My Grandmother’s Afghan

     My Grandmother recently passed on.  I’m still getting used to the fact that she is not here anymore.  I was asked if I wanted any of her possessions as a keepsake.  My Grandmother had accumulated a lifetime of really cool stuff; unique knick knacks, collector spoons, dishes so abundant they overfill the cupboards.  All I could think of that I really wanted were things she had made. 

     My Grandmother was always making beautiful things.  She did needlepoint and crochet as well as a variety of crafts.  On one of my last visits to her home she gave me some refrigerator magnets that had been on her fridge since I was a little girl.  I loved them and tucked them away in my jewelry box as if they were precious gems. 

     I couldn’t go home for the funeral but my parents flew home for it.  They had lovingly boxed up several handmade items for me to have.  I was delighted to receive two dolls my Grandmother had crocheted, a pillow she had embroidered a monogram on, and an afghan.  The afghan was one that my Grandmother had made 30 or more years ago.  It used to adorn the back of her davenport.  That is what she called her couch, I thought it was so cute and had never heard the word davenport before or since then.  I never really liked the colors of it, but I know my Grandmother really liked it.  I felt honored to be the one to receive it.

     When I hugged it close I could smell my Grandmother’s home trapped in the fibers.  Memories flooded my mind.  When my grandfather was nearing his end he had taken this afghan with him to the hospital to give him comfort; a piece of home to keep him warm in the cold sterile hospital.  I wondered if it was covering him on the bed when the breath left him.  I wondered if his soul had passed through it on his journey home.

     My Grandmother also had it with her in her final days.  I wondered if she had similar thoughts as she wrapped herself in its warmth.  My tears have been added to its threads now.  I suppose they are in good company.  I wonder if my aunt’s, uncle’s and cousin’s tears are mingled with mine in this wonderful gift.  I wonder if it was draped over her as she went to join my Grandfather.

     Some might have trepidation about touching and loving this blanket; this possible death shroud.  I’m not sure how to feel.  The souls of my Grandparents may have passed through this legacy that has been handed down to me.  I have not even been able to bring myself to read her obituary or the program from her funeral.  When I touch the afghan I mourn.  Should I wrap it in tissue and tuck it away, preserving the smell of my Grandparents’ home?  Should I display it with honor on my own davenport?  Perhaps in a few months I will be able decide.  For now I keep it close and allow myself to cry for a moment or two before returning to my daily routine.

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I was touched by this post. It brought back memories of my own grandparents and more recently my parents who have likewise departed. Nice memories are a cushion to our souls in this often harsh world in which we live. It is nice to have an item that once belonged to our departed loved ones, it helps us to focus on the treasured memories of days long since gone I think.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. SG~
    My condolences on Grandma SG’s passing.

    My Mother-in-Law passed away about a month ago, and my Grandfather about a year and a half…. I can understand what you’re going through and definitely relate to the treasured items passed down through the generations.

    Be strong and remember the good times.

    P.S. I really need to look up what a “davenport” is…that and a barkolounger (sp?).

  3. such a sad story, im glad you have something to remember her by

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