Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Socks Because She Nagged Me...

So, my mom claimed she was jealous because my aunt got a pair of socks I made for her.  Last spring (I think it was in April), I was at my parents' house, to be there while she had heart surgery.  While I was there, I asked her what color socks she wanted, and she said "black or gray, they'll go with the most."  She didn't understand, that's like buying a painting because it matches your sofa.  Handknit socks are art for the feet!  Well, I told her "I'm NOT knitting black socks!" and didn't think much more about it.  But then I had to go to Jo-Ann fabrics for another reason, and I checked out their sock yarn, and found one that was self-striping in grays and cream.  I thought I could just about stand to work with that without getting bored to tears, so I bought it to make my mother's socks.  I cast them on, then kept putting them aside for more interesting projects.

I finally finished them in January, and sent them to her.  She received them on Monday, February 6.

I called her that Thursday, and she let me know that she'd gotten them and really liked them.  That was a good thing, because that Saturday morning (February 11), my dad called me to tell me that she'd died earlier that morning.  I had been expecting it some time in the next few years, but not that particular weekend.  Still, although we weren't close, we weren't estranged, and I'd spoken to her a few days earlier, so I didn't feel any of the regret that sometimes makes an unexpected death even more difficult to deal with.

When my dad called, I was finishing up these socks from leftovers:

Even after I finished them, I still had some of the gray yarn left, though I'd managed to use up all the pink, yellow and green.  So, I cast on toes of new socks with the rest of the gray, then used the rest of the yarn from the socks I made for my mom, and made these:

I only had a few inches of leg done when the "mom sock leftovers" ran out, so I continued with something from my stash that coordinated pretty well.  I call this project "Mom-mento mori," which is a variation on the term memento mori, which was an object (often a skull) intended to remind people of death and mortality.  In this case, it's more a reminder of my mother's life, and a way to feel connected to her.

My mother wasn't very old when she died, she'd turned 67 the previous October.  But she had a number of health issues that had developed in the last ten or so years, and she had smoked for more years than I'd been alive.  She quit in 2006 when she first got acutely ill, but had gone back to smoking a few years later.  She had about 5 years longer than anyone expected her to live, after how bad she was in '06, and they were mostly good years when she was able to do things she enjoyed.  She would have hated being an invalid, and from what my dad told me it sounds like her death was relatively quick and fairly painless.  So, there were a lot worse ways it could have happened.  The timing was a bit of a surprise, but we knew she wouldn't have another five years, probably.  I'm just glad I finished those socks and got them to her.

Thanks for coming by to play.  Come back again soon.

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