My husband's grandmother and two great aunts were always close. The family referred to them as the "ladies in their eighties" for a long time, until they all passed the "90" mark! Within the past year, through unfortunate circumstances, both aunts have passed on. I only got the chance to meet one, Aunt Vi, and she loved getting to meet me, the newest addition to the family.
Well, just a month ago, when Aunt Vi passed, she left Grandma as the sole survivor of that trio. I cannot imagine the pain she is in now, and the loneliness.
When I first met Aunt Vi and Grandma, I had a knitting project with me. Aunt Vi was so excited to see me knitting, knowing that the tradition was being passed on. When the family went to clean out Aunt Vi's house, they found a closet of yarn and knitting projects which we hadn't even known she'd had.
Just a few days ago, I received a box from Grandma. It came with a note. "Aunt Vi would have wanted this to stay in the family." She's absolutely right. Even though I only met her twice, I saw the outpouring of love she had for her family, and I saw her enthusiasm to welcome me in.
A friend of mine mentioned how much she loved knitting collections from estate sales. "It's like a peak into another knitter's soul," she mused, "you get to see their notes, their colors, their plans."
As I look at Aunt Vi's projects, I know she's right. There's the retro knitting counter, long replaced by aps, and some comically 50's patterns in to "Begin to Knit" book. She was almost done with an open faced sweater - she just needed to attach the sleeves and finish the belt - but the pattern is nowhere to be found. It must have been a creation of her own.
What am I to do with this? Whatever I do, it must be meaningful. I think I'll finish the sweater for Grandma, but there are nine other skeins. I want to make something for the family. That's what Aunt Vi would have wanted.
Maybe dishcloths? Potholders? Those seem too mundane to honor her life. And yet, they would be used daily. They are practical. Aunt Vi would have wanted that. She would want to be remembered as a helper.
Whatever I choose, I know it has to stay in the family. There is no better way to honor her memory than by giving it to the ones she loved.
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