I carry around the blanket my dad rested beneath on the day he died. They gave it to me at the funeral home, and I stuffed it in the back of my car. I wasn’t ready to do anything with it. I keep thinking it’s the place where he took his last breaths, let it remain with me as it is, perhaps with a few of his breaths caught in the fibers. I folded it on Tuesday.
I thought to myself last night how silly it must seem, a grown woman carrying around a blanket like some kind of Linus looking for security? Not exactly. But I think I have a purpose for it now.
I asked myself this morning what to keep, what to bring, what to throw away? Why don’t I keep my son’s baby blanket, the one he came home from the hospital, in my purse? I mean, if blankets matter so much, should I keep that in my car, too?
But no. He’s here. He occupies yards of me, this young man whose feet kicked my ribs, fit in the palm of my hand. He is filled with life and strange noises and beautiful expressions, intelligence that defies his peers and makes it hard for him to walk comfortably in the world. No blanket is needed to be reminded of the life within him.
I wonder what blanket they’ll cover me with when it’s my time? Will it be the purple one that says “We ❤ You Mom” that my mother had made for me when I carried my son? The one we don’t use very much because it’s been unraveling slowly, and it’s not quite long enough to cover a full-grown body? Or maybe they’ll just staple Post-it Notes to my body covered with questions and accusations. No. I will be covered with a blanket I don’t recognize by hands that I do.