Gramma's hands will always guide me... Even when I can't feel them...
|It was an unusually warm spring day, by Southern California standards anyway, as I sat in a chair in the garage, watching people paw through boxes of old junk in my grandmother’s driveway, my feet swinging back and forth between the white plastic legs, my toes not touching the ground.
“Yes, Baby?” She glanced back at me as she made change for someone who just bought one of my grandfather’s old drafting sets.
“Why are you selling all of that stuff?”
“Because I don’t need it anymore, Child. These other people can use it.” She held up three fingers to someone who had gestured to an old lamp.
“Oh.” I craned my neck from my chair, trying to see what everybody was fussing over. “Can I look?”
She turned to smile at me. “Of course. Just don’t leave the driveway, okay?” She sent me a warning glance.
“Okay.” I didn’t want to leave the driveway anyway. There was too much to explore without leaving it.
I dug through boxes, stained and tattered, through things I’d never seen before. There was a yellow lunch box with a monkey on it in one of them. And I found a keychain from Hawaii. I found a shoe, but not it’s pair, and I found an old box of crayons that was missing the blue one. I found old board games, figurines, and paintings. I found books and records – some that looked new, others old and used.
But there was still one box to go through. It was still closed, no one having gone through it, and the dust on top of it was thick and white. The tape that had once held it closed was yellowed and peeling away from the sides. There was an old painting propped up against it, almost as tall as I was, so I gathered all the strength a six year old could and gently set it down against the blanket that had been laid out on the driveway.
I wiped my dusty hands against my jeans, leaving gray smears along the front of them, and kneeled in front of the box. One of the top flaps was nearly torn off, and a bottom corner had been squished. The bottom of it was stained dark, and wrinkled, cobwebs clinging to the sides. I pinched my fingers together and pulled open one flap, then the other, dust scattering to the winds as I folded open the last two.
The green plastic bag I found was covered in dust, too. I reached in and lifted it out, setting it on the driveway in front of me. Whatever it was felt soft. I found the knot that tied the bag closed and worked it loose with my little fingers. I held open the opening to the big bag and looked inside but it was dark.
Reaching into the darkness, my hands met that softness again, but it felt a little rough. I pulled it out...
In my hands was a folded cloth, much like a blanket, but heavy, yet still lacey. The white thread was yellowed with time and use and I sat back on my heels, looking at the treasure I found. It was beautiful, threads woven this way and that, making patterns of flowers repeated hundreds of times over. My fingers traced the threads, following the outline of a flower.
“What’d you find, Baby?” Gramma walked over and knelt in front of me. She reached out and touched the intricate lace, then my cheek. “Just as soft, and just as much effort and love put into it.”
“What is this, Gramma?” I ran my hand over it again.
“It’s a bedspread, Child. Your great-great-grandmother made that.”
“Made it?” She smiled at my puzzled look.
I watched as she reached inside the green plastic bag and pulled out a spool of thread and a long thin metal hook. “Yes. She made it with this...” She handed me the hook, “And from this...” She handed me the thread.
I looked from the hook to the thread to the beautiful elegance that sat in my lap. There were minutes of silence as I contemplated the time it took, and the love she’d put into it. I looked up at Gramma, who sat there, watching me with a knowing smile. “Can I make one?”
Her smile grew as she put the bedspread back into the bag and tied it closed, placing it gently back into the box. She set a sign on top of it that said “Not for Sale” and helped me up, dusting off the front of my jeans. “Of course you can. You can do anything.”
“Will you show me?”
“Yes, Child. I will show you.” She picked me up and held my weight on her hip as if she was thirty years younger. “Grampa! Watch over this, okay? Krysha and I have some things to do.”
“Ya! I’m gonna make a bedspread!” He laughed at my enthusiasm and waved us off as Gramma carried me in the house.
“You wanna see a picture of your great-great grandmother?”
I nodded as she set me down on the couch and pulled a box out of the hall closet. She sat down next to me and opened yet another dusty box. I clutched the thread in one hand, the hook in the other, as I was shown a photo of a young girl, hardly older than me.
“That is my grandmother when she was your age. You look a lot like her.” She leaned back against the couch and I snuggled in close to her. “She learned how to crochet about your age, too.”
“She learned how to what?”
She laughed and set the photo down on the coffee table. Sitting back against the couch, she pulled me into her lap and held my hands as I made a knot, then a loop, then a loop, then a loop...
And on and on it went, her thin fingers guiding mine, her whispers of encourangement as she let go of my hands and I kept going, making a loop, then a loop, then a loop, then a loop... Until my fingers froze in panic.
“Gramma, I can’t do it by myself! Help me!”
“Yes, you can, Child. Gramma’s hands will always guide you... Even when you can’t feel them.”
** Image ID #1482333 Unavailable **