Ruth Rollings

Honored by:Rachel Kneedler
Brick location:B:24  map

A quilt, a few pictures, and many memories are all I have left of the woman who I only knew for a short time of 18 years. I wish I could have known her when she was younger, when she was able to get around in life on her own without having to be dependent on other people. When I knew her her sight was failing and in the end so was her health, but somehow she got by with love and help from her family.

I don't think I ever heard my grandmother complain about anything. She took everything in stride and prayed that tomorrow would be a better day, and most of the time it probably was for her. On the rare occasion that she did complain about something to her children, it was always about something that was causing her a lot of pain, physically or even mentally. She never complained about the little things, they just didn't matter to her.

When her eyesight began to fail her, she easily gave up her car but she wouldn't give up her one relaxing pleasure, embroidering. Even though this woman was legally blind she could embroider the most beautiful patterns on just about anything. They became a staple gift from her on any occasion. No one minded getting the same thing every year because they were so beautiful and they were such a labor of love. The quilts she made for all of her graduating grandchildren were the most special things she could make. Each year she would make a new quilt with whatever the grandchild wanted on it. Most of the patterns were fairly simple to find and then put on fabric but I gave her what seemed to be the hardest quilt to make. The quilt was to be a tribute to what I had done in high school. Since there were no patterns of what I had done in school, photocopies were made of all sorts of T-shirt’s and book covers and whatever else had something about my high school career on it, then my grandma would spend hours making the patterns, usually with little light at all, and then transfer the pattern onto the quilt material. It took hours, but she didn't mind because she was doing it for her granddaughter.

My quilt wasn't quite finished when my grandmother passed away on April 1, 1992. I watched her painful days in the hospital. I watched when the pain became so great that she began to forget some of the things in her life. It would have been so easy for her to complain then, but she never did. While she was dying, the quilt was forgotten because it wasn't very important anymore; I almost decided not to have the quilt finished at all. The quilt was eventually finished, but it wasn't quite the same thing since my grandmother didn't finish it. I guess in a way that means my life with her isn't quite finished either. She may not be here with me every day, but she still is in my life, in my memories, in my pictures, and in my quilt.

Submitted on 5/10/94