Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘original photography’

Winter Sparks 2010-2011

Secret Garden

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.