Advent…and I think of my mother and father every day. This morning, before setting out on my hill-walk with Max, I have uploaded just a few photos of things that my mother has done with her hands over the years. I have some other items to share…her sewing and her crafts, but this is a beginning. My mother’s hands have been busy…and the fruits of her labour have been beautiful, enriching all of our lives. Little did she know as she made these things, that her children would be treasuring them always. As I lit my first purple advent candle this Sunday, I thought of Mom, Dad and my sister and brothers. I love you, dear family.
My mother wrote me beautiful descriptive letters. In this letter, dated September of 1974, she described the changes in the Catholic church, St. Patricks, in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She described my little sister as she was the flower girl for my auntie’s wedding. Mom had a way of bringing me close to her heart, even though I was at such a distance.
Mom described how she was preparing for yet another bazaar for her church…something that she did each and every year right about this time. She ‘worked herself to the bone’, she would say…and she did. Now days, surprisingly enough, I almost feel that her urgency was coming from a place deep within her. I didn’t know that at the time.
Mom’s stitches were so even, so careful. She did several cross stitch pieces…it was a phase she went through. So many years ago, when we were very young, she did very tiny petit points. I marvelled at her patience.
It broke my mother and father’s hearts when Mom had to let go of her weaving loom. It represented better times…it represented Mom’s joy of weaving…of good health. Mom’s weaving was very special to her. I still marvel that she could figure out how to set the warp strands.
Mom was ALWAYS knitting. She knit each member of the family an irish knit sweater, toques, scarves and winter hats of every variety! Some of her patterns for hats were so bizarre that I used to really wonder about them! I remember one that was like a latticed pumpkin pie and another, a vertically striped stocking hat…just where did she get these ideas? I did not appreciate or treasure these objects enough and would give anything to still own one of them so that I could give them to my daughters.
This is a profoundly complicated pattern…but something that my mother gifted to me. I will treasure it always!
While most were going to the wicker store to purchase their baskets, my mother was weaving her own. She learned several different techniques and then work shopped and taught others. While Mom and Dad lived in Brampton, Ontario, I remember visiting and having Mom teach me how to prepare, soak and weave in this manner.
This was Mom and Dad’s Easter gift to me…
Corn husk dolls were something that my mother created, with a flourish. These little ladies, as well as many other folk art pieces filled her home and provided generous gifts for family and friends. While there are many other hand-crafted items that Mom created, these photos capture a wee taste of my mother’s abilities. I love and cherish my mother’s hands!