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My mom always says, “Teach someone to knit, and they’re warm for life.” She taught me to knit, of course. Mom’s saying is like my dad’s. Dad taught me to fish. At the lake he’d always say, “Give someone a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach someone to fish, and you feed them for life.”
When Mom says, “Teach someone to knit, and they’re warm for life,” I feel close to my parents. It helps me remember Dad. (Like me, he always wore the things she knitted.) My parents’ kindness taught me so much.
When I was eight, I knitted Mom a red garter-stitch scarf for Mother’s Day. She burst into tears.
“I thought you liked red,” I said. “I love red, sweetie,” she sobbed. “This is the best scarf ever.”
That’s how I learned you could cry when you were happy.
So, when the day came that Joe asked my permission to marry Mom, I was, first, speechless, then I felt tears start. That he asked me before asking her was totally amazing. I certainly saw that Mom loved Joe. They’d met years before at a bereavement support group. They knew about loss.
They knew about happiness, too. Together, we’d had good times, whether just at home, or taking hikes, or yes, going to the lake to fish. But it wasn’t until last year, when I was fifteen, that Joe proposed.
Mom accepted, of course.
The afghan, of lusciously thick yarn, was so textured and interesting, I could hardly stop knitting. The cool part was it looked intricate, but worked up fast. As the panels flowed from my needles, the bobbled trees of life at the center, flanked by rich vertical cables, reminded me of everything about Mom and Joe that was strong and good. They were positive people. Despite their losses, they wanted to make a future together–and with me.
Just before the wedding, I gave them the afghan. “I love you both so much,” I said, handing it over. I burst into tears, and so did Mom and Joe.
And we were all incredibly happy.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
A story by Selma Moss-Ward.