Last Mittens

Sleepovers at Grandma's house. Asleep in the big bed downstairs with Grandma. The one she used to share with Grandpa. The one he died in. Snuggling close to her and loving how her skin smells. Falling asleep feeling happy and safe. Next morning, Grandma makes me milk toast sprinkled with brown sugar, served with hot cocoa...

Among my Grandma Fitzpatrick's many talents, was handiwork. She sewed clothes.  She made pillow cases, dresser scarves, and dish towels, then embroidered them.  And she knitted.

The photos here show some of the last work she did.  She not only knitted, but she repaired what she knitted.  Usually she'd darn them with yarn of the same color and you'd never know they had been repaired.  On this example at left, she had to use what she had on-hand.  We didn't care.  As long as it kept our hands warm!

The pair on the bottom were the last ones she made.  Those who know their knitting will notice she did not have as steady a hand, and a stitch or two may have been dropped.  It was harder for her to see, and her hands were not as nimble as they once were due to arthritis.

No one has ever worn the green mittens, and no one ever will, if I have my way about it.  I have kept them - and a set of dish towels, several sets of pillow cases tucked away, tangible evidence of a woman whose hands made them.  I can look at them, and touch them, and along with memories, the love we had between us comes flooding back.  I will never forget you, Grandma.