It’s a beautiful hand-painted box, given by my mother-in-law’s friend, a tole artist, as a wedding day gift. I had planned to keep family photos in it. Instead it holds the mementos of our son Cameron’s life.
I reached in for the white baby blanket embroidered with his name and date of birth -- the standard baby gift from my workplace at the time. Our son Sam received one like it a couple of years later.
I never used either blanket. As a baby, Sam couldn’t tolerate polar fleece. I’d slip him into a fleece sleeper and even in the middle of a northern Minnesota winter he’d wake up an hour later, crying, his face and hands beet red, his body soaked in sweat. Cameron never had use for a blanket.
I’d been meaning to do this for a long time.
“If I ever get a sewing machine,” I’d tell myself, “I’ll sew the embroidered corners, cut them off as keepsakes and donate these perfectly good blankets to Goodwill.” Then, it was, “If I ever get that sewing machine up and running…”
Today was the day. I took the blanket downstairs to the machine. I sewed off the corner, then cut it off the blanket. I went upstairs to my closet for Sam’s blanket and repeated the actions.
I told Tom I’m going to save Sam’s corner for a memory quilt I plan to make. I’ve already planned themes for some of the squares: Thomas the Train, his three favorite super heroes, little league baseball, soccer, running, Cub Scouts.
But do we need to save Cameron’s? I asked. Not knowing the blankets existed, he didn’t think so.
I put the now plain white blankets in a bag and set them in the Goodwill pile. I stowed Sam’s corner in a box with his baby quilt. I gathered the remaining scraps to throw away.