I was straightening up the living room, folding up an old blanket on the couch today. The blanket is chenille and warm and lovely but it is fraying badly. I should get rid of it...
Later, as I was doing something else, I was thinking about that stupid blanket and I thought maybe there was a way to save part of it for memory's sake and get rid of the rest which led me to think of the idea I had originally had for Roby's Quilt with the Names Project.
I haven't made his quilt. Some people start making the quilt for their loved one with the person, some make them immediately after their death, some people wait years. I have thought about it many times. I feel guilty that I haven't done it yet and at the same time, I think there is a part of me that isn't ready to close that door. Sometimes, there are just symbolic things that make other things seem real or complete. Making a quilt for Roby seems like the end of something that I'm not ready to let go.
And realistically speaking, there is the perfection factor rearing its ugly head again. I am afraid of making a quilt that Roby wouldn't be proud to have as a representation of him. I want it to say everything about him and show how special he was and what a light we lost when he died. And there is NO WAY TO DO THAT. No matter how perfect it is.
One day, about a year before he died, after 9 years of NOT TALKING ABOUT IT, we were sitting at his mother's kitchen table. It was winter and cold. He said, "I want purple snowflakes** on my quilt." I stopped him, "We don't need to talk about this." I had been waiting for so long, but when the moment came to find out what he wanted, I couldn't talk about it. Nine years of silence just meant the lock was rusted shut. We talked a little about his wishes and anxieties about dying and made agreements about things. But after that, we never talked about his quilt again. I wish I hadn't stopped him. I wish I knew exactly what he wanted and I wish I could make the perfect quilt for him.
I'm still not ready to make a quilt for him, but I think I am going to start the planning. That's a good thing, right?
**Purple snowflake story to come