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My first thought was that maybe her mother was trying to say that she had nothing meaningful to say about her life. But maybe she was trying to say that she didn't think or feel she had the skill or right to speak about her life. I think it would be very troubling emotionally for her daughter. Perhaps the handmade cloth coverings are all her mother could communicate?
They're not done in invisible ink, are they? I'm sincere about that, not being smart-alecky.