Sunday, 13 December 2015

Knitting Mittens


When she called to tell me it was confirmed she had dementia, the morning sky, from my window, suddenly morphed, before my eyes, to black and grey the day ripped to rags in fuming clouds … as my world, quietly, tore asunder. 

From the phone I heard her voice brittle and stiff say:  the news is not good ... looks like,  I have  Early Stage Alzheimer’s ... makes a strange kind of sense, doesn’t it ... with everything ... and all … but, I don’t want to talk about it now … just thought, I’d call to say ... I have dementia, and she giggled somewhat strained, I thought, but still:  in that lovely breeze on-wind-chime way she has.

I said, I would come to her but she said no, not now.  She had something she
wanted to do, alone something she wanted to get started on.  And she told me that she needed to knit.  She had knitted by her mother's side, when she was a young girl and she needed to feel her mother near her.  She needed to knit and shoo away "the dark clouds" with memories  And as long as she could do that a few stitches every day it would be a splendid day, and she giggled again ... and whispered:  I'm going to knit you mittens, to help keep you warm when winter comes as she hung up the phone. 


stitches ... knit ... purl 
a lifetime of moments  
beneath a splendid  sky
 
notes:  a haibun posted for Poets United.

purl (v) to knit yarn with a purl stitch.
the intertwisting of thread that knots a stitch, usually along an edge.
to flow or ripple with a murmuring stream.

photo: Knitting Mittens – W. Bourke 

© 2015 Wendy Bourke

20 comments:

  1. How beautiful this is. My own mother too had dementia and the sadness is within me still.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very heart warming indeed. Greetings to you an best wishes always.

    ReplyDelete
  3. a lovely haibun to warm the heart's sadness; i truly enjoyed this piece

    have a good Sunday Wendy

    much love...

    ReplyDelete
  4. lovely and moving haibun.
    and she is very courageous.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a human, poignant and in someway uplifting piece of writing -breeze on-wind-chime way - is such a wonderful description and that giggle...making things 'ok' for her child...so very touching and yes, going back to small comforts..memories of love is the best medicine...

    ReplyDelete
  6. that soft dignity in shooing away 'the dark clouds' is heart warming and so very touching...love the end haiku..profound..

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was one of the poems of yours that moved me most, Wendy. I hope you will do something more with this one...as I think so many could identify with it. I understand her need to knit...to feel her mother near her. Really, I think many at such times wish that once again they were that little girl (safe) with mother by one's side, comforted, and knowing everything will be all right. You conveyed the story so well, Wendy...almost brings tears to my eyes in its tender reality.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my...I remember when I heard those words when my father was diagnosed...hard emotions bubbling up for me. But your haibun is just stunning especially the culmination of that exquisite haiku!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gee, this is so sad..I am actually teary eyed. The need to knit..those mittens will keep you warm when winter comes. This was written with a "special" heart.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh my goodness, this is indeed written with "a special heart", as Truedessa has noted. How absolutely human and beautiful and sad and sweet - especially her whispering she would knit you mittens "to keep you warm when winter comes." OMG, how very moving - and how heroic her acceptance, and deciding to knit in response. This is a very special poem, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This moved me so much.. if you could just capture those early moments and do the best of them. My mother realized it too late and we all missed for her to spend it in the best way... And I hope that she doesn't fade too quickly.. and what a treasure those mittens will be.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is all so marvelous, mainly because you paint such a vivid and sincere picture. I can see this happening, can hear this conversation. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This really got me in the heart, Wendy. What a mix of both joy and sadness--as life is. Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  14. How warm yet poignant the poem and haiku...we need to enjoy little things now, not somewhere in a future...she's really courageous woman, best, Wendy!

    ReplyDelete
  15. But still life will weave its yarn and one has to move on.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes, this is certainly touching, Wendy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. oh so poignant, and unforgivingly human almost, to share such news and yet not want to talk about it... vivid

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a metaphor for life - sticthes, knit, purl....made me cry...!

    ReplyDelete