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Every pleasure is most valuedwhen it is coming to an end.I woke up this rainy Saturday morning in grief. My husband was gone for the weekend. My work was mostly caught up, and I was initially excited about having a whole weekend to myself. But I was missing my parents, and it suddenly dawned on me that I might have gone to see them if only I had planned better. I can’t get enough of them.

Mom and DadThey just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary—another reminder that I will not always have them. More and more, I understand what the philosopher Seneca meant when he said every pleasure is most valued when it is coming to an end.

I’ve always had the pleasure of my mother’s love and companionship. When I was busy finding a young woman’s freedom and independence, Mom did the impossible: she released me. But I knew she was always there in the wings, loving me and praying for me.

She took whatever I gave, which wasn’t much until I reached my 30s. Between visits, she sent pillowslips, lovingly embroidered by her own hand and wrapped in tissue paper. I’ve always adored them, but I don’t tuck them away in a drawer; I use them. They make me feel close to her no matter how far we are from one another.

Embroidery Mom 2Embroidery Mom 1Even if you (or your grandmother or mother) are not into stitching, vintage linens can make crawling into bed such a sweet pleasure. Snatch them up whenever you find them at antique stores and auctions. Even if they are stained, they can often be redeemed with careful laundering and spotting, and you’ll love the feel of vintage cottons.

What are your favorite stitched heirlooms? Any stitchers out there?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.