Like most young couples, my husband and I didn’t have money for extravagant gifts on our first wedding anniversary. We were content to exchange thoughtful anniversary cards inscribed with mushy verses, enjoy a home cooked meal, and watch a romantic comedy at home. Simply being able to enjoy each other’s company was sufficient enough. We loved each other and no gift on the face of the earth could even come close to reciprocating our love for one another.
So when the mailman knocked on the door, I was very surprised to see a medium-sized package from my mother. Both eager and curious to see what was awaiting us in the package, I quickly ripped open the box and immediately my eyes filled with tears. Inside the box was a neatly folded quilt my mother had made by hand. It was white with lilac patterns intertwined and stitched with gold thread. The backing consisted of beautiful tiny purple flowers similar to those in my wedding bouquet.
Accompanying the gorgeous quilt was a note from my mother:
“Stephenie and Corey, Happy Anniversary! Enclosed is your very own Wedding Ring quilt. The purple of course was your wedding color and the gold thread represents the golden rings you two exchanged on your wedding day. May this quilt keep you warm when times are cold and remind you of the day you said your vows—Love, Mom.”
I was touched beyond words. My mom knew that we didn’t have the money to enjoy a fancy anniversary that year, and I knew that my mom didn’t have the money to spend on materials for such a beautiful quilt. And yet she surely had sacrificed to be able to afford this. The time alone it must have taken to hand stitch such a detailed quilt was mind boggling to me. I just pictured my mother coming home from a long day at work and staying up until the wee hours of the night delicately piecing the quilt together with each stitch gingerly sewn. My husband and I both knew that with each stitch a part of my mom’s love was sewn right into the quilt. How could any gift ever compare to such a genuine gift?
Many years have passed since my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary together, but neither of us has forgotten the beautiful quilt we received. My husband always jokes that the best anniversary present I have ever received wasn’t from him but from my mother, and I agree.
by Stephenie Speck