PARTS AND PIECES
So, I sew. Kind of, sort of. I dabble. It’s like this. My mom taught me how to thread the machine, and sew a pillow. It was fun and I liked it. I made so many pillows. I probably learned to do this (I’m guessing) when I was around 8 or 9. Maybe 10. She eventually passed her sewing machine on to me, but I did not know this at the time (which reminds me of the most fantastic SNL skit I have seen in awhile, Dr. Wenowdis – snorting funny).
I kept her sewing machine in my room, and made pillow after pillow. It was up in my loft, up the ladder and closer to the clouds. Piles of pillows! She still died, and I have no idea where it went.
My eyes get blurry every time I think of all the things that ‘were lost’ when she died, but when I really stop to think about it, it’s not the things that madden me. It’s her memory that everyone (including me) allowed to be lost. She just simply vanished. My mother, the most important, one of a kind, amazingest woman, the one who cared about me without conditions the most, was gone. And no one surrounded me, but that was okay because I was strong. I had learned to live with out her a long time before she went. After she died, I was sure I needed no one. But I was wrong, and it would take me many years to realize this. I might not ever be able to accept it, but I know it’s there when I’m ready.
Sewing, yeah, the point of my story. A few years ago, when the enormity of my loss hit me square in the face, I pulled out my sewing machine (not the one she had given me, I still don’t know what happened to it) and I set off on a journey to make 24 mini stockings for an advent calendar that was dancing around in my head. Well, that was three years ago, and I finished all 24 stockings with my own made up directions (because that’s how I roll). There were mess ups and set backs, and in the end some sort of success! I relearned how to thread my machine and to my surprise it all came back pretty quick, just like riding a bike. Fast forward three years the stockings were done, but the advent part was still just a vision. This year, 2020, I had an idea and completed it! It wasn’t perfect and there are still some tweaks I’d like to smooth out, but we now have a Tree Stocking Advent Calendar! And, to me it’s beautiful for so many reasons. For the first time, I allowed myself to see that everything wasn’t lost, I carry the most important parts of her as little pieces within me, and I think for those who were closest to her those glimpses may be the hardest part of all.