So I was thinking what could I post that meant delicate to me, and then this happened… my favorite blanket, unraveled.
I don’t know if it snagged on the bed frame or if a knot came untied in the wash; but my grandmother, my γιαγιά – the first Georgia in my life, made it for me.
She taught me how to crochet (the simple stuff). She made elaborate crocheted lace tablecloths in her heyday.
When my memories of her start, I always remember her arthritic fingers dancing wildly around the little hook as she stared at the television and not at her work. The end of the row would come and she’d look down, switch directions, and look back up at the TV. It always ended up perfectly straight and ordered. The art of it brought her a lot of happiness, as did gifting the final product. As she got older, she substituted outside activity and housework for more resting. Crocheting in front of the TV with family around keeping her company was a frequent activity.
Alzheimer’s set in and we could tell by her blankets when she had had mini-strokes on top of the disease. The blankets would start out looking fine, then she’d add rows making the blankets look wobbly. Soon, even the notes about how many chain stitches we’d leave on the table didn’t help her keep count. She would start with something for a twin bed and by the end she was using an entire skein of yarn to just finish one row. We called them “tree skirts for sequoias,” because they wrapped so well in a circle. That was around the same time when she couldn’t remember anything short term.
When Γιαγιά came to visit for a month, my aunt would send her with 3 extended VHS tapes. One tape had 8 hours of Murder She Wrote, another had 8 hours of Columbo, and the last I think was another Murder She Wrote or Father Dowling Mysteries marathon. We’d put the tape in at the beginning of the day and rewind it at night. She watch the same tape the next day, like Lucy in 50 First Dates, and not remember a thing. I learned patience then. I had the dialog on all of the episodes memorized, but I watched them with her religiously and pretended I never knew “who did it” in the whodunit.
The last blanket she made took 8 people to hold and it had 6 corners. We switched her over to dish rags because they couldn’t get away from her as quickly and we were worried she would trip over a blanket and break her hip. The dish rags too started with 24 stitches and ended in the 40s.
She lived an amazing life way into her 90s, 12+ years of it with Alzheimer’s. Even when she didn’t know my name anymore, she was still telling jokes. Georgia ruled!
I’ve had philosophical discussions with people about the “little things in life”. Is it important? Ok, but does it really matter? I’ve tried not to let material things weigh me down, but this bothered me. It was one of the last blankets she made before everything went downhill and one of the few blankets that survived my brother’s “hey I’m 5 and found a pair of scissors” incident. I won’t get all cliché about blanket-life analogies. But, I do hope I can fix it and it doesn’t look like Franken-blankie.