More Than Yarn

The worst thing about the quarantine time for me is not that my kids are in different cities and a different continent from me but that if my mom gets sick or if her time to die happens now, I may not be able to go and be with her.

My mom knit me a sweater when she was in her eighties.

She is still in her eighties but cannot knit anymore.

This morning, I found the sweater and put it on to take away the morning chill and the memory of going to the yarn store with her flashed into my mind. There was a knitting group in the store and they snubbed us when we came in. Mom and I were outcasts together, in that store with the snooty women.

We persevered anyway. We also laughed because we were together, we were happy and nobody, even snooty knitters could deter us when we were together. We found the most luscious yarn that was forest green and lapis blue mixed together.  We found a pattern Mom was excited to do. No cables this time, we kept it simple.

There wasn’t enough though, in the drawer where we found the yarn. We looked at each other in mother daughter solidarity, with a tinge of hilarity, as we recognized we’d have to return to the table of snooty lady knitters and ask for help.

Arm in arm we approached the table.

The skinny one looked up, “yesssss?”

Mom is smaller than me but she knows her way around the playground and the country club and she stood tall and said, “We’ve chosen this yarn and we need more of it.”

Silence.

The sound of the skinny one’s chair scraping the floor as she pushed back. We followed her like ducklings and giggled like school girls to the back of the store. We procured the yarn and persuaded her to sell it to us but before we finalized the deal, Mom calmly said, “We also need buttons.”

An irritated sigh emitted from the lady.

We are led to a button display and my eye caught some silver buttons with a starburst sun motif. Mom loved them too. We take our purchases and leave that store.

Mom says to me, “Honey, that was weird but one day it will be funny and we got our yarn. “I think it’s funny now.” I say and arm in arm we walk towards her Cadillac.

The worst thing about the quarantine time for me is not that my kids are in different cities and a different continent from me but that if my mom gets sick or if her time to die happens now, I may not be able to go and be with her.

I have my sweater though.

This morning when I put it on I felt Mom’s arms holding me in that luscious lapis blue forest green sweater with the starburst buttons that she had made for me.

I felt her presence and her solidarity with me and her knowing her own mind and her place in this world. I felt her approval, her belief in me and her complete and total love.

Mom won’t die alone, I mean she’s probably not even dying at all today, but this experience with my sweater makes me understand that she and I are bound together with more than yarn.

You can also read this article in my column in my local newspaper the Taos News.

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5 thoughts on “More Than Yarn

  1. I lost my beloved Mom in November suddenly. Luckily, she told her children last Mother’s Day that if we did not visit her as we normally did she would die of loneliness and she would rather die from Covid. So we did–thank God! We were reasonably careful and I sat with her at her kitchen table and had a glass of wine with her the night before she died. I would be inconsolable at her loss if I had not had the time I did with her in those last few months. I tell you this so you go visit your Mom!

    1. Thank you for this encouragement and YES I drove 1400 miles to see her twice before vaccination and we were also careful. I am glad you made the choice you did and gave your mom the gift of your company even during a pandemic! Go Sue!!

  2. Sweetheart, I loved your article on the yarn and remember it well. Funny how life works, but no matter how long or short I am here on earth, I know Jesus has given me the very best of daughters and sons. I love each of you deeeply.

  3. This is such a lovely story. We are lucky in our mothers and we are knit together
    with them. As you say, for always.

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