Friday, October 5, 2012

Following Her Pattern

Back in February my dear Grandma B. passed away.

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My aunt and uncle were out of town, so they had asked us to come down to stay with my Grandparents and cousins for the weekend, just to “be a referee.” So, on Friday evening after work Brooke and I took off and started driving straight down to Orem, where they live. I got a couple of texts along the way, but didn’t pay any mind to them. However, once we got off the freeway and to a red light, I got a call from my mom, who was crying on the other end and told me that my Grandma had died a short while earlier.

I was totally shocked. It had come so suddenly! I had just talked to her the evening before! She had called the night before to ask what we would like for dinner when we arrived. I remember clearly her saying “Now, I heard that Brookie doesn’t like meat, so I want to make something special for her. How about soup and bread-bowls?”

When we arrived nobody was home, the cousins having gone over to a neighbors house to see some puppies to take their minds off things. We let ourselves in, and walked downstairs. And then it hit me. On the couch downstairs stuffed into a canvas bag was the afghan that she had been working on just earlier that day. When I saw that all I could do was hug Brooke and cry.

Now this afghan was kind of special. The colors were inspired by the afghan that I had made for my sister, and my Grandma had promised me last time that I had come down that she would show me how to make the pattern for this kind of afghan, and in return I had promised to show her how I made a pillow for Taci.

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Later that night, after the Bishop had come over and had a good talk with all of us, and after had had a few more sad moments seeing where she had set set out bread to rise for our dinner earlier that morning, we were sitting downstairs and talking. I asked my Grandpa if I could finish the afghan that Grandma was working on and he said that he would like that. But I had no idea how to start! So, I looked up the pattern online, and made a sample baby blanket for Alexis (who we had just learned a few weeks before was pregnant).

Once I got underway in earnest, I had another special moment. I had noticed earlier that there were a few miscellaneous items in the bottom of the bag, but I had never really paid attention to them. Now that I pulled them out, I had another sweet moment knowing that my Grandma had been thinking of me. On an envelope for a magazine subscription renewal that she thought I might be interested in she had written “Taylor?” For me it was a tender mercy, a sweet little message from beyond the grave that my Grandma was thinking of me.IMG_7834

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I kept working on the afghan on and off. Sometimes I was too busy, sometimes I was bogged down trying to find the same color (or a close match) to the yarn that she had been using, and sometimes it was just to hard to pull it out because I missed her too much. Gradually I got working on it regularly though, and I set a goal to have it finished by October General Conference. I finished it just the other week, right on time.

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I learned several things from this experience. I learned that I have an absurdly tight crochet stich compared to my Grandma (I had to switch up to a larger hook just so that I could make it match- although the middle is a bit differently shaped than the rest). I learned that small mistakes can be hidden in a larger pattern. Above all I learned that a part of mortality is that we are going to leave things unfinished in this life – that’s just part of mortality. However, we can leave behind a pattern and the tools necessary for those who come after us to finish what we have started. I’m grateful that my Grandma left me such a great pattern to follow for my life, and that she left me a legacy of testimony that I can use to work on my own life.

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