Monday, October 17, 2011

What is a picture worth?

I know I have mentioned one of the sites I belong to (CraftBuddy.com) before.  It is one of my favorite places on the web to be, and the friends I have made there are the best.

Last week one of my CB friends told us that someone she knew had inherited an heirloom piece of crochet, and this person needed her help to finish it.  The story had a de-ja-vu feel to it for me.  Then I remembered why.

Back in the 1980's my Mom had done something very similar.  Some long-lost cousin, of some long-lost cousin had found a partially crocheted bedspread in a box.  There was a lot of thread still wrapped in paper but no instructions.  The woman who found it, didn't know how to crochet anyway, so she sent it to my Mom, hoping she would be able to do something with it.

Mom wasn't delighted - she loved knitting but only tolerated crocheting.  But in Mom's style (never say no) she sat down and worked out the pattern, wrote it down, and then proceeded to work on the project which ended up taking all summer, until she had completed the bedspread.  Then she mailed it to the person who had found it to begin with.

I knew I had a picture somewhere of the bedspread taken just after Mom had finished it, so I went looking for the picture one evening last week, so I could show my friend on CraftBuddy.

I found the picture after about an hour of looking through pictures, but I was in no way prepared for the wallop looking at it gave me.  I flipped the picture over and read what Mom had written on the back.  She had dated the picture summer of 1982.

My first thought was - she was gone by March 1984 - less than 2 years after this picture was taken.  I flipped the picture over and really looked at her again.  She looked healthy - no sign of illness - but then I remembered she coughed a lot when she came up the stairs from the basement or when she over- exerted herself.  I wondered if she felt healthy, or maybe she wasn't feeling well, but just didn't say anything.  Then I wondered why I had never wondered that before!

I felt her loss so keen at that moment that I could almost not stand to look at the picture.

It was a strange reaction to something I have seen many times before, but maybe this time I was truly "seeing" the real picture.

Finally my eyes checked out the bedspread, which was the whole reason I had looked for the picture to begin with.  I no longer cared about the stupid bedspread, but I was impressed by the amount of work and the size of the piece.  I consider myself a pretty talented crocheter - but I have yet to tackle a project of this magnitude.  And she didn't even like to crochet...

Wherever that spread ended up, I hope it is still being treasured by the ones who get to touch it everyday.
They have a piece of Mom that I will never have - a treasure in itself.

My craft buddy friend has almost figured out her pattern.  I don't know if she is going to finish the piece given to her, or give it back with the pattern.  Either way, I hope the people who asked for her help appreciate the time and effort she has spent on the project.

By the way - the lady walking in the background was our neighbour Iris.  I have known her since I was 7 yrs old.  Iris is now 102 yrs of age and lives in the nursing home across the street from me, so we are still neighbours. 

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