All of four feet-nine inches tall and hard of hearing, Grandma Currier was as full of vim and vinegar as anyone I know.
She wasn’t really my grandmother. We weren’t even related. But, 500 miles from home and attending a Christian high school with her real granddaughter, I was privileged to be included in many a weekend in her home. You wouldn’t think such a tiny woman could intimidate me. But this was not a lady I wanted to tangle with, and she had my full respect. I was treated as one of her own, with the same rights and responsibilities: midnight curfew; do the dishes; sleep as late as you want on Saturday; church on Sunday.
Grandma Currier was famous for her homemade quilts. I especially admired the denim patch quilts she created for each of her grandkids, every square embroidered with a unique picture. I was delighted when, on the birth of my firstborn, I received an appliquéd baby quilt. I quickly declared it too beautiful for anything except hanging on the wall. There it hung through my second and third babies, and was all too soon folded and relegated to a closet shelf. That is, until the year the Romanian orphans were in the media on a daily basis. News clips showing neglected children huddled together without the basics of survival prompted me to put together a care package to send over with a local adoptive parent. It seemed the least I could do. In an uncharacteristic act of generous abandon, I included the beautiful baby quilt, imagining how special it might become to a needy child.
On occasion, I thought of the little quilt and regretted parting with it, especially the day I learned Grandma Currier had died. It would have been nice to have something to remember her by, but I chastised myself for being so self-centered and chose to believe she would have approved of my gift.
Then, the unexpected happened.
I didn’t know my in-laws were the owners of one of Grandma Currier’s quilts—a full size one, big enough to serve as a bedspread on a double bed. On a visit to our home, they left the quilt with us, with instructions to return it to Donna—Grandma Currier’s daughter. Perhaps she’d like to have it in memory.
Before we had a chance to do so, however, I received a call from Donna. “I hear you’re holding one of my mom’s quilts for me,” she said. “But since I already have several, I wondered if you might like to keep it.”
It still graces our guestroom bed.
They say you can’t out-give God. What do you suppose might happen if we ever really tried?