A Raggle-Taggle Quilt

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and written the things that are on my heart. Sometimes it’s just easier to share the fun vacation stuff, the oh-my-word-my-laundry-is-out-of-control stuff, the day to day good and bad stuff that isn’t too bad or too good. Actually, it’s always easier. Writing the “real” stuff is hard and it hurts and it’s scary. But the real stuff is also the real stuff. So I thought I’d sit down with a good cup of coffee and share with you this Monday morning.

I’m part of an amazing raggle-taggle mess of a family. We’re salvaged pieces patched together. Blended families are like that. Maybe all families are like that – a hopeful quilt made up of overlapping edges and too taut seams.

Quite a few months back, my raggle taggle family went through a pretty awful time – seams that once were plenty secure started to unravel while ones already stressed, completely snapped. Pieces were ripped leaving threads dangling and edges frayed. The who’s who and details aren’t important – after all, it’s the stressor, not the quilt at fault and thread can only withstand so much weight. Life pulled so hard at the edges.

Before this, I always took my family for granted – assumed that things might get messy or strained but never thought it capable of breaking. In the last eight months, I’ve realized that this mix and match group is not a permanently interchanging fixture but, like a quilt, can be torn apart and forever altered.

I’m sad at the undercurrents – the quick topic changes and the quiet lines that are subtly drawn. But I’m grateful too. This thing that pulled and tugged and ripped us apart changed how we may see each other but not for the worst. This experience has shown me just how capable we are at extending grace even when it’s really, really hard. I see how far I’ve come from the person I was just three years ago. I see that a family made up of very imperfect and beautiful people are very much loved and loving.

We’ve recently picked up our needles and painstakingly begun repairs. Pieces are being rearranged and some need a softer touch than before but things are slowly being reassembled. I’m quite certain that it will continue to be pulled and mended throughout time, though hopefully not so drastically. I’m hopeful that this fragile and precious patchwork will survive to keep us warm and close.

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  • i really love the analogy you used. family is like that, threads holding together to form a beautiful quilt. i hope the reassembly of your family's quilt goes by smoothly.

  • Blended families, step families, I've found there are no two alike, but they all struggle in one way or another even when things are going "well". I'm sorry it's hard right now and hope it gets easier soon.