By Carmen Glover
Phyllis Lawson’s poignant memoir, “Quilt of Souls,” is a story of childhood trauma, teenaged angst and redemption that captures the imagination, tugs at the heart-strings and elicits emotions that surge to the surface from the recesses of the soul.
In her self-published,176-page memoir, Lawson graphically describes the confusion and despair she felt when as a little girl, she was sent away by her parents in Detroit, Michigan, to live with her maternal grandparents in rural Alabama, without being given any explanation and without any preparation. In vivid imagery she recounts the sense of loneliness that engulfed her as she was separated from her siblings, the fear of the unknown and the sadness she felt as her young heart was broken.
Yet in a nod to the resilience of the young, Lawson describes how her grandmother, Ms. Lulu, enveloped her into a cocoon of love, reinforced values and more importantly, gave her a sense of identity and belonging. Ms. Lulu regaled Lawson with tales of her ancestors as the perceptive grandmother put together quilts, made from the garments of the deceased, so that their souls could live on. That act of artistry, sandwiched between an admixture of love and punishment, cemented a bond between Lawson and her grandmother that was her internal compass during the darkest days of her life.
Females seldom reach adulthood without at least one major fight with their mothers but Lawson describes a childhood of unimaginable anguish and rejection by her mother that causes the heart to ache for a lost childhood which, were it not for her grandparents, could have adversely affected the trajectory of Lawson’s life. Still, the quilt provided her with solace and her grandparents’ love allowed her to flourish, overcome her demons and experience joy. “Quilt of Souls” is a powerful, tear-jerking testimony of the capacity of the human spirit to rise from darkness, face adversity and emerge victorious. —OnPointPress.net.