How many of us think the little things we do affect those around us?
A kind word we say and then forget but the person it was said to remembers it for years. A few coins given to a stranger who was in the grocery line ahead of us and we helped out because they needed less than a dollar to have enough to pay for their milk and bread. We don’t remember it much past when it actually happens but the recipient remembers it always because it meant her child got to have a glass of milk with his peanut butter sandwich for supper. And oh the things we do and say to our own children and grandchildren that they remember forever. Be careful with those small ones because what you do and say can have a lasting effect, for good or for bad.
My own grandmother was a loving, caring, kind person who loved children. It is just as well she felt this way about them because she had sixteen. Yes, you read that correctly, my grandmother had sixteen children. My mom had nine kids and to this day there are things my grandmother and mom said to me that stand out in my memory.
The lesson Grandmother tried to drum into my head that I wish had stuck was the one she repeated over and over, “Be kind to others, always,” she would admonish, “It will come back to you, maybe not from the person you are kind to but from someone else. We really do reap what we sow.” I can still hear her saying that and I’m still wishing I was a kinder, gentler person.
I knew a lovely woman in her 80’s who believed she was homely. She had believed this all of her life because an uncouth person had said to her mother when she was a little girl that he couldn’t believe what an ugly little thing she was so he hoped she was a good girl.
Yes, our words can affect people for many, many years as can our actions.
“But I don’t want to go home. I want to stay with Grandmother!”
How many times has a mother heard that refrain? A friend of mine has a grandson who came to visit with his mom and then didn’t want to go home, he wanted a sleepover with his grandmother.
Trying to be logical, his mom told him, “But you don’t have your jammies with you.” And the son, being just as logical, at least to his way of thinking, replied, “I’ll borrow some from Meme.”
Of course Meme offered to find something the child could sleep in and as she sorted through what she had she came upon her Mickey Mouse t-shirt from Disney World. “That one, Meme, that one!” came the shout from an excited small boy. So the Mickey Mouse shirt became a boy’s nightshirt. He never wanted to sleep in anything else when he was at Meme’s house.
Now that grandson is in his twenties, married and, his Meme is hopeful, will someday have kids of his own. Unfortunately, the t-shirt suffered some damage through the years but it was saved because of the memories of good times it represented.
“It has a hole in it,” my friend said when she was telling me the story. “Do you suppose it could be made into a baby quilt?” And of course I told her to bring it and I would certainly see what I could do with it.
As you can see from this picture, the hole was repaired with a piece from the back of the shirt and hardly showed before the quilting and after it was quilted one has to really search for it to see it. Success!
Because the shirt had raglan sleeves, I decided to “raglan” the bottom of the shirt front too so it has a modified diamond pattern. After that it was simply a matter of adding rows of quilt-type pieces around the shirt front so it became big enough to be a quilt for a baby, toddler, or an old person in a wheelchair.
The back of the quilt is a piece of flannel with Mickey all over it.
That grandmother created memories for a little boy that likely dwell with him today and bring comfort when he thinks of them. Now she has created another memory to bring it all back for him so when he has a child of his own, boy or girl, for who doesn’t love Mickey, he can wrap his child in the shirt that held and comforted him when he was a child. This grandmother has it right, this is a grandmother’s love in action.
What kind of memory have you created for someone today?
Oh, and you say you can’t see the hole? It is just to the left of the word “Walt” on the shirt.