My mother’s hands were always busy.
If she wasn’t cooking, cleaning
or washing clothes she was crocheting
coverlets, tablecloths, doilies and afghans.
Crocheting one granny square at a time
she made a pink and white bedspread
for the double bed in her sunny bedroom
with the pink and white wallpaper.
Sitting upright in her recliner
she kept her hands busy
crocheting and knitting
the winters away.
During her declining years
my mother used color
to see her through
the long winters of her life.
She made baby afghans
in pinks, whites and blues
for every new grandchild
and other babies as well.
When her grandchildren went
to college she made multicolored
afghans for each of them to use
for a “crying blanket.”
When each grandchild married,
she made a specially designed afghan
for the bride and groom.
No two were the same.
When the supply of marriages
and grandchildren was exhausted
She made lap robes for the elderly
who lived in nursing homes.
When the American Legion’s Women’s
Auxiliary held their annual fund-raiser,
she crocheted a special afghan
for them to raffle off.
When my mother was in her 80s
she had no idea how many afghans
she’d made in her lifetime.
She thought it must be over one hundred.
On one occasion
when my mother was visiting me
she asked, “Who made that afghan
on the back of the chair?”
“You did.” I said smiling. “No, I didn’t.
I never made that one.” she insisted.
My mother was always right so I didn’t argue
with her, but in my heart I was 101 percent sure
she’d made that afghan. No one else had ever
given me one. She’d made so many
in her lifetime she no longer remembered
what they all looked like.
When I was an adult I wanted
to follow in my mother’s footsteps
and learn, at the very least, to crochet
one granny square before I died.
I asked my mother to teach me, but
She soon lost patience and dismissed me
with, “Laura learns much faster than you.”
(Laura was my sister’s daughter.)
After my mother died I found
a partially crocheted baby afghan
in her closet. When my grandson was born
I wanted him to have his own afghan.
With no one looking over my shoulder
I cobbled together the afghan pieces
and gave it to Ian to honor his birth.
Separately but together
my mother and I crocheted
the 102nd afghan for baby Ian.
Judy Teresa lives in Bellingham