Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tears Falling On The Feathery Fringe of His Black & Gray Scarf

Ten years ago, to give as Christmas presents,  I ordered tee shirts and scarves, custom embroidered in red, white and green lettering with "Christmas 2006 Proud Member of Priscilla's Clan".
 Priscilla is my mom.
We gave each of her children, sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and step grandchildren one or another of the embroidered items.  I think I remember Mom being surprised about the whole thing.

Last night Anne asked me if I'd like the "Priscilla's Clan"  tee shirt, the one I gave to Joe that Christmas 10 years ago.
"Oh yes," I said.
"You know I had to empty the attic because I was having some work done," she explained.
"I had boxes of Joe's clothes stored there.  They're downstairs for now.  There are other things if you want to...," her voice trailed off.
I hesitated for a minute, trying to emotionally remove myself from what she was asking.
She got up to head to the basement.  She turned towards me with a hesitancy of her own.
Unspoken words floated through the air between us.
I followed her, distracted by her red strappy heels as she carefully made her way down the steps.
The boxes were stacked, one on top of another.  Clear plastic ones, with colorful tops.
The kids were down there playing.  Domani chattering away with his cousins.
I would glance at the boxes, then look away towards Domani, smiling at his antics.
Now, as I try to recall what I was feeling, I have an image of  myself, alone, sitting on the floor, as I carefully take out each piece of him one by one, hold each one next to me in an embrace, not wanting to let go.
I remember the last night I was with him.  We were all there.  All of us who achingly loved Joe, none of us, not one of  wanting to let him go.
I will always regret that I didn't have my alone time with him that night.  Perhaps I thought I would have more time.  He promised me that, you know.
Now, as she and I were focused on the boxes, but not really on the boxes, I felt awkward.  I think she sensed that I might want to look through the boxes.  She took the top off of one.  My eyes were instantly drawn to feathery halos of soft gray fingers of fringe laying somewhere near the bottom of the box.
She began to gently lift the rows of neatly folded items, looking for the Priscilla shirt.
She found it and handed it to me.   I took it and held it close.
She told me that she had already picked out a group of his tee's.   She was going to have a quilt made for Domani.
I liked that idea very much and told her that.
She was about to put the lid back on the box.  "If there's anything else..."
I asked if she knew about a scarf that I had made for Joe, all the while knowing that it was the one down at the bottom of the box.  The one that the halo of gray fringe was attached to.  But I didn't want to intrude.  Funny, now that I think about it.  How reserved I am.  How reserved Joe was.  Too polite to ask, "Would it be okay?"
She said she didn't recall.  I slowly reached into the box and pulled out the gray and black scarf, the one with the feathery fringe.
"Yes, this is the one," I said.
I remembered the last time I saw him wearing the scarf. He walked into the room and I immediately noticed he was wearing the scarf.  It made me happy.   He wore it around it neck, hanging down loosely, making a fashion statement.  He was cool that way.  I believe it was at Domani's first birthday party.  The only birthday party Joe would get to spend with his son.

But now, I began to cry, softly at first.  She came to me comforting me with a hug, tears falling on the scarf and the Priscilla shirt that we held between us close to our hearts.
Domani stopped playing.  His little face became flushed.  "What's the matter?" he wanted to know.
"Grandma is just sad," she said.  She leaned down next to him and whispered something to him.
"You understand, don't you?" Anne said to him.
He looked at his mother, then at me and solemnly nodded.


  1. Oh how sad! I can only send you a huge virtual hug. The memories are what keep us going. Your son is looking down at you fondly today! That much I know is true!!

  2. That is such a sweet picture of your son and his son. What memories those things must have brought up as you saw the scarf, etc. I too am sending you a hug.


    1. Yes, there were such vivid memories brought on by seeing that scarf. Thank you for the hug :)

  3. I totally relate. I just lost my husband on June 20. All day today, things and places have brought me to tears. It will take a long time.

  4. It's an odd thing, dealing with the stuff a loved one leaves behind. Some holds emotional value. Some does not. I'm glad you could get the scarf and the tee. Love the quilt idea.

    And it's great that you still see your DIL and your grandson. That's wonderful that they're still in your life.

    1. You're right. There are certain things that I hold dear. I suppose it has to do with the memories associated with them.

  5. Years ago I knit a sweater for my brother. When he was in the last stages of cancer he told me that during chemo my sweater was the only thing that kept him warm. After he died my sister-in-law gave it back to me but I eventually gave it away--it was too sad to keep. My heart is with you.

    1. Thank you.
      I am sorry for the loss of your brother. I understand how you feel about the sweater. I associate my son's smile with the scarf. But, of course, there is a sadness associated with it also.

  6. That's sad. I almost lost my child years ago. I still remember how that felt and I know it doesn't even compare.

  7. Hi Lynda - You know I still think about you often (especially when from time to time your name pops up on WWF - which I rarely play these days and mostly with my brother and sister...) - I thought about you last Dec 5th and wondered how your life was going. This morning I was thinking about my old blog and was able to retrieve it (for viewing purposes only, not apparently accessible for posting). I went back in a bit and found your last post and thought I would just say hi. I still ponder all the big truths I was pondering back then. I don't really feel much closer to any answers and that is discouraging. Resignation hangs in the air. But then there are good people like yourself to remind me that thinking is in my head and connections are in my heart. Let's go with the heart.

  8. I cannot even imagine, nor pretend to imagine, what emotions this must entail. Just know that we, your blogging family, are always here for you...

    1. I hope you understand how much your response means to me. Thank you.