Monday, August 7, 2006

TABLE CLOTHS

I was helping a couple of customers last night and was caught up in the excitement they had for their project.  They needed yards and yards of red, blue and silver material.  Naturally curious, I asked what they were making.

Table cloths, they said, for a memorial service... one of their soldiers had been killed in Iraq and they needed table cloths in the unit's colors for the reception following the service.

I lost it.  The almost casual manner in which they were talking had fooled me.  I couldn't stand there and pretend to be interested in how many yards of Palencia they needed.  I excused myself quickly and left.

I am becoming a big cry baby.  I stood amidst the silk flowers two aisles away and just bawled.  When I finally dried my eyes and returned to the cutting table, my customers barely seemed to be aware of my presence as they calculated length times width.  So I watched them, a young woman and her older mentor.  They calculated and conferred.  They scribbled and erased.

Everything had to be perfect.  The fabric, the measurements, the presentation.  Every detail was meticulously considered.  What I initially mistook for excitement was in fact fierce determination.  There could be no mistake.

Today, somewhere in Colorado there will be a memorial service for a fallen soldier.  There will be hugs and desperately whispered prayers.  Soldiers will stand tall and proud in a final salute to their comrade.  Wives will weep openly, children will squirm innocently. 

Quite probably nobody will notice the red, blue and silver table cloths.  But they will be perfect, because they were sewn with such fierce loyalty, love and respect, in honor of one of America's brave heroes, someone's son, someone's father or husband, someone's brother or cousin.  To the ladies who took the simple job of making table cloths and turned it into a mission of love, I give my gratitude not only as a fellow American but also as a soldier's mother.

May they never have the need to make such perfect table cloths again. 

9 comments:

memes121 said...

Amen

jckfrstross said...

Amen to that!!!!!


Deb

sdoscher458 said...

Just reading what you wrote made me cry. People hold to traditions to keep  themselves strong, god bless the ladies and I too wish there were no need. Sandi

princesssaurora said...

I pray that those clothes grow faded on a shelf somewhere....

Prayers for Gabe and you....

be well,
Dawn

plittle said...

Amen.

deshelestraci said...

Wow.  I'm sure you did lose it.  Anyone in your shoes would.  I pray they never need to use them again.
Traci

am4039 said...

How hard that must have been for  you. I don't blame your for crying. I'm sure the memorial service was beautiful for that wonderful soldier. Amen.


mzgoochi said...

(((Dorn))) I would have bawled too.

hestiahomeschool said...

I am crying now.

Please, when in Gabe coming home?????