Saturday, November 01, 2008

For All The Saints

It's All Saints' Day (for another 2 hours anyway), a day to remember all those who have gone before us. I didn't pull out the prayer shawl I made for my thesis project, but I am in particular remembering the women saints in my family, and even more specifically my grandmother, Edna Ruth, who passed away four years ago. I've been sewing a lot the last couple weeks, and she was a prolific sewer. She made much of her own clothing, and many items for her seven children. She passed the skill on to her only daughter, my mom, who then in turn taught (and continues to teach) me.

As I feel the texture of the fabric moving under my fingertips and hear the motor of the sewing machine, I remember my grandmother. I think about who she was, and that perhaps I never really got to know who Edna the person was outside of Edna my Grammy. I think about her strong faith life, and wonder about her relationship with God. I ruminate that certain common words and phrases--"cuppa tea," "Down by the Station" and of course, "Pennsyl-vain-I-A!"-- that drove us a little crazy with their repetition when she was alive now serve as reminders of her, and most likely will serve as links to the next generation.

When my grandmother died, my mom inherited all her fabric. Much of it is polyester suiting that we're trying to figure out what to do with, but there are also a good deal of cottons, which my mom and I tend to favor. Often I'll look through my mother's stash for something, and hold up a piece that catches my eye. "Yes, I like that too," my mom will say. "That's a Grammy fabric." As I run my fingers over it, I know that Grammy had done the same, that it too had caught her eye, and I feel the connection through time.

Tonight I'll go to bed thinking of Grammy and all the other women to whom I'm connected, who surround me in a cloud of witnesses. Blessed be.

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