In C.L.’s Own Words

My father died when I was five and I lost my manic-depressive mother to suicide at age sixteen. Those eleven years in between were filled with stepfathers, numerous moves and a complete reversal of the parent/child relationship. My mother and I were never close so doing mother/daughter things never happened. We were in survival mode.

My mother crocheted.  I remembered watching her long, graceful fingers skillfully loop and weave the yarn into beautiful, intricate baby clothes and matching blankets for each of my older sister’s three babies. I watched but we never talked, never shared one of those mother/daughter moments of passing her gift to me.
Fourteen years later and eight months pregnant with my first child, I found myself sitting alone one late night in a comfy chair next to the fireplace with my yarn and crochet hooks, determined to finish a lovely mint green baby jacket I’d started a few months earlier.

Frustrated, I struggled for nearly two hours to follow the instructions in the booklet my mother left behind. She’d penciled notes in the margin but the words without a voice were of little help. I could not figure out how to set the sleeve into the small jacket that I’d created. Over and over I read, crocheted and unraveled…read, crocheted and unraveled. Finally, with tears streaming down my cheeks, I rested my hands that held the small jacket, the yarn and crochet hook on top of my extremely pregnant tummy and closed my eyes.

A few minutes passed and I began to feel the most peaceful, warm feeling come over my entire body. It was as if someone wrapped their arms around me and was holding me. There were no words, no voices, just a profound closeness that lasted for a minute or two…followed by clarity of thought. I read the directions and my mother’s notes one more time and understood exactly how I should proceed with setting the sleeve into the baby jacket. I finished the first sleeve and then went on to the other. The mint-green set was complete…a jacket, a bonnet and two, tiny booties…just like my mother made all those years ago.

It has been thirty years and I’ve never forgotten. I felt my mother’s presence, her concern and her love for me. That late night, she acknowledged not only me but also the presence of her grandson by holding us both and guiding my hands.  We were both finally in a state, a place that allowed us to have that long-awaited, mother-daughter “intuitive” moment.

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