An Unfinished Sweater …
I am awake, I am alive, as I contemplate the one day this week that I do not have a speaking engagement. Fitting, in light of the date …
The Unfinished Sweater
It takes no effort at all to see it – the sweater, laying just where it was when I found it.
She was gone, the Mother that meant everything to me and I was tasked with packing up her apartment. My eldest brother apologized. He just couldn’t bring himself to do it. My youngest – same. My other brother, out of town. So it was up to me.
I turned the key and walked in, as the little girl inside me wished and prayed and hoped that all of this was some horrible nightmare, praying that she would say hello, that she would still be home.
But the nightmare was real, and she wasn’t home. Her funeral was the following day and I had work to do.
I slid my hand on the kitchen counter as I walked slowly through, remembering every moment lived in this place. I walked past the kitchen table where we had sat on the day when I had told her I was leaving, moving away to a place too far for her to come visit and then, I saw it.
Her chair, her tv table with her hand-written chart on it, the page she used to check off each row as completed, the pattern and … the unfinished sweater.
It was then that I broke down. The sweater said it all in glaring simplicity – she had thought she was coming home. Like all of us, she had thought the surgery would go well. She had thought she was coming home.
Since that fateful day, my every day is filled with “sweaters” and like the rows in her notebook, I check off each task as completed, praying that I will be gifted enough time to finish them all.
Blog – done.
Emails – done.
Knit, knit, knit.
One day, the sand in my hourglass will run out but I pray that a day or two before then, I will know. I pray I will knit the last stitch, knowing all I was meant to do is now done.
And if that doesn’t happen, that’s okay too, because sometimes an unfinished sweater can be a powerful gift to leave behind.
Today my friend, cherish every stitch you are given, as this woman sheds a tear for the mother she still misses, even after 16 years.
I love you!
In memory of Alma Lorraine Boucher
November 30, 1927 – Sepember 28, 2005