I had a lovely email from a very nice lady earlier this week who told me she'd read my first blog and how much she had enjoyed it. It made my day. I also had an idea for my blog this week but something she said changed my mind about what I was going to post. I guess that will come at a later date. So, I'd like to say a big thank you to Agnes for giving me the idea for this post.
Below is a picture of my mom when she was a young girl. She is the person who instilled in me my love of sewing and everything related to it. This is a tribute to my mom.
She didn't have an easy life but she made the best of it. My dad was away working most of the time when my sisters and brother were really small kids. I think I was probably a baby when he finally got a job at home and was there to help her. But back then, men didn't help with housework or with kids so she still handled that part on her own.
My three sisters were much older than me and by the time I hit my early teens they had moved away from home, either because of work, or they had gotten married. That left just me and mom. With just the two of us, we grew close and spent all of our time together. She taught me how to cook and bake (knowing how to do those things were important for when you got married) She also taught me how to knit. She was a passionate knitter and knit for a Newfoundland company called Nonia for over 50 years. This is a note she received from the company on her 50th year of knitting for them. They also sent her a gold watch which I think she wore every day afterwards. She took great pride in her work. She kept the other little piece of paper with feedback from the company tucked safely away among other things that were near and dear to her.
Most importantly she instilled in me a love of sewing that will be with me forever. I don't think there was anything Mom couldn't make with a sewing machine. She made pillowcases and curtains. Quilts and tablecloths. And she made our clothes. Just take a look at the beautiful dress and pantsuit she made for me when I was younger. Back then, this was the latest fashion.
This is one of my mom's sewing machines and I am so proud to be able to say that I now own it. And, even prouder to say that I can actually use it and have spent many hours sewing on this machine.
The one thing she didn't pass down to me was her green thumb. She was an avid gardener and it seemed like everything she touched grew. Not that she didn't try to teach me, but I just wouldn't be able to get anything to grow if my life depended on it. Just take a look at her garden! Isn't it beautiful!
Today, my mom is in a Long Term Care Facility with Advanced Altzheimers. She doesn't know me when I go to visit. Her words are mumbled and her food is pureed She spends all day in bed because she can no longer sit up on her own, and she weighs less than 80 pounds. It breaks my heart to visit her. The loving, caring, wonderful mom that I knew no longer exists. So, I try to remember the days when she was younger and we were close and spent all that time together. And I can remember her sitting at the sewing machine, her foot pumping the pedal, a smile on her face and humming, 'I come to the garden alone.' It does my heart good. And I know it's probably cruel because she doesn't know she exists anymore but I still don't want to lose her. So I go to visit her, and I talk to her and tell her that I love her and hope that in the small recess of what is left of her memory some part of her knows that I am her daughter. Because, no matter what ... she is still my mom!
If you have any thoughts or comments about this post, please leave them below. I would love to read them.