Write-Up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb011

Each morning before I sit down to write, I straighten out the hand-crocheted quilt I have lying behind me over the back of my chair. As I did so on Thursday, Valentine’s Day, my eyes fell upon a tag in one corner that reads, “Made with love by MOM.” Given the holiday, it got me thinking about what love is.

My mom always sent Valentine’s Day cards to everyone in the family and to her friends. It was a bit of a pet peeve for me for a while. I felt Valentine’s was a day that should be for lovers, not for cards to mothers and others. I would say, for that there is Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmas and many different occasions providing opportunities to send greetings. But she sent her cards anyway.

Fortunately, in more recent times I chose to get over it and I would bring her favorite to her, a yellow rose on Valentine’s Day. I’m glad I did because this year I couldn’t help but think about what I would give to receive another Valentine’s Day card from my mom, who passed away two years ago.

She also crocheted afghans, mainly for those of us in the family. I actually have two. One is white and soft lilac, colors I selected. The other is a kaleidoscope of colors and made of remnant yarns from the various other afghans she had crafted. I admired it while it was a work in progress, so when it was finished my mother gave me that one too. She never wanted her name on her afghans and that remained true even after one of my brothers, a reading consultant, asked her to crochet one to raffle off for a fundraiser at his school, and it was a tremendous hit.

More important to her was creating these as gifts for her family. I remember the winter after one of my nephews got married he came down with the flu. His wife later shared with us that she arrived home to find him “lying on the couch wrapped in the quilt Nana made for him.”

When I think of watching my mother’s fingers at work and the hours and hours she devoted to crocheting I think of how lucky we are to be able to start or end our days, or muddle through the misery of sniffles and coughs wrapped in her love. So as I reflect on this Valentine’s Day, I know – love is a quilt my mother made.