A Meaningful Possession

I did not inherit much of my mothers animated busy-ness.  She was always on the go, heading somewhere, doing something, making or repairing or cleaning things, sorting stuff out, thinking, reading, talking, falling into bed exhausted and then getting up bright and early in the morning to start all over again.

She wore me out.  She was one of those people who found it hard to sit still.  So I sat still in sufficient quantities for both of us.  I seem to still be doing that, come to think of it.  Relaxed, motionless, barely breathing.  Mind blank.  Accomplishing nothing.  (You might be surprised at what can pop into an empty head. And pop right out again with equal ease.)

Over the years my mother gave me a lot of things I cherish and I’m grateful for every one of them.  A person cannot spend an entire lifetime being that industrious without leaving a lot of interesting stuff behind.  When she did decide to sit down for five minutes she’d pick up her knitting and keep right on talking, no matter how complicated the pattern.  Sometimes I swear she didn’t even look directly at whatever she was making, and still things generally turned out the way they were supposed to.

She and my dad spent their last years together in a care centre.  He was in a wheelchair following a stroke.  She had heart and respiratory problems and macular degeneration.  They both needed care, and yet they never stopped caring for each other.

Normally you’d think a person in her late eighties who can’t see would give up things like knitting.  But dad needed a throw to put over his legs because they were always cold, and mom decided to make him one. Her peripheral vision was all she needed to sort out the blues.  I don’t know if this throw started out wide and ended up narrow, or the other way around.  It might have been some miscalculation on her part, or perhaps she did it on purpose so one end was wider for an easier wrap-around on the legs.  It’s all done in a basket weave stitch and she probably didn’t consciously count any of it.  Straight garter stitch would have bored her to tears.  There’s a few bumps and lumps and a couple of holes and the odd increase or decrease in random places, but over all, with its crocheted edge, I think it’s damned near perfect.

It might not be the most gorgeous piece of work she ever turned out, but dad loved it.  I’m a little ashamed of my initial reaction on seeing it for the first time – (Oh my gawd – what in the world is this?) – but when it was up for grabs in the grand sort-out of what was left when she was gone, I didn’t hesitate to save it.  It’s just so MOM.  You never know what strange and wonderful thing will end up meaning the world to you. This little blue kniited throw is my priceless treasure.

If I Could Relive Any Day of My Life

Torn sunset.

It would be the day I went to see my parents who shared a room in a Care Centre and because I’m such an incredibly interesting person, they both fell asleep. It was time for me to go, and I decided not to wake them. I didn’t say goodbye. I just walked away and left them. I could have gone back the next morning before I left to drive to the airport, but I was rushed and I didn’t. Mom passed away a few days later.

I have always hated to say goodbye, but if I could go back and relive that day I would just suck it up and do it. I’d turn myself around and walk back to both of them and nudge them awake and say the things I should have said and not be such a blubbering sobbing mess all this time later just thinking about it.

Gawd. Maybe that’s not the greatest day to relive. Last Wednesday when I went to see Toy Story 3 with my nine-year-old granddaughter. That was a good day. I think I’ll opt for that one instead. Although I ended up crying at the end of the movie when Andy said good-bye to his toys, so maybe we could just skip that part. And maybe add some extra butter on the popcorn.