She loved to sew. In fact, my mom could sew just about anything. Baby blankets. A pair of jeans. Ball gowns, curtains, quilts, hanging storage for toys. Jackets, swimsuits, doll clothes or a laptop case. She made them all. And she made most of the patterns herself, too. In fact, she made her own forms, pin cushions and even many of her tools. I wish, I wish, I wish sewing was hereditary. I’m afraid it’s just not in my fingers though it must be hidden in my DNA somewhere, right? She’d sit at the sewing station she put together – an old desk painted white and situated by the window – for hours on end. Whirring away with the machine, ripping out seams and putting them back together again, ironing while surrounded by clouds of steam. I wonder- how many stitches did she make in her lifetime? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Billions? Guess I’ll have to wait a while to find out for sure. But I do know those stitches were the quiet binding, the structure, the stability of our family tapestry. So many of our most defining moments were touched by her needle and thread. Both of my prom dresses. About a million patched knees for my brother’s jeans. A warm vest my dad wore under his coat when traipsing through the snow and ice, feeding the cattle. The quilt made of mine and my brother’s baby clothes. If you are one of the lucky ones she sewed something for, count yourself blessed. Look at the stitches. She made each one thinking only of you.