Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Excuse the poor picture quality - scanned photo from 40 years ago!!

Yup - that's how old I am today.

Nope, not gonna show you a more recent photo than that!

I like people to think of me as cute and cuddly - this photo serves that purpose. :0)

Off to make my favorite cake now . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Show & Tell With Mel - Nov 16th: The Five Generation Afghan

The Afghan was begun no one recalls exactly when, it started off as many skeins of variegated yarn, dozens of granny squares and good intentions. My Great-Grandmother Meme started it. My mother said Meme started it when mom was pregnant with one of my brothers - she can't recall which one - given the youngest is now 22 and she is pretty certain it was before him, that is at least a couple decades plus. My Great-Grandmother for some reason was unable to finish it and sent it to my mom. My mom gave an attempt - but didn't get very far. She wasn't much with granny squares. Years ago I inherited it - a bag of yarn and squares, good intentions and unfinished business. Relegated to a box and forgotten about through several moves, and then, one day I opened that box not really remembering what was in it and found the bag of squares and skeins. I had never learned to crochet a granny square. Feeling a new found interest in picking up a crochet hook again, I asked a good friend to teach me how to make a granny square. She was a left handed crocheter, but willing. I learned sitting opposite her - mirror image. I finished the afghan, a couple decades later and with hands a few generations from those that began it. I crocheted enough squares to finish a throw sized afghan. Then I sewed them all together, crocheted around the edges to finish it and used it to catch my newborn daughter in - she of the red curly hair and fearless blue eyes.

The years go by and things get forgotten sometimes even when you don't mean to. I cleaned out a closet and found the afghan folded neatly into yet another box - having been stored for another move, and never unpacked. This time however, I pulled it out of the box finished and whole. I called my curly haired daughter to see and told her this was her afghan. She asked me if I made it and I told her that I did and her grandma did and her great-great grandma did - that they started it and I finished it. Her blue eyes widened and she exclaimed "They all did?! Oh I love it!" Then she and the afghan disappeared to her room and been inseparable since.

Perhaps I am putting too much thinking into it - but I honestly believe this afghan was meant to be hers. Begun by a grandmother for a great-grandchild to be that she just couldn't seem to finish. Attempted by a mother too busy and lacking in skill to finish for her child. Handed off to another child for another grandchild - the fifth generation. A child who never got to meet her Great-Great-Grandmother in this life, but can wrap herself up safe and cozy in the hopeful creation of loving hands - born of love, given with love, finished with love.

For more Show & Tell - click here

Friday, November 7, 2008

"The Time has Come,"

the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”

-Lewis Carroll "Through The Looking Glass"-

I've really struggled with this post. Where to start? What to say? How can I tell you of a spark so brief, I barely felt its warmth? I want you to know, I want you to know Aidan - I want you to know of the dreams I had and the possibilities pondered - how losing that slayed me. Yet, I am at a loss for words.

I could tell you of blood draws - every 48 hours for almost a month. On and off bleeding that had me vacillating between fear and relief. Losing Aidan was a long protracted agony of numbers, a taffy pull of emotions - back and forth, from home to lab, from hope to despair until finally, there came the crash and the duel- edged respite of resolution.

I could tell you of the doctor who unwittingly placed the blame on my shoulders for not waiting "like he told me to". You would snort indignantly over his ineffective attempts at comfort when he told me not to worry, because he was the doctor and he would worry about it. Roll your eyes when I tell you he didn't think we needed to start testing (even after 3 consecutive losses) when I requested it. You would applaud my bravery when I told you I left the exam room after that and immediately signed a release for my records. I had no idea where I would go next - but I knew I was finding another doctor. You would cheer me on when I turned from timid, acquiescent mouse to self-advocating lioness. You would cry with me when the sadness and discouragement engulfed me and left me spent and beaten and frail.

The first baby I lost saddened me. The second baby I lost left me less certain. The third baby I lost left me hopeless and bereft. The third baby I lost also gave me strength and determination - somehow, someway.

~i~ Aidan ~i~
November 1995