Yeah, it was funny at the time. As was the fact that somebody I didn't know had accidentally been invited to my out-of-state bridal shower, AND had accidentally gotten confused about what kind of shower it was, AND had missed the shower anyway, but sent the gift with my friend to my wedding, knowing full well by then that it had been a bridal shower. It was, of course, a baby quilt, with a matching pillow, hand-made, and the words "Children are a gift from the Lord, may your quiver be full of them" embroidered across the front. You know, one of those things a pushy Grandma-want-to-be-Great Grandma gives you for your wedding, only not by accident.
2 years, 1 miscarriage, and an infertility lifetime later, it wasn't so funny anymore. The card was thankfully forgotten in the bottom of a stack of memorabilia, but the blanket was in my closet, taunting me like a sick cosmic joke. I couldn't decide if it was something of a promise that we would eventually have children, a representation of an idolatrous desire of mine that I needed to get rid of, or simply a benign coincidence that just happened to strike the wrong bride. Whatever it was, I couldn't get rid of it, even when the thought of it sitting there collecting dust reminded me that I hadn't cried enough yet that month. I'm not one to look for signs, but I couldn't help thinking that God's hand was in this one, if only I had enough optimism to truly believe that receiving that painful gift was really meant to bring the comfort of believing that we would surely have a baby to sleep in its warm embrace someday.
The truth is though that I never really believed that the blanket was a sign. I wanted to believe it, but I always knew that God could choose otherwise, blanket or no blanket. I mean, come on... God's not bound to arrange our lives according our interpretation of accidental gifts. Except that nothing is an accident to Him... which lead me back to wondering if it was supposed to mean something... and that endless cycle reminded me of a man... with power...
Carey Grant clip for the uninitiated:
Of course, eventually, I got pregnant with Hannah. The first time I felt her kick, I thought of the blanket, and the anonymous not-a-friend who had given it to me. I wanted to thank her, to tell her that her gift was finally going to be used, and that while I was angry at it for a long time, it had also given me hope, and now it was bringing me joy. It was the first thing I got out and put in the unfinished nursery. I planned the colors I wanted around the colors of that blanket (green and white). I still cried when I read the Psalm passage on the front, but this time they were happy tears.
I tried to get the full name and address, but the friend who had thought that we knew each other and brought me the gift was no longer in contact with her. I wrote out a long thank-you note that never got mailed. I think, just maybe, that God wants all the credit for this one, and I hope that He gives my anonymous quilter a great big reward in Heaven. I am so grateful, and her gift has meant more to me through the years than I could ever tell her, even if I had an address to mail that thank-you card to.