this point and I don't think "Biologist Grave Robber" is going to look too good. Do you?"

I lost it, laughing. 

Um.  I am out of ideas.

What do you have for me?

xo and flipsides, help me out here Tadpoles. Janine


Carolyn said...

Hmmmm, that's a tough one on the sick quilt. As much as I think I would love the idea of being laid to rest with something so precious, I would also like to have it passed on to my daughter(s). Good luck on the decision, because it sounds like it's going to be a difficult one.

Love the story BTW. I have a hand made crazy quilt that was my great-grandmother's, my mom gave it to me one year for my birthday and it hangs on my bedroom wall. I too remember some of the materials used and my mom can also pick out some pieces that were used to make some of her clothes in her childhood.

What great memories :)

colenic said...

That's a tough one....It is hard when you are looking at something so special and wishing that you could cut it down the middle so the kids can share it.
What if you just leave it to Steve to give to the kids when they are feeling sick :) (I can almost feel him kicking my under the table). Maybe it will become like the yellow shirt in the story, where they pass it back and forth as the other needs it, wrapping it up for Christmases and birthdays or leaving it tucked into a pillow case when they visit each other.
I don't envy your decision...but I know you will come up with some kind of creative solution...
Hugs and lots of love to you...

CWMartin said...

I would have thought being buried in it was the perfect solution- until S's answer. Geeez! Normally, this is where I'd say, "Just give it to me," But I want no part of being pillaged either. Maybe you could do like on Futurama and have your head kept alive in a jar and keep it forever!

Or, you could just give it to Steve, and he could say "Mine! ALL MINE! BWA-HA-HA-HA!" Yeah, that might do it...

ellen abbott said...

draw straws. five of varying lengths. whoever gets the shortest or longest gets the quilt.

Tony Van Helsing said...

You already came up with my suggestion. Me and Zoe made a will a couple of years ago and we decided that all our belongings should be sold and the money split evenly. We are a bit hard headed to be honest.

Gypsy said...

I'd say leave it to Steven and let him eventually deal with it. (Sorry Steven, I'm laughing just thinking about it.)

Celia said...

Wow! That's a tough one! I'm glad the ladies are concerned more with the sentimental more than the monetary.

Unknown said...

How about trade it every Christmas, in a generous spirit of giving? That way, even if there are no finances available for a regular gift, the quilt can be wrapped up and gifted to the other.

Lyndylou said...

I would go with Colenic as her idea was excellent x

Unknown said...

Oh that is a tough decision, but I agree on the drawing straw about it...perhaps... Can understand that it really is a precious thing with many nice memories...Tough decision indeed my friend. Big hugs to you xx

Juli said...

My grandmother (paternal) handed out sticky notes once and DEMANDED that everyone put their name on a sticky and put it on everything they wanted.

Tacky. Yes. Incredibly helpful when it came time to divide her assets? YUP! My mother actually jokes about this all the time. It's now looked at as one of the funniest and practical family traditions ever.

I also have an afghan... I have no idea who will want it when I'm gone.

When my mom's mother past, anything that had more than one sticky on it caused names to be put in a hat. Ironically, the people who wanted certain things the most were who got them. I think it was grammie's mojo from beyond that saw it so. I got the Christmas Bell, which was the ONLY thing I wanted, and ironically my mother had that at her house anyway for years so it's mine when the time comes.

We actually talk about death all the time here. Tony says "I don't care what you do with my stuff or my body, just make sure I'm dead. Because if I wake up in a coffin or furnace, I'm gonna be pissed!"

Sally said...

I have absolutely no ideas of help in this situation. I like the idea that the girls could just pass it back and forth on a yearly or as needed basis

I have a comfort that my great aunt gave me just before I got married and I love that thing. Unfortunately it's not exactly made of high quality fabric and is coming apart at some of the seams already. I don't think it has the mojo of the sick quilt, though.

Juli said...

What about having another quilt made with YOUR family's history?

Tracy said...

I like Jill's answer.

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