She wore a beautiful robe.
It laid neatly over her soul and was made of all the bits and pieces of fabric she thought made her uniquely her.
There was the spark and glow that was born into her. There was the intricate weaving from her childhood. There was the color of all the passions and hard work and knowledge she added to her patchwork. And there was the binding of the love and relationships that shaped her.
She felt comfortable in the robe. It wasn’t perfect. She didn’t need it to be. It was hers and hers alone, and she knew who she was when she wore it.
But then a child made her a mother.
Without hesitation she gathered up her robe and swaddled the one she called her own.
Later, one day as she gazed in the mirror, she noticed the robe looked different. It felt different too. Some of the threads seemed faded. She looked closer still and searched for pieces that seemed missing. It didn’t fit in quite the same way either. It was uncomfortable in the way new things sometimes are at first.
She wept for her robe. She trembled and felt lost. Who was she if not dressed in the robe she used to wear and know so well?
Then she looked down and let her fingers delicately trace its tear-streaked layers.
And she noticed something else about the robe she had missed before.
Yes, it was different. Some threads were faded, worn, even gone. But the others…
There were new ones born of sacrifice. There were tender strands and fierce strands intricately braided together. There were fibers of perseverance and resilience. Dedication and commitment. Caretaking and nurturing. Grieving and aching. Encouragement and celebration. Gratitude and depth of connection. Purpose and persistence.
She paused and whispered, “But haven’t so many of those threads already been within my robe?”
Much may have already been there, she realizes, but the material itself is changed. The fabric is rich in texture. The colors are vibrant with depth. The up and down weave has a new strength and durability. One unknown in the old robe. The cords seem to withstand stretching that would have unraveled the other.
Finally, her eye fell to the lacing that bound, gave shape to and held this robe together. Unconditional love. Deep, limitless, steady love. Powerful, peaceful, and prayerful love. The kind of love that causes old fibers to shed, others still to strengthen, and new threads to emerge. A love that is so constant and relentless, that it can’t help but change its keeper.
The robe no longer simply draped her being like the one of her younger years. Instead, it was stitched directly to her heart. Fibers of a mother’s identity and core self evermore intertwined.
She pulled the changed new robe tight against her chest and clutched it with claim.
And she wore it with pride.