Though my mom is a quilting bee extraordinaire, I can’t sew a stitch to save my life. Not even a button. But I do have a knack for knitting folks together. The Internet made it easier to weave the people in my past and present into a wonderful patchwork.
I didn’t blog about my birthday so people would shower me with wishes; I certainly didn’t post it twice on Facebook to get more likes. That mistake was due to my technological ineptitude. But a neat thing happened anyway, especially after I posted birthday wishes to my baby sister born the day after me. Comments from literally around the world gave me a heartwarming lift.
Growing up with 3 siblings 5 years apart, we shared not only clothes and closet space, but also friends. School classmates multiplied by 4 gave me oodles of childhood chums. Without any explanation, they understood what it was like to live for Friday Night Lights in Golden Warrior Territory. They grew up jerking burgers, selling pizzas and mowing lawns for pocket money with the taste of corn on the cob, Maid Rites and RC Cola imprinted in their minds forever. Each completed a piece of the mosaic of my roots growing up in Illinois.
Circles existed long before the advent of Google+. They were called family, school, church, community, and team. My college family, basketball buddies, summer friends – cabin dwellers sharing lake lore – form other squares.
Friendships from parts of the globe where I have spent time, as well as my Norwegian family up by the North Pole, create other patches. My international community of colleagues in Switzerland from Canada, France, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, and Trinidad add other block.
Teams representing different ages and stages of my life add a colorful motif of mascots: Sterling Golden Warriors, ISU Redbirds, UWSP purple Pointers, Paris blue Rebels, Geneva green Hawks.
My cyber friends, the writing buddies like Lynne in California, Debbie in Central Illinois, Kathy in New York, Clara in Chicago, Helene in New Jersey, Sharon and Anne on the Midlife Boulevard bringing me laughter and inspiration through their words, add their own unique pattern.
Friends my folks age to my own former students, to the pals of now my grown children form other pieces of my multicultural, cross-generational comforter.
During February, I wallowed in misery with the duvet pulled up to my nose, lamenting my misfortune bedridden with illness, but only weeks later I was reminded how blessed I am.
Just like the piecework stitched lovingly by my mom, I wrapped up in my memory quilt of people to ward away cold, fend off sickness, and shield my soul from heartache.
I am the thread binding this colorful kaleidoscope of humanity.
And so are you. And that is a beautiful thing.
Next time you are ill or down in the dumps, crawl under the covers and have a good cry, then draw that cozy comforter up to your chinny, chin, chin and image being wrapped in a patchwork of people making up your own life quilt.