Tuesday, September 09, 2003

A Special Pincushion

It’s not really stitched very well now that I look at it closely. The Xs in the pattern certainly aren’t neat and even enough for me to consider if I were looking at a sample from someone wanting to be a model stitcher... but this tiny cross stitched pincushion made me cry when I unpacked it from the parcel my Mom sent me this morning.... because it used to belong to my grandmother.

I can remember watching her stick her pins and needles into it long before I even knew what cross stitch was. I’d forgotten all about it by the time I grew to be an adult and took up both stitching and designing. By then, I had married and settled in Moncton, so I didn’t sit on the edge of her bed of the couch to watch her mend things anymore. I’d completely forgotten the pincushion until I visited my Grandfather this summer and needed a darning needle to finish off the yellow dishcloth I’d knit for him on the way up to Montreal from Mom & John’s in Sherbrooke. “I’m sure her sewing things are still up in the cupboard” my grandfather said a bit gruffly. The pain of losing her seemed suddenly fresh even though it has been almost 3 years. Her sewing things still smelled of “Nanny” and I put my head against the wooden door frame until the lump in my throat abated.

Today, when I unpacked the box of bits and ends and birthday wishes... I found the pincushion. Mom had removed all the the pins that cluttered it all its life and I could suddenly see the stitched geometric pattern. I wish that I had had the chance to ask her if she had been the one to stitch it and make it into a tiny pillow. It looks as if it was stitched on canvas and stuffed with sand or sawdust... but I am just guessing. I put the tiny pillow up to my nose to take a deep sniff. Suddenly, I am a young girl again, with long, blond hair, hiding in my grandmother’s closet while my Grampy does his best Papa Bear voice... I am a small girl pressed against my Nanny’s nightgown as she assures me that the boom of thunder is just giants bowling.... I am a grown woman trying to capture all the rush of emotions that one small, cross stitch pincushion has thrown into this day for my blog entry.... This pillow will someday absorb the smells of MY house, but even then, it will still be a stitched treasure in this dragon’s hoard.

Jen at Dragon Dreams

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