When our Daughter Alexis was born, her God Mother hand made her a baby blanket.  It was soft and tender, just like Alexis.  Even though she died almost 25 years ago, I still take comfort in keeping her worn, faded blanket near by.

And by “near by” I actually mean in bed with me.  Yup.  Sometimes I keep it right near the pillows on my bed if I am having a tough time, or just want to feel more connected.  Earlier this week was one such occasion.  I shared in a recent post what a tough time I was having with my grief.  And with relief, I can also report that today I am out of the grief storm and much more like myself.  Phew.

So the other night I was half asleep and rolled over onto that blanket.  As I pulled it closer it felt rough and scratchy.  Now I was completely awake and wondering what blanket I was actually touching.

It was hers alright, only there was a place in the material where the threads were worn so thin that it literally came apart and exposed the inner contents.  That’s where the stuffing was, and that is why it was so scratchy.  Instead of getting the soft, flannel material against my face, I got the thick, rough stuffing.  

Since the mystery was solved maybe it would have made sense to go right back to sleep.  But instead my mind started racing with thoughts of how this symbolic and sentimental blanket is so much like we are.  

We all have an outer layer.  It may be soft or rough, smooth or worn, bright or faded.  But as time goes on and we love through the outer layer in those around us, we get to the good stuff.  We get to the stuffing.  Under all the sewing, thread and thick outer coverings, is our stuffing.  Even if it’s not soft, it is real, genuine and beautiful.  It is the essence of who we are.

We don’t share our stuffing with many people, and we probably don’t know a lot of people willing to let their covers be loved down to threads and into nothingness, and to let their stuffing out.  But when it does happen, we know.  Because it is like a love we have only been Blessed to experience a couple times in our lives.  Even getting a glimpse of one person’s true nature, their light, their uniquely splendid inner self, is truly a miracle.

Ultimately this got me to thinking about an analogy around our own personal stuffing.  Do we let our outer covers get loved to thin threads, such that at least one other person in our lives really knows us?  Do we see past outer coverings of others, to let their stuffing show too?  Can we all be a little more available today, a little more exposed, and let a little more in, and a little more out? 

If we work at this in small doses we may find there is joy, curiosity, creativity and peace beyond the tightly woven threads of our exteriors.  Beyond our veils, we find the good stuff.  It may be scratchy in places, and soft in others.  But it is real. And it is ours.

Click to access the login or register cheese