お祖母さん・Obaasan/Obaachan

My sons’ grandmother on their father’s side, quietly slipped away this week. She was 88 years old. She had Alzheimer’s and slowly lost the ability to remember her family. That was the sad part. She was a complicated, stubborn and generous woman with many gifts. She painted and could sew, but for years her hands were busy with a crochet hook and yarn. She had a distinct pattern that she used in the afghans she made for her children as well as each of her grandchildren. She also encouraged and supported me in my various artistic explorations at the time. She had shelves full of books dedicated mostly to knitting, crochet, embroidery and quilting. So when we made our trips to “grandma’s” I made a point of checking out her library for new additions or inspiration. I recall that she tried to teach me to tat and that wasn’t a success. I still have my tatting shuttle.

 

She kept an immaculate house inside and out – it was well scrubbed and dusted. The bushes in her yard were always neatly trimmed, the grass was cut weekly. Another very valuable thing she taught me was how to fold a diaper and the reasons for folding it one way for a boy and another for a girl. I have recipes for her soup and chocolate brownies that have been served at my table many times over.

 

Life’s too short. People are complicated, deep and multi-faceted. I’m grateful to have had her as a mother-in-law and that she was such a loving grandmother to my sons.

 

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