Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sewing - Shortcomings and Amends

If you have ever done any sewing you know you have to become one with the machine. Sewing isn't hard it is getting the machine to work properly that can make the difference between having a spiritual awakening and creating something beautiful or having a spiritual breakdown and identifying all your shortcoming in a matter of seconds.

I brought out my old sewing machine for the first time in about 15 years. You want to see if your program is working this is a good place to start. It was Saturday night and about 10 pm when I got the bright idea to start a sewing project. First I am old because I had a hard time threading the needle. 15 years and I have gone blind.

I can't help but think of my Grandmother Bryant whenever I sew or really do anything creative and quirky. She taught me how to sew on her peddle machine and I was her official needle threader. I made my first piece of clothing with that machine and I still have it. I was probably eight and it was a white dinner jacket for my ventriloquist doll. Complete with a black tie. I was seriously into puppets at that age hmmm maybe a matter to visit later.

My Grandmother was a queen in her own mind and expected things to go her way and they usually did. When my mother died she cried for 3 years until one day she said God doesn't want me to be sad anymore. My mom was her baby and she expected her to take care of her forever. My grandmother was a woman of faith and the loss of my mother tested that faith.

She was my greatest fan and encouraged my creativity more than anyone else. She displayed my creations and showed them to everyone that visited. She had a light about her but she also had a dark side. When she wanted you to do something it had to be in her time and that usually meant right now. When the family didn't comply she would get strangers to do what she wanted.

I was in my mid 20's when she got bone cancer. By that time she had moved here and had switched her expectations from my mother to me and I had resisted. My marriage was already not going well I was determined not to get caught in her web. My aunt came down from Chicago to take care of her. I visited her regularly but never connected to her situation emotionally. I was shutdown most of that decade and really have few memories. I abandoned her when she needed me most.

She was a product of her very scary childhood. Her father killed in a bar fight and her mother died and she was raised by a strict aunt. She married had nine children and then her husband died in a sawmill accident and she was left to fend for herself and this is how she did it. She saw every person as someone that potentially had something to offer. Even when she didn't need to do this it had become part of her personality this is how she survived.

I made amends to her this weekend while I was asking her to help me with sewing machine that refused to work on Sunday. It is never too late to make amends. She is a big part of me and my personality. She taught me that you can ask God for anything and he will always help. Everyone laughed one time because she asked God to get rid of the bugs in her house. It was a 100 year old house but I never saw a bug there.

She did what she had to do to survive just as I did what I had to do to survive. Even if that meant shutting down during her sickness. I had experienced so much loss by then I was numb to it and was determined not to care about anything again.

It had taken me 20 years to thaw completely and to come to terms with loss. It hurts whether you acknowledge it or not. Loss is part of being alive and the fact is people leave sometimes by choice and sometimes not. Accepting the ebb and flow of this process takes courage and support.

I am growing up finally, I had given up. I didn't intend on this being a serious post but it is was it is. On a lighter note after I ask for divine assistance with the sewing machine it started working perfectly. I whipped out four panels in a couple of hours. I am sure Grannys up there smiling and thinking, I told you so.


  1. I thought this was absolutely lovely. I too have a grandmother who taught me how to sew and a sewing machine. I could so relate to all of it. Thank you for writing this today.

  2. Beautiful post. I am taking care of my elderly mom (my first A) who has her share of baggage that gets all mixed up with my baggage and its a lot of sorting. lol I can SO relate to the sewing machine drama too! LOL Mine always seems to have a bobbin tension issue and yeah...all of my character defects are in thriving full color after about 10 minutes! Being numb... I hear you.