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The Fabric of our Family

Guest Post from Jyl Johnson Pattee, Mom It Forward

When I think of thread, I think of spools of thread, which makes me think of the big wooden spools we used to play with at my grandma’s house when I was a child.

This weekend, I visited my hometown Mesa, Arizona and stayed overnight at my grandpa’s house where everything looks the same as it did six years ago when my grandma died. It’s even as clean as she left it thanks to his housekeeper.

I walked around the house, noticing the detail in the pictures on the walls from my grandma’s many travels. I could almost hear her playing songs on the piano and quoting lines from the hundreds of books stacked on her many bookshelves. I thought I could smell the juice she was squeezing from the oranges off her trees. And then I saw the sewing machine and stopped. I looked around for wooden spools and not finding them, thought of thread.

I lived with my grandparents my freshman year of college. My grandma made my clothes and I told everyone they were from Sax 5th Avenue. And everyone believed me. She was that good! It was fun watching her sew. Who knew someone who cussed up a storm like she did while sewing could produce such amazing clothes? She tried to teach me. I got the cussing part down, but fell short of the sewing part.

Sunday, I went to dinner at my uncle’s house. All of the family was there minus a few cousins, my parents and siblings who no longer live there, and my grandma of course. But she had done such a beautiful job weaving the fabric of our family that it seemed as if we were all together in the same room. Her love, laughter, and uncanny ability to make everyone feel like the most important person in the world (we all fight over who she loved most!) has bound our family, creating a safe and fun haven.

So, as Mother’s Day approaches, I have moments of missing my grandmother. Moments where I have to stop and find a deep breath and take it. Moments when I think of spools of thread or sewing machines and endless hours with her, playing as a child, talking as a teenager, and laughing as an adult and new mom. And only one word can capture how I feel every time I think about her: loved. What a fabulous Mother’s Day gift to me to be able to go back to her house, to visit her grave, and to be able to feel her love so intensely.

My gift to her? To follow her example!

Who makes you feel most loved? What gift are you giving to them this Mother’s Day?

Jyl Johnson Pattee is the founder of Mom It Forward and the Girls’ Night Out (#gno) Twitter parties. Offline, Jyl is a mom to two boys ages 9 and 7; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Spool photo courtesy of Flickr.

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Comments (4)

  1. Chacoy 05/11/2010 at 12:43 am

    Aww makes me miss my gram too;}
    Happy belated Mother's Day to you!

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  3. sahans 05/04/2010 at 3:56 pm

    What a beautiful story. I would say my husband makes me feel most loved. He respects me and listens to all of my crazy. He never judges and probably is a huge reason we have traditions and a large extended family.

  4. Tiffany 05/04/2010 at 8:20 am

    Beautiful memories. I loved reading this.