I stopped in at the nursing home to see my mother yesterday afternoon, and the first thing I saw when I looked in her room was this colorful afghan.
She was in her bed calling for someone to do something, I’m not sure what, and it took a while for her to recognize my voice; her macular degeneration has virtually blinded her, just as her dementia has done, taking away the reality we see and feel every day and replacing it with an inferior imitation, patched together from the leftovers of memories.
I did my best to take her mind from her unidentified need by pointing out the afghan, which she could barely see though I described it. I’d made one just like it years before out of scraps of yarn left over from afghans I’d made for other family members, every row a different color, a different person, a different room, a different home, round and round, and gave it to my brother who hadn’t yet received one of my crocheted creations, and through many situations he kept it for years though it had ended up in her house. Pulling together those odds and ends of memory, the yarn, the afghans, the 70s, my brother, all slowly steered her to a different memory, focused on a different time, and I hoped she might spend her afternoon there.
And it may be time for me to make up at least one donated afghan for the nursing home out of my current leftovers so that some other child might walk into the room and see memories made from leftovers.