Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A veritable treasure

My dear Mamae gave me this family treasure--and I am so deeply honored. Now, with grandchildren arriving, I have opened the old box with the Braga Family "Veste Batismal"... or baptismal gown. As I wash by hand and carefully iron the handmade treasure--given to my parents as a wedding gift by their friend Dom Marcos OSB, the one whose poetry I translated for my Master's thesis--I imagine what went through my own mother's heart and mind, when we daughters were expecting our first children.

As it has happened before, here I am learning all over again from the pieces of memories that I weave together as I go through some of the same motions she went through, when I was expecting my own first little one... she too washed and pressed this same little treasure of finest linen and all hand embroidered—made, if I remembered well, by ladies in the priest’s native state of Minas—worrying about me and asking God that things would go well... she too wrapped it in new white tissue paper, put it in a box and in a suitcase, ready to travel to help her daughter whose whole life was about to change forever as she welcomed her firstborn. How she continues to teach me! What joy it will be when a grandchild is dressed in it, in the day they are "fully born", as she would say... 

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