My husband and I have been married almost 30 years. As I type that number I look at it in something akin to shock to realize I have been a part of his family for that long – and survived! However, one of the best parts of his family that I was able to experience was his grandmother – or as she was lovingly called, Mamaw. She adopted me as one of her own when all of my grandparents were gone much too soon.
Mamaw was someone who was "green" before it was cool to be. She planted a garden, canned the resulting produce, made clothes for her children, and crocheted gifts for everyone, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even several great-great-grandchildren! By the time I joined the family, Mamaw wasn't sewing clothes or canning food any more (she was far too busy mowing grass and helping out her siblings, as well as helping to care for my father-in-law who was terminally ill). However, she was still crocheting constantly. During the few times she was sitting down, she immediately picked up her crochet work to finish the current afghan, the current Christmas ornament, the current dishcloth, etc.
Mamaw was kind enough to help me learn how to improve my crochet skills. My godmother, who was a kind and patient woman, taught a less than excited 9-year-old girl how to crochet. I did a few things, but then it fell by the wayside when high school, college and boys entered the picture. But, when I got married, and met Mamaw, I realized how much I would enjoy being able to make beautiful gifts for people on our newly married limited budget.
The latest crochet project.
Mamaw showed me many new stitches – a triple crochet, a half-double crochet, a chevron, and more. She never tired of my many questions, or at least she never showed me any frustration. She was always willing to look at my work, exclaim with pride over its beauty, and encourage me to continue working on whatever new project I had.
Because of Mamaw's encouragement, both my daughters also learned how to crochet and have since used those skills to make gorgeous, lovingly handcrafted gifts when their wallets were empty. I believe this is one of the best testimonies to loving, close, connected families – watching each generation being taught by previous generations and moving forward to use those skills.
The double crochet stitch Mamaw helped me perfect.
Mamaw passed away a few weeks ago, and she leaves a huge hole in our family. We all miss her greatly – but all I need to do is look at my latest crochet project in my bag, or any of the many that my daughters are working on, to know that her spirit and her gifts will live on in our family forever. I just wish I could tell her "thank you" one more time!