I woke up thinking about how you made so many things throughout your life. I wondered about what you made before I was born, or before I was old enough to make a mental record of the stained glass, the paintings on glass, those crazy pine cone and dried flower arrangements on a fabric backdrop that hung in the living room, those terrible wreaths with geese - one for you and one for grandma, the cross stitch samplers, the countless re-upholstery projects.
Did you sew before me? Before all the little dresses with matching diaper covers, summer dresses and tops covered in early 70's illustrations. Did you sew before all of the Easter dresses, the Christmas dresses usually in tartan or velvet - one for every year until I was 10 (some with matching handmade shoes)? Did you sew before all of the doll clothes and soft toys you made me? Before the countless costumes for plays I was in or directed? Before all of the Halloween costumes?
I wish I knew.
Did you know that through those years when life was rough for you, for our family, that your insistence to spend hours upon hours making presents and costumes, prom dresses and pillows would be the way you showed best that you did love beyond measure, that I was worth those late nights and tired mornings. Without words something from you, from your hands would come along and say to me yes, I am loved. I am worth it. Those handmade things meant more to me than anything else in my world then.
I wouldn't know for years and years that a larger, more permanent gift was that I'd find such joy in expressing love and care through making, too. And I'm sure when the time comes to make things for one of my own that joy will be infinitely multiplied. That means more to me than anything now.
I hope you know.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I'm going to make you something today.