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Friday, May 23, 2014

Stitches

Dear Josie,

Soft can be searing, you know.

I opened the trunk today and there it was, all neat and coiled.  For a second I couldn't breathe.

I had taken a class.  Just one.  I have always wanted to learn to crochet.  A very nice art teacher offered her time after work once a week, so I signed up.

I spent an hour at Michael's the night before, picking out the most expensive thick pink yarn.  I held it next to different fabrics, picturing the hats I would make you.  All the tiny blankets that would warm you in my arms.  I bought so many needles.  I wasn't sure the size or point, so I bought them all.  I just knew I would use them. 

As it turns out, crocheting is harder than it looks.  I went to the first class, barely containing my excitement as I practiced.  Stitch by painfully slow stitch, willing sluggish fingers to move in ways I had never asked them to before.  I drove home and watched a few YouTube practicals, fell asleep on the couch with the needle in my hand.  Two hours later I felt a prick and walked to bed. 

You died before I could make the next class.  I remember arriving home from the hospital, sunken and zombie-like, grabbing the prescriptions from the backseat and seeing the flash of pink.  The lone thread sticking out from underneath white plastic. 

I laughed at the absurdity of it all.  Not out loud of course, that would take weeks.  But in my head I was laughing.  My pretty pink plans laying next to a month's worth of Ambien.  Dreams for a mother who could no longer close her eyes. 

That night I walked to the car in the dark, picking up the bag.  I stood there for a lifetime with it in my hands.  I felt them leave me then, slipping through the fingers I had trained.  I saw sweaters running, pale bonnets like balloons into the stars. 

I didn't realize I couldn't throw it away until I heard the trunk open, blindly shoving it next to a box of size two diapers in the corner.  For months it lay there unprovoked, until now.

Needles are a given, sharp and unforgiving.  One is careful around her needle, though I have grown used to them.  Their prodding, invasive searches offering hope.  The pain contributing to the plan.

But the yarn, my love.  It sticks me like a thousand knives, twists and turns me in its skein.  It binds and complicates.  Like a noose, stealing breath from the fighter.

Love ,
Mom









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