There was a quilt that used to hang in my grandmother’s attic. When I was a child, I would creep up to this attic in the still of the afternoon to examine this quilt. Everything seemed to be quiet and asleep and contained in this room with its wooden floors and its wooden walls.
The quilt was moth-eaten, but it was also magnificent. The stitching, the patterns, the fading colors — it was all so old and so curious. I couldn’t help but stand there and stare at it for what felt like hours, the sun slowly sliding across the wooden boards.
When I was a teenager my grandmother died. She lived alone at that point in her life, as she was strong and independent up until the very end. Shortly after the funeral, my dad’s brothers and sisters came upstate to pack up my grandmother’s belongings. The plan was to sell the house, split the money. Somewhere in those confused days of stacked boxes and shuffling furniture, that quilt was lost.
I’ll always wonder what happened to it, whether it’s safely tucked away in some distant aunt’s cedar chest, or if it’s slowly decaying in some garbage heap, the bugs finishing the job they started all those years ago. Sometimes, when I’m least expecting it, I can still see the patterns in my daydreams.