Monday, October 30, 2006

The Quilt of Love ©


I felt excitement in the air.

"A couple more stitches and this one will be finished," a man’s voice said.

"There it is, it’s finally alive."

I felt the needle penetrate and come out my other side.

"You know," there was quietness as a calloused hand gently brushed loose threads from the material, "George needs this one." "You know that he is laid up with a major cold and he’s alone. The church has been taking him food until he gets back on his feet."

"He kind of different, you know," another voice spoke up. “I feel uneasy around him. There is something that's always eating at him and he's been this way since he started to come to this church."

"I know. I've been observing him in the past year," Karl responded. "He's had a rough road to hold onto."

"Well, then you take it to him and explain about the quilt” a voice rang out from the background.

"Give me a hand in shaking and folding it," Karl said. "Don't let it touch the floor."

"George, I see you are still under the weather," Karl said.

"I just can’t shake it." "It's just as bad as catching a cold in Korea. You'd have walking pneumonia and you still had to go on patrol," George replied.

"The church still brings in fresh food for you?” Karl asked.

"Yeah, if you can call it food," George replied.

"I've brought something else," "We just finished it this morning," Karl said. He stopped speaking briefly and showed George the quilt. George looked at the quilt and shook his head.

"This is what I do every second Tuesday at the church," Karl said while he unfolded it on top of the bed where George was lying underneath the covers. "It will help keep you warm and get you well quicker."

Karl was silent while he tucked the ends of the quilt in.

"It’s a different kind of quilt. We call it 'The Quilt of Love.’ These are sent all over the world, not just to folks in our local area," Karl said and looked at George while he was tucking in last of the quilt.

"I know that you don't go for all that preaching stuff, George," Karl said as he walked next to where George was lying. "The reason we call it 'The Quilt of Love’ is because it’s a parallel to God's love. The quilt covers you like God’s love covers your life. The quilt gives the warmth that a person needs from the cold just like God protects you in your walk through life."

"I know that you have been through it. I saw the Purple Heart on the front of your car. They did not give those out in Korea for just being there. This is not to mention about the wives you been married too.”

“Some of us are lucky to get a woman that can put up with us," Karl said in a low voice.

"Speaking of wives, I have to go pick up mine," Karl voice said in louder voice.

"You gonna be all right?” Karl asked as he turned to walk out of George's bedroom.

"Yeah," George replied in a low voice that Karl could not hear.

As I heard these words spoken, I wondered what kind of world I had been put into. Would this man be good to me? Would he just leave me be and not take care of me? What was my life going to be like with this man?

The next thing I felt was a large hand grabbing me and pulling me like every thread that I was put together with would pop loose.

"Damn blanket!" his voice rang out. "He tucked it in too much. Damn it! I've been shot at, nearly bled to death and four women have tried to change me. No blanket ain't gonna change me!" the loud voice rang out as he pulled and pulled on me.

I was so thankful when I moved forward. This man was so strong he could have bent a piece of iron with his bare hands. My life was going to be a miserable existence with this man. I was glad when he didn't touch me anymore for a long time.

That night I was in for a rude awakening. Both his hands grabbed me for dear life and in the same instant he screamed. I could do nothing but what I was made to do - keep my owner warm and secure in his world. This was my task until my owner saw fit to change my destiny. This lasted for several minutes.

I suddenly felt his large hand softly touch the fabric that I was made of. The hands that stroked my cloth were wet. I hoped he could feel the purpose I had been designed for.

His hand moved back and forth as if searching for something while he stroked my soft cloth. I felt him relaxing into a calm state with each stroke of his hand. I heard the strangest sound. There was nothing I could compare the sound to, but it was very loud and could shake any loose object to the ground. As time passed, I came to cherish his snoring, for then I knew he was at peace.

The next morning, I found myself very different. I was half on and half off the bed where I was supposed to be, not to mention the hot dark liquid that touched me. This was not a happy experience and it happened nearly every morning for the next several months.

Life was not going to be an easy one with this man.

Something happened that evening, which changed our relationship forever. George started to feel the cloth that I had been made of. Maybe it was what had happened the night before. No one will ever really know, however, he commented how soft I was. He suddenly laughed out loudly.

“I’ve been shot at. I've been hit with six bullets and still not died. I've been dragged over the coals by four women and been left penniless. Now I have a blanket of love to take care of me like God. It's suppose to protect me from all the evils of this world," George said and laughed out again.

I know this is not a giant step and did not I gain his overwhelming confidence but he did recognize my presence and my purpose in this world. Nevertheless, I had moved into his world, this was part of my role in his life.

At the end of the week, he did wash me but he was so coarse with whatever he used. This was not to mention when he threw me over the back yard fence to dry out. This was no fun at all. Even with coarse detergent that he used, I turned out just as soft as before.

To be honest, I was very surprised when he threw me back on his bed. I thought for sure that I would wind up in a corner somewhere or under one of his cars while he fixed it. This was not to mention that after his bad cold left him; he still kept me as a cover.

The nights were still unbelievable to me but both of us survived. I could understand partly why his wives did not want to spend the nights with him in this condition.

Over the years, I have been with him either covering him or at the bottom of the bed where he rested. He has nearly found peace. Please pardon me in taking credit for this achievement but I think both of us enjoy the touch that he gives me while he sleeps. I knew that I had broken the ice, as the saying goes, when one he commented to me one night how he liked me being around.

Karl came by several weeks later after he had given me to George. I heard them talking in the kitchen about some "stuff.” It was really about me. George told Karl that he had started to be at peace with himself.

Karl did not reply to this statement. I wasn’t winding up on the back yard fence and his place in general was being taken care of better.

The next thing I felt different was another presence in the household. I first noticed this with a change of detergent that was being used on me. She had a nice soft touch. I wonder if George would notice the “gift” that she had with things.

I was in luck and he did. Now, when the cold weather comes I cover two people instead of one.

I must admit that there was one tremendous scare this one spring morning. I heard her voice telling George, "Where are we going to put this 'quilt'?” I knew then my life could be terminated at this time. Had my purpose for existence found an end or would I be sent to another person to give my gift to?

“It will always go at the foot of the bed," George replied. "It’s a very special blanket. It's a blanket of love," I heard George tell her after she had placed me. Neatly folded, at the foot of the bed.

This is my story. Granted, I have only one complaint. George will probably never know the difference between a blanket and a quilt but I think everyone that has or will meet him will overlook this minor mislabeling of me.

Written by: Franklin P. Smith
All rights reserved. Do not use without author's permission.

fpsmith3@bellsouth.net

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