Saturday, May 7, 2016

Grandma's mittens

On April 23rd my family gathered at the cemetery to reunite my grandparents after 17 years apart. We chose their anniversary to do so. Both had been cremated and the boxes containing their ashes stood side by side, reminiscent of my grandparents. Grandma's ashes were in a small cherry wood box, significantly smaller than Grandpa's oak wood box. Along with them six roses and an old peanut butter jar from 1964 filled with rose petals from each year of their marriage to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Grandpa gave her 6 roses (one for each child) every year of their marriage (60 years), a tradition my mother would carry on after he passed away. 

The boxes containing their ashes and the jar of rose petals were placed in the ground and their children began to fill the hole. When it was nearly filled their grandchildren got on hands and knees and filled on the rest patting down the dirt and replacing the grass.

We returned to my family's home and looked at old photographs, laughing as we retold old stories and shared some new ones. At the end of the evening I asked everyone there to trace their hands. Grandma's mittens were ever present in our lives. There was always a pair available during the long cold New York winters, or if little girls were playing dress up and inexplicably needed a pair of mittens to complete their outfits. 
Grandma's notebooks were filled with tracings of kids hands which she used to size the mittens, and there always seemed to be a pair in progress on her favorite hook.

This project is my version of a memorial to her. With what she taught me I hope to remind my family of a love which, though it may not have been conspicuous was perennial.

My grandmother had six children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. I have quite a few mittens to make before we get together again in about six months. It will just about be mitten season by then.

If you would like to share the love with your family you can download the pattern here.

1 comment:

  1. This has such deep meaning for me. Thank you for sharing this part of her with us. That's all I can say now. My heart is too full of feeling to put it into words.