Friday, October 28, 2011

ON Mommas’ Afghan.



Momma loved to knit afghan’s.  They helped her to pass the time when she was watching television.  Her Momma taught her how to crochet as a young child.  I can remember many hours watching her crochet.  She had crocheted so long she no longer watched her stitching, it was a mechanical motion more like walking or chewing gum.  I wonder if it helped her to think.

Mom decided each of her children needed a good heavy afghan.  She had collected many small balls of yarn from previous project’s  The afghan’s were heavy.  They had a heavy double stitch, one color on each side.  The afghan were so heavy they were best used in the winter.

Each afghan required a year to complete. She worked on those afghans for  four years.  Each year one of her children received an afghan for Christmas.  I wonder if she thought about her children as she was knitting each one of them their afghan.  One child could not read well and had difficulty in school.   He was color blind and had trouble telling his colors apart.   One children read well but had difficulty speaking to people his own age.  He never dated much, but was fortunate to find a good woman who understood him.  One child never ate enough and had to be reminded when it was time to eat.  This child still struggles with her  weight and is now developing M.S.  One child struggled with her first marriage and lived with Mom for a couple years.  Mom helped her to raise her sons until a man came along who loved her boys and adopted them as his own.  They now have five more children and how do they keep her busy.

Momma married young and grew up with her children.  Her husband was a challenge.  Signs of high functioning Autism and hyperactivity are present in the male line of his family.  Momma would never have understood these words she just knew Dad had a tough time filtering his thoughts. He spoke out in inappropriate times and in inappropriate places.  My Dad and his Father were forbidden to be in the Smith Brother Lumber Company together.  One of them at a time was more then a handful.

Each fall my wife pulls the afghan out of the closet and puts is on our bed.  I love to fell warm and comforted by it’s weight.

The afghan reminds of my mother and her life.  The afghan is no longer perfect like it was when my mother gave it to me.  A few years ago I snagged it on a piece of furniture.  Their is a small stitch torn out of one side.  My mamma's life was like this afghan.  It was no loner perfect like it had been when her Momma gave life to her.  Even though this afghan is no longer perfect it is still functional and fulfills its purpose.  I have ask my wife to repair the snagged.  My wife is skilled in the art of crochet.   She tells me it is not possible to repair the snag.  Even if she did repair the afghan it would no longer be the afghan my mother crocheted.  As the year go by I learn to appreciate the afghan for it beauty and its flaw.  It becomes more real with time like Margery Williams Velveteen rabbit (see. The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real )

Now my Mom is gone now and all I have is the afghan.  My Mom, like her quilt became more real with time.  She was deeply flawed.  She loved her children and she loved her husband.  And now all I have is the afghan.  I longer have the hate and bitterness and enmity, all I have is the afghan and it still warms.

If  you have the opportunity to live and love, to forgive and to forget, please do.  And leave some memories and if possible something that is real like Mommas afghan.