One Word: Apron
It was just a piece of cotton. Flowery print trimmed in solid salmon pink. It hung on the back of the utility room door until Sunday morning. Then it went on over the Sunday dress while she cooked the family breakfast before church, hair still in rollers, house shoes on over stocking with slightly crooked seams in the back.
There was a hankie folded in the pocket on the front that carried a small brown bloodstain from when my brother sliced his thumb open. It had been washed many times but some things never rinse away. There were flecks of faded purple on the front from making Elderberry jelly and a small tear in the trim on the hem from the time it caught on the storm door as she ran out to pick me up when I fell for the umteenth time on the edge of the back porch and tore the scabs off my knees once again.
It had held tomatoes she picked from the garden and a pile of socks she carried to the chair on the lawn so she could darn them while she watched us run through the sprinkler. It had belonged to her mother and then worn by her til it wore out.
A piece of it still lives in a scrap quilt that also contains left over scraps from a shirt she made my dad, dresses she made for me and pajamas sewn for my brother. Even the back is pieced from old flannel sheets that had worn in places. The quilt is raggedy now. Pieces dry rotted and unraveling, not really usable. I can’t part with it though. It is up on a closet shelf and every now and then I take it out and look at the patches and remember that I am touching love.