The First Stitch

Last month, a friend of mine did one of those things on Twitter where they put forth a question and invite people to quote tweet them with their answers. She wanted to know when you felt most like your mother.

The question came mere days after my mother passed away, and while, under normal circumstances., I would jump on the opportunity to talk about the instances when I feel most connected to the most important person in my life, losing her was still too raw, too fresh.

At my mother’s funeral, my dad talked about how, when the two of them would watch television together every night, they couldn’t watch anything with subtitles, because she’d be knitting and crocheting with the TV on in the background, not able to give the selected show or movie her full attention.

Similarly, although I am a passionate lover of television, I must admit that I am not very good at watching it. I have an aching need to multitask, often writing or cleaning with the TV on in the background, with few exceptions. This is also why I haven’t watched a drama since 2013 (with few exceptions). That being said, the TV is almost always on. It’s like the Nervous Dater lyric: “Because when things get quiet, I feel uneasy/I need my friends or at least just the sound of the TV.”

I started knitting, last week, just like my mom did, as a way to feel closer to her. The TV on, but my head down.

I know there are a million different stages of grief (the experts say there are five, but to me it feels like approximately one million), because my mood and cognitive understanding of my situation shifts from moment to moment.

Yesterday I went to the bank to deposit some bonds my dad found in my mom’s safe deposit box. Bonds that were given to my parents after I was born and later, as a bat mitzvah present for me. As I signed the back of each of the bonds, I was taken aback. All I could think about was how excited my mom must have been when I was born, and the future she saw for me, and for us. And now she’s gone. Seeing her name, written over and over again on the bonds, didn’t help either. It wasn’t long before I was full on sobbing at 2:45 p.m. at TD Bank in Greenpoint. At one point, a man sitting nearby asked me to borrow my cell phone. When he saw that I was crying, he took back his request, but then told me about his father dying in his arms, so I consider that interaction a wash.

A thing I’ve been thinking about lately is that even though I spent close to five months visiting my mom in the hospital, then in rehab, then in the hospital, then in rehab, then in the hospital, and finally, in hospice, all of that time feels lost to me. Like she was here one day and then suddenly she was gone.

So far, I’ve just taught myself how to cast on and began with a simple stitch. But it’s a start.