Favorite Passages: Knitting and Family

From Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook:

A month ago, my mother and I went to Holland for a week. We were going to say goodbye to my grandmother who, after 103 1/2 years of living was finally, slowly, dying. Every day, my mother, my aunt Hetty, and I would travel to visit my grandmother at the hospice where she lay, quietly, in a strange half-slumber… I always brought my knitting along with me on those daily visits — a colorful simple sock I was working on for a friend — and would sometimes find my mother and my aunt staring at my work with a certain longing. “Can I knit a row or two? my aunt would ask, her hands hungry for the soothing ritual of sock-knitting, something to calm her soul during the stressful and uncomfortable moments spent watching a parent die. “I want to, also,” my mother would say, and the sock would be passed to her.

“Maybe my grandmother felt left out. One day, we entered her room to find her strangely agitated, her hands restlessly moving in the air above her bed. Perhaps she was dreaming, or perhaps the present and the past had melded together in her mind, but after days of silence, suddenly she was chattering, talking aloud to herself in the room. “I already knit one sock,” I heard her say, anxiously, as I came closer to her bed. “But now I have to knit the other one.”… I grasped my grandmother’s hands in mine. “That’s a beautiful sock you made,” I told her calmly. “Knitting is nice and relaxing, isn’t it?” “Yes,” she murmured, becoming a bit more restful. I put a cool towel on her head and kissed her cheek, but soon she began to grow anxious again. “It’s over there, it’s drying,” she repeated gravely, “but now I have to knit the other one.” I squeezed her hands tightly. “Rest Oma, don’t worry,” I said, as I felt her hands slowly unclench. “I’ll knit the other one for you.” (11.)

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~ by blackmoodcraft on February 4, 2011.

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