Jo Van L.

My first memories of a cloth:

Immediately I thought of an old green army blanket that I had as a child. I remember it because it was itchy. I always made sure the sheet touched me instead of the itchy wool blanket. I knew my father had gotten the blanket when he was in active duty in the army. We moved 13 times before I moved away from home at 22. The green blanket was always there. I first remember it when I was about nine and lived in Wyoming. My last memory of it was in my mom’s assisted living residence before she passed away. (note…. the itchy blanket was on a top shelf. Mom did not have it on her bed!)

More important to me is my memory of my mom’s button box. The box was made of myrtle wood. It had carved designs on the side. When you opened it, it smelled musty. My mom could sew but I don’t remember her sewing new clothes. I remember her mending and repairing clothes. When she would get her sewing basket out, I would get to play with the button box. I loved to sort the buttons and to feel the different textures. There were smooth ones and rough ones. There were a lot of little white ones because when a shirt wore out, my mom would cut off the buttons and save them.

When my mom moved from her home into assisted living I helped her move. I discovered her button box and excitedly opened it. I expected the buttons I had treasured but it was empty. My giving mother had given a grandchild 100 buttons so he could take them to school for a” one hundred day” celebration.

I still have the button box. It sits in my sewing room on a shelf. It will always remind me of my mom and of the fact that my mom taught me how to sew. If you open it now, you will see a few notes of affirmation. I planned to collect positive thought and put it in the box……a good thought but a practice that never went past the third day.