Letters to : A Leaf Scarf and my Mom

Dear Size 15 needles,

I’m pretty much in love with you. I made the long overdue conclusion that I can do lace as long as you are with me for the ride. The leaves in my scarf are so pretty. Thank you size 15 wooden needles; thank you, cozy Lorna’s Laces bulky yarn . And no I haven’t blocked it yet, but I shall.

Dear Susan B Anderson,

Thank you for the pattern, published by Spud and Chloe via Blue Sky Alpaca. Susan B. you have so many great patterns. I just sent your darling, adorable, stuffed toy pattern book to my pal, Karen. But lets get back to this pattern. Susan, your pattern was perfectly written: Leaf: a Scarf or Bookmark. a free design by you. For tiny needle knitters , they can use the size 2 needle instructions you give for a bookmark. Susan, I believe I am one of those who will always use a bookmark, so thanks.

Dear Friends,

We got some pretty wonderful news yesterday at the doctor’s office. When Fireman and I got home, he had to leave for the barn immediately.

The house was quiet. I started sobbing. The relief of this news came over me like a blanket of it’s okay. My phone a friends, are in Hawaii and Mexico right now and I wasn’t going to call them.

Suddenly, I felt my mom near me. She had a ritual when she had a cigarette in the winter. You have to know , that my mom smoked from the time she was 15. She did so much self loathing about it, because others shamed her so. All of her friends understood she wanted to quit and couldn’t. I understood.

Secret: I encouraged her to keep smoking. The poor woman had no other vices. When she would try to stop smoking, which was every single LENT of my life with her, she would just be in a panic. She didn’t count Sunday’s for Lent, so she’d quit for 6 days and then go to town on a carton on Sunday.

She was ashamed but always found another smoker, at a wedding or a event, outside sneaking a cig. She was not alone.

And she wasn’t alone at home either. I never smoked a cigarette in my life. My father, I’m not kidding, said he’d break our fingers if he ever found a cigarette in our hands. He was like that. He also told us he’d break both our legs if he ever found us on a motorcycle.

I digress, but it is worth noting, that his grandson got a motorcycle, (not my son) and my father was the most fascinated and delighted about it.

Once my father had his quadruple bypass surgery, my mom was forbidden to smoke in the house. In the dead of Chicago winter, she’d put on her very puffy white coat, grab her cigs and lighter and go the outdoor screened porch, or the garage if it was really bitter.

Which was often. Whenever I was there, in a show of love, I’d go out with her while she smoked.

Yesterday I put on my biggest winter coat and took a pencil and pretended to have a smoke with my mom. My God, I could see her every move.

Her shaking head, and her shaking hands at work. She lit her cigarette while it was in her mouth. Between her head shaking and her hands shaking, it is truly an act of God that she never lit herself on fire. But, by God, she’d light that thing. Then she’d take a big drag, (is that right?) and her whole body would relax.

We’d start chatting. She would barely smoke the cigarette down at all. But after about 5 minutes, she’d say, “ok, lets go back in” and she’d crush the tip of the cigarette in a little cup of sand. And she’d be golden for a few hours.

So yesterday, I pretended I was having a cig with her because by God, I needed to have her there with me. Fezzik came out with me. I talk to mom. She told me to cry and just let it out. “Just let it out” she always said.

I could be a mime with the cigarette thing. It was such a part of my mom. Cigarettes are horrible. I know that. My mom was wonderful. I know that with 100% certainty. Yesterday, though, in some odd, weird, way I picked up a pencil and pretended to smoke with her. I felt so much better.

Then I came in and opened this champagne bottle that someone gave us a bit ago. I had to google how to open a bottle. I did well. Then I felt my mom’s mom with mom and I . Nana always put a cube of sugar in her champagne. So I put some sugar in mine. It frothed over like crazy and I thanked Nana.

Dear those of you who stayed to the end of the letter to you, thanks. I know it all sounds rather kooky, but I can’t tell you the comfort that those memories bring. My mom was all around me.

Exactly when I needed her to be. Just like when she was living here on Earth….

love kathy b

Published by compassionknit

I've moved from irisheyesknitters.blogspot.com to compassionknit.wordpress.com on Nov. 7 2016. It is still me! glad you found me

12 thoughts on “Letters to : A Leaf Scarf and my Mom

  1. Hello my friend. I’m glad you got good news.. maybe you’ll share it with us? My mom smoked too.. Tareytons. But eventually she did quit and had many smoke free years. It’s sad when we lose our moms.. all those old stories are gone with them. ((hugs)), Teresa 🙂


  2. Thanks for sharing your receipt of good news! It is a blessing to your friends to know that good things are happening to you. I have a hard time feeling okay with smoking in any way. We lost Dotti last November to cancer from years of smoking. We tried so hard to help her stop but smoking is a jealous lover. Still, I remember standing on the patio with her while she smoked, just to be with her. I wish I had the chance to do it again.


  3. I cried as I read this Kathy. So often I feel my own mom around me at exactly the time I most need her and she’s been gone 31 years now. I’m so glad you had that same comfort. I have no idea about the news you received but I’m SO glad it was good.
    And your leaf shawl is gorgeous too.
    Love and Blessings,


  4. My mom smoked like a fiend too. It was never a question of quitting for her. While she lay slowly dying for days from leukemia the perplexed doctor said to us….”she’s got such strong lungs, that’s what’s keeping her going”. We all had a roll on the floor laugh at a time we really needed one.


  5. Allowing yourself to cry is an act of love. Holding it in just puts a cork in your emotions, and it’s going to come out, one way or another, one day or another. I’m glad that you felt close to your mother.


  6. OMG. What a beautiful post. I felt like I was right there with you and your mother. I knew a woman who would sneak to the chicken coop to smoke. Her husband would scold her about it but she denied she was smoking. Once he said to her that if she wasn’t smoking then the coop was on fire!
    Congratulations on your positive report, Kathy!


  7. Isn’t it funny? I posted about my mom once quitting smoking at Lent (it was awful for ALL of us). She eventually quit on her own during a bout of flu in her early fifties. I’m glad you felt your mom with you and I’m glad you got good health news. Life is good.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: