Sunday, May 29, 2011
Blue. Red. Green. Yellow. Little rainbow hand prints joined at the thumb make colorful butterflies. Rainbows fly between them. A single sketch of a little girl stands in the middle. Peeking out from blond hair are two eyes- one blue and one green. She always drew them that way because "sometimes my eyes look blue and sometimes they look green." I can hear her giggle and see her squish up her eyes with love's silly face. Her name is written below her prints- in her own handwriting. All her friends names are there, too. It is a beautiful quilt. More than pictures- it is my baby's last class. This is the last project her work will ever be a part of. The stitches are woven through the fabric. Through my heart. Somehow knitting me to her memory... to the children and teachers she loved and who loved her. A precious piece of love and time. I would have paid any price for it at the auction. My bids would have no limit at the preschool fundraiser. But it never made it out for bidding! It was already bought! Paid for by the donations of her classmates' families and wrapped in love for me. A surprise gift for her mommy.
As the school year ends, so will a part of her. In some ways it's as if a piece of her has died again. The children have "graduated" and will scatter to different elementary schools for kindergarten. This is the last class that she will ever have been a part of... the last time she will be thought of so often during the year... the last place she will have a cubby or a spot on the rug or a picture on the bulletin board. The memories may linger for a while yet, but the proof that she was here will now be tucked away in files and drawers. And in my heart.
Thank you. Thank you for the beautiful butterfly garden- for the butterfly bench painted in rainbow colors and the glass tiled stepping stones so little feet will remember hers. Thank you for the miniature butterfly garden at her grave. Thank you for the balloons and the remembrances in the program. Thank you for the tie-dyed tassels to remind us of butterflies and of her. Thank you for the amazing painting of her castle in the clouds and for hope. Thank you for not forgetting her. Thank you for not leaving us so alone. Thank you... for the quilt.