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Unfinished Business

The unfinished cross stitch pattern remains a tender remembrance of my grandmother's love

Twenty years ago, my grandmother gave me a cross-stitch pattern to complete. It was a very simple 9 X 12-inch sampler featuring the alphabet and numbers. I stumbled across it today while clearing out my bedside table drawer.  I never told her how close I was to completing it, but had abandoned it because I used wrong shade of brown threads throughout. At the time I thought it was imperfect, unworthy of framing and displaying and calling a success. I always promised I’d finish it. Looking at it today, I cannot even detect the flaw. In fact, it’s beautiful-rich with hues of blues and purples to which I will always be drawn. Was I so bent on perfection that I abandoned the project because one color was slightly off from what the pattern dictated? She passed away six years ago, and I still have the unfinished pattern at my bedside. I revisit it each year, insert a few stitches, and tuck it away again. It occurs to me that I no longer want to finish it. It has become my last tangible link to her-the last project we initiated when I was a young woman. I suppose it’s my very deliberate way of remembering. As long as I have the incomplete pattern, I can still hold the stitches, the softness, the color and beauty of that love in my hands. It was a perfect love, meant to be held and cherished and passed into infinity. I have to admit when my 5-year-old son expresses an interest in knitting, cooking, or other simple pleasures my grandmother and I shared, my heart knows she never really left at all.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beth #

    You make me cry! Beautiful. Have been thinking about blogging myself.

    January 12, 2009
  2. Sherry #

    You should! I must admit that I woke up this morning, decided to blog, and just did it. I decided my first entry should be my last journal entry and BOOM. Done.

    January 12, 2009
  3. Vicki #

    I have a half finished afghan that I my grandmother was helping me with (at least 25 years ago now). The crochet hook is still attached along with the several balls of yarn that go with it. I guess I want it to stay in that stage because of my memory of my grandmother’s living room. If I close my eyes I can still see her sitting in her chair (a shiny cloth green design). It was a rocker but I can’t say I ever saw her rocking. Anyway…there she would be when I came through the front door, sitting in her chair with whatever thing she was crocheting at the time in her lap. There was always a basket, one of those old fashioned dark wicker ones that were really sturdy, sitting on the floor to the left of her chair. The basket was full of all her supplies for the current project. So, I think I leave my afghan like that just to keep that picture so alive in my mind.

    Weren’t we blessed to have such wonderful grandmothers!

    January 14, 2009
  4. Sherry #

    Vicki, your story is BEAUTIFUL! So many memories. So much love.

    January 14, 2009
  5. This is a wonderful. Those long ago unfinished messages we retrieve in our heads really can plague us. Thank you for leaving it as is and sharing it with us. I have quite a bit of unfinished business floating around and maybe it is time to just let it be. I can’t wait to hear more stories and see more photographs.
    Ginger
    http://gettingafoothold.blogspot.com/

    December 31, 2010
  6. A beautiful page. Keep this up. And please add me to your list of followers!

    December 31, 2010
  7. I think there is so much unfinished business floating around in our heads, as well as in our homes. The tings, I beliee are connected to the heart. I commend you for leaving it as is. Maybe that is a New Year lesson for all of us…let the unfinished business be done, and move on to the joy of loving a 5 year old son.

    December 31, 2010

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