Sunday, July 05, 2009

Charlotte May

For the past seven or so months I've mostly been knitting socks... plain old stockinette. Boring things not worth blogging about. My brain is too exhausted to deal with much outside of my daughters treatment and care. The plain knitting is soothing. However, my grandmother, Charlotte May, has her 80th birthday tomorrow. This is an occasion to commemorate.

This grandmother can sew, paint, knit, crochet, embroider... she can do anything. And it's always perfect. She's the little voice in my head when I'm working on a project and am tempted to leave a mistake. 'Grandma wouldn't do that... she'd start tisking me if she saw that.' And when I was a kid my mom left us at her house a lot... until the wee hours of the morning many times. My brothers would be put to bed in her bed while I was put on the couch behind her cutting board for sewing. She'd sit there in her rocking chair sewing, crocheting or knitting... watching late night news and then Johnny Carson... "patiently" waiting for my mom to come get us after whatever unsavory late night activities kept her out. What my mom was doing was not lovely and those were hard times. But I have been thinking about them a lot lately. I've been thinking about my Grandmother and how she sat there working with her hands while enduring hard times for much of her life. And that's what I've been doing... sitting and watching over my daughter who is named in part for her. Watching, waiting, enduring... working simple projects with my hands to soothe away the anxiety and fears... giving me SOMETHING I could do while I watch and wait. It is a gift I feel she passed down to me. Another thing that makes me think of her... my hands. I have her hands. So as I watch my own hands I can see hers.

I wanted to make her something special. Something that would stretch my skills. I decided upon a lace scarf. This was a definite challenge given that I am exhausted in every way possible and I've never knit lace! But I wanted to make that effort for her. Given the circumstances I am amazed I was able to accomplish this. As far as my exhausted self can tell... there are no mistakes. And that is exactly what I was striving for. She would not leave a mistake... and I wanted to make something flawless for her.

So as life takes it's up's, down's and turns... I have this gift from her. And I hope this small gift will show her what a special gift she's given to me.

Miss E today wearing a new pair of those boring socks I mentioned... she loves them.


thegreginator said...

So beautiful, Jess. The scarf, the writing and the sentiment. Sending you so much love, my heart is bursting.

SJ said...

That is such a beautiful gift for someone who's clearly a beautiful human being.

dawn said...

Such a pretty scarf. Your grandmother will approve. Such a cute little lady too!

Alison said...

Precious scarf, and precious story.
Your sweetie looks adorable in her 'plain' socks!

Kathleen said...

It's a beautiful scarf! I am from Spokane and I can imagine the setting you've painted; it brought some tears to the corner of my eyes. Happy Birthday to your Grandma!

Alison said...

I was thinking of you when we met another family whose 6 yr old daughter was 2 beds down from our 6 yr old daughter in the PICU at Children's- their daughter had just been diagnosed with leukemia. Their hearts' trials seemed to make ours seem like a walk in the park- I cannot even imagine.

Hang in there-