By Lynn R. Mitchell
There was an unexpected box under the Christmas tree this year that, I was surprised to learn, was for me. It was Christmas Day and we had finished opening gifts when my mom reached over for one leftover gift and handed it to me. As we sat in my living room, I opened it while all eyes were on me — my parents, husband, children, sister, brother-in-law, and niece. Mom was all mysterious and mum, so we wondered what it was and where it had come from. She wasn’t saying … just sat there with a big cat-that-swallowed-the-canary grin on her face. I excitedly ripped off the paper to find a fairly large brown box that I quickly opened.
Imagine my surprise when a beautiful patriotic red, white, and blue quilt unfolded from the box! It was carefully crafted on both sides and featured American flags and fireworks and stars and patriotic colors. I looked quizzically at my mom and she said it had come from a family friend in Richmond. We don’t normally exchange gifts with them much less something that obviously had taken hours of time to create. Mom said, “Mary Ann wanted you to have this.”
I was thankful and grateful but stumped. This was no ordinary gift … this was a work of art. I wrote to Mary Ann to thank her, and she responded with the following:
“You are so welcome. I believe your Mom told you how I came about giving you the quilt. There are times I choose my project based on who I want to give the quilt to and then there are those quilts I sew and the person comes to mind while I’m sewing. The red, white, and blue patriotic quilt was one of those that, as I worked on it, you kept coming to mind. The farther I went along, the more the quilt just looked like Lynn should have it. It is also to thank you for your hospitality on the July 4ths that we have spent at your home. Also you are so involved in politics and want the best for your community, your State, and your Country so it was only befitting you should have this quilt!”
I was stunned. Mary Ann and her husband had joined us for the 4th of July celebrations, and I got a quilt in return. I definitely got the better end of that bargain!
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
Quilt by Mary Ann Bernard