I have an old afghan. It was made 36 years ago in 1984. It’s traveled with me everywhere. These days I keep it stored safely in the closet much of the time so it won’t be destroyed by an energetic dog or snagged too much by cat claws. Still, when I am sad or sick or just when it’s really cold the afghan comes out.
It was made for me by my mom and Aunt Coletta. Mom began it in her final months of life as she was dying of cancer. Aunt Coletta picked it up when Mom was gone. I found it under the Christmas tree six months after Mom’s death, my last gift from her.
I still have the needles that made that afghan. I don’t have the level of skill that my mom or Aunt Coletta did, but I’m learning to knit and crochet. These last few weeks I picked up one of Mom’s crochet hooks and some yarn that I was given some from my nephew’s wife and some from a friend.
There was something special in picking up that hook and yarn. Holding the hook, I could almost feel the presence of my mom, all those years ago, sitting there on the couch in our living room yarn in her lap working away, pausing to teach me.
As I looked at the yarn I thought of the dear souls who shared it with me, especially Heidi, a teacher, married to my nephew Joe, walking alongside him as he fights leukemia, raising their children together during this challenging time. I found in each stitch a prayer of sorts. My hands carrying Grandma’s prayers mixed with my own for her grandson and his wife and children. Sometimes all we have is a ball of yarn and a hook, but it can be love.