Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Mother

Have you ever experienced roll reversal? I have. For most of my life, I have been a mother to my mother. It started when I was 16. I am now 35.

This is my mother. Her name is Mary Elizabeth. The best gift she ever gave me was the gift of knitting. I thought a lot about this and decided that this was her best gift to me (besides life). She taught me to knit when I was 6. I didn't really start to be a 'serious knitter' until my early 20's. But she was responsible for the knit and purl stitch.

I became my mother's mother because she is seriously mentally ill. It came to a crisis shortly after my father died and I got my act together enough to go to court and get control of her finances and person. It saved her from death and destitution. After that, we were estranged for 3 years as I needed to get some detachment and emotional healing myself. She lived in the care of my brother, but I took care of the bill writing and rebuilding of her finances.

This is was the best trip to see her I have had since going to court. She was lucid and pleasant. She has gained probably 25lbs this year and has multiple health problems. We found this knit/weaving/spinning shop called The Weavers Web. (I'll review the shop later).

Mom chose a natural colored alpaca boucle to knit a CO 3, K1 YO K to end shawl. I cast on the stitches and retaught her how to knit and YO. I am not a writer, so I can't capture in words how it felt in that moment, with all that has happened in the past. To be able to be with her and not be angry, bitter or 'crazy' myself. To just share with my mother again, the peace of sitting and knitting. Her hands are clumsy, she is like a child, but "God, please let her be successful, and finish this shawl. Lord, let it be a remembrance between her and me!!!"

My time with her is limited due to my own family responsiblities as well as I can only realistically be with her for a short time before I start to 'twitch.' My hope, is that in future visits, we will have the age old female bonding of sitting together and knitting and purling. This is a connection between us that might last for the rest of the time we have together. It gives us something to do as we converse and can tread lightly over the rough waters of the past. Breaks down barriers between us.

May God bless you Mom. I love you and am grateful for the time we had together. Lord, heal her body, soul, and spirit.


IndigoMuse said...

What a great post, Cate. I'm glad that you and Mom had such a wonderful visit together.


Robin said...

What a wonderful time you had with your mom! I'm glad it turned out, you sounded so unsure when you spoke of your trip!

Anonymous said...

Wow, make me cry! That's really special for the both of you. I hope her heart is as open as yours. You're both blessed because of each other now. Diana

Anonymous said...

Wow, make me cry!! I hope her heart is as open as yours. It seems you have finally become a blessing to one another now.