94: Granny’s Quilt

94: Granny’s Quilt

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

Granny’s Quilt

A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

~Author Unknown

When I was nine, I was very ill. After a long stay in the hospital, I faced three months of complete bed rest at home. With two other small children to look after, Mom sent for Granny. We knew everything was going to be all right then.

My Granny was a small, plump woman with gray hair. She never left the house without a strand of pearls around her neck. She was great at baking biscuits from scratch and making you feel special with hugs that smelled of Bengay.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” she would say as she rocked the hours away, her arthritic fingers flying and her needle joining colorful scraps of material together, turning them into something beautiful. She lived her faith and honored God with her talents. Her quilts were greatly sought after by family and friends.

“Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy a gift?” I asked as she finished a baby quilt and began to start another. It seemed my aunts were always having babies.

“Maybe,” she said. “But it wouldn’t be made with love.”

Each night she would tuck the blankets tightly around me, kiss me on the forehead and then kneel in prayer. “Everything will be all right,” she would assure me as she turned out the light. “God is watching over you.”

I was sixteen when she gave me my own quilt. It was edged in purple, my favorite color at the time. The quilt was made up of thirty-two white squares trimmed in purple and appliquéd with old-fashioned girls, pantaloons peaking out from under their colorful dresses. Sunbonnets atop their heads, the girls were outlined with black blanket stitches. The edges were quilted in a butterfly motif.

I could see the love in each of the small uniform stitches surrounding the pattern. Whenever I felt bad or sick I would wrap myself in the quilt and her words would come to me, “Everything will be all right. God is watching over you.”

It was the only quilt she ever made for me. Her time on earth was up before she could start on my baby girl’s quilt.

Forty years later, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Having no symptoms, it came as a complete shock. Surgery was scheduled. Sitting in the hospital parking lot, car keys in my hand, I cried and prayed for over an hour before I found the strength to drive home.

On the hot, muggy July night before surgery, I tossed and turned, afraid of what the day would bring and fearful of the outcome. I retrieved Granny’s quilt from the foot of the guest bed where it lay. The edges were a bit frayed and worn, the colors slightly faded, but the love was still there.

I gathered an armful of quilt to my chest, the majority of it flowing to the floor. I looked like Linus from the Peanuts gang, holding onto it for dear life. I prayed and suddenly felt a warm soothing presence. A wisp of cool air touched my forehead, like a familiar kiss. I fell asleep, comforted by the fact God was watching over me and that everything would be all right.

The next morning, waking from a restful sleep, I looked down and found Granny’s quilt was no longer draped over the side of the bed, but had been tucked tightly around me.

I asked my husband if he had covered me with the quilt. “Are you crazy?” he asked, “As hot as it is?”

On the way to the hospital, my daughter told me not to worry. During the night she had also felt a comforting presence that assured her all would be well.

But I wasn’t worried. Granny had sent me a message from heaven, “Everything will be all right. God is watching over you.”

And He did.

~Jeri McBryde

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