Thursday, January 21, 2010

Losing My Security Blanket

If you come to my house and you fall in love with something, unless it's a family heirloom or a special gift I received from someone you will most likely find yourself going home with whatever it is. Should it be one of those super special things I cannot part with, I will do my best to find you something almost exactly like it no matter how long it takes.

I love my stuff, but I have also never had a problem sharing my stuff, and never regretted giving anyone anything. So what I am about to tell you makes me feel horribly ashamed of myself and superficial on top of it.

As I mentioned in my previous post I have a friend from out of town visiting...not to worry, she doesn't like the computer and doesn't read my blog, so she will never see this post. Knowing that, is the only thing that allows me to share my misery with you. I adore my friend and I would never want to make her feel bad.

When she arrived she fell in love with the ratty old quilt I keep at the end of the sofa. I have had it for about 15 years, and it's nothing special. I bought it at Mervyns, and it wasn't expensive.

She thought this was the most wonderful thing, and a large portion of yesterday's shopping outing was spent looking for a quilt for her. We found several, but the color was always wrong, or it didn't feel right, or any one of a dozen other reasons why she didn't want to buy one. When we got home last night she kept going on about how perfect that one was, the color was just right, etc. so I said if you like it take it.

Honestly I couldn't understand why she would want it though, and I felt as if I really should have tossed it in the garbage long ago. It has been washed 300 times at least. I finally gave up trying to repair it years ago and it's quite worn. She was utterly delighted to have it and took it down to bed with her. I didn't give it a second thought.

I went to bed, and several hours later I woke up feeling little sick to my stomach. I came out in the living room crawled in the chair and reached for the quilt which of course wasn't there. My sense of loss was suddenly so acute it hurt worse than my stomach.

I sat there over analyzing my feelings as I tend to do with myself. I realized that the quilt had been there through two major surgeries and three minor ones. It had been there for every flu, cold, and ailment I had.

It had been a soft cradle for all the pets that have lived here to sleep in my lap for the past decade and a half. Including my beloved Shelby who has been gone for over two years now. They have all been taught that they cannot get on the furniture, but that my quilt covered lap is ok as long as they have an invite.

The quilt had been there for cool summer evenings when I didn't want to close the window, but was too chilly to sit there without it. It had been there through cold winter nights when I laid on the sofa trying to stay warm. It had been there through readings of all the Harry Potter books, every James Rollins novel, countless magazines, and scores of other great reads. It had been there for more movies than I can count. It was there every morning when I get up to see R off to work and was cold from just climbing out of a warm bed. It has been there when I had life's great issues to just sit and ponder. It had been there through daydreams and a million ideas for my art work. It was there when I meditated, or used my neck massager. It had been there when I wanted to avoid the harshness that life can deal out.

I also realized that it's worn nature and hundreds of washings made it soft and wonderfully comfortable, adding character that cannot be found in something new. It can only be come with longevity and use.

It suddenly occurred to me that it was part of my personal history and that's why it never quite made it to the garbage bin. It also occurred to me that at 46 years old, I have a security blanket. I wanted to run down to the guest room, snatch it back and tell her she couldn't have it. I wanted it, I needed it! But I couldn't do that. I told her she can have it, and I will not go back on my word, nor will I ever let her know how hard it is to give it up.

So I sit here this morning feeling ashamed of myself. It's just a thing. I shouldn't be so attached to a material object. Even something that cannot be duplicated. I tried to justify it by telling myself that by passing it on to my friend she is adding a new chapter to it's history. I have told myself that she clearly needed the comfort that it provides more than I do. But in truth it's not working, and I don't know why. Like a child, I just want to cry for it's loss. Is it because we all need our security blanket and our little tangible piece of history? Or is it because I am just a selfish and superficial person?

In the future when people come to visit, and they fall in love with something I have, they will most likely still go home with it...even if it's a new quilt that earns it's place in my heart and home. But just for this one morning, I still feel foolishly, selfishly, childishly sad. And...I am cold.


ginger@bearbits said...

I feel for you. I think you are a very brave soul. My daughter lost her security blanket years and years ago and when we think of it - it's still a terribly sad time. So, I join you feeling bereft. I feel bereft for you. I think on some level you must have known it was special or why go out and spend all day looking for a similar one. The last resort was to give her yours. Did she know you are a generous person? In any case, like you, I might feel a bit of shame at my wanting to hold on to it, but some people are that way. It's the things with the value of sentiment and not monetary value that are important. I think you are brave but it's a loss all the same. Take care Kelly and be good to yourself.


Heather said...

I tend to give stuff away a lot too... so I understand. Usually it's the feeling of 'Oh, they really loved that, I'm so glad I could make them happy'... but every once in a while there is a remorse... a guilt ridden remorse that creeps over you.

I usually focus on a much more beloved object that is still in the home when that happens... like "Well, the quilt is gone, but my beloved pillow is still here" or some such.

I do have to say though, your last few words in this post totally cracked me up. That probably wasn't the intent... but the 'I am cold' statement was just so cute. :)

julietk said...

Be kind to yourself Kelly, after all you did give her the quilt which makes you still the kind and giving person you have always been. I cannot offer a replacement but I do hope you find something just as snuggly and comforting.

Darlene said...

I feel your loss, that's why I know it will be replaced with something that will bring and evoke such memories to come. I'm sending you a hug, the arms are a little worn,they've been cried on and propped up heads,and carried loads, they seem a little soft but are quite strong. You can just rest on them a moment still you feel better.

Hugs,big ones, Darlene

Carol Ann said...

Go with the feeling you had in your heart when you told your friend she could have the quilt. It sounds like it is going to be loved just as much in it;s new home. There must be a photo or two where the quilt is included, gather them together, they will tell a story of your quilt. Write down your feelings beside each photo. You will end up with something to treasure along with the loved memories of your quilt. Your new quilt when you find it will be the start of new memories and perhaps a new quilt journal?

Carol Ann xx

Michele Seraphim said...

It's Okay to morn your quilt. It is also most likely that you will one day celebrate the fact that your friend now has it as you have so graciously passed it on. I am a quilter/ bear artist and there is a history to both. Your story was touching to read and not unlike many quilt stories that have been written for centuries. You are a good friend and your love for your quilt, even though it is just a "thing" does not mean you are shallow or selfish... I hope those were your words... your feelings show your kindness and deep emotional connection with the people and things that pass in and out of your life. What about taking a photo of your friend wrapped in your wonderful quilt, framed and put somewhere in your home? You will surely soon have a new quilt or something to keep you warm... when your heart opens to someone I believe someone else will open for you... when you need it most. You sound like a lovely lady and it is nice to hear that you have found emotional ties to an inanimate object in a world that sometimes seems harsh. It's okay to feel the loss and soon the happiness also! Have a lovely day and enjoy awaiting the gift that is surely on its way to you.

Brenda said...

awww bless your heart for giving her your treasured quilt. I am sure she will fell so loved when she is wrapped in it.

Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

The most important thing in all of this - you were able to let go of a cherished object for love of your friend.

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