Throughout my entire childhood, my mom did cross-stitch. I never understand how she did it. She always had a project that she was working on. We would be watching TV as a family, and she would be stitching away. We marveled when the whole piece came together as they always started off as nothing and became beautiful replicas of a tiny picture. Through these projects, she taught me about compassion. The majority of them were not for her. They were so often for someone else. She made my brother and I Christmas tree ornaments every year, all of which I still have. Her creations hung throughout our house, our family member’s houses and our friend’s houses.
As soon as I was pregnant with Nolan she started making one for him and on my first Mother’s Day she presented me with a beautiful framed alphabet for his nursery. Complete with his name, date of birth and weight. We loved it, and so does he.
When I was pregnant with Simon, we asked her if she could do one for him as well. She sent me updates throughout my pregnancy each time she completed a new animal or a letter. She was always so proud as it was coming together. The pictures motivated me to start my own project. For Christmas I made Nolan’s very first Christmas tree ornament. A snowman. The tiny little sucker took me FOREVER to complete. Not until then did I really know what she had been doing all along. She had be pouring her love for others into these projects. She was spending hours and hours completed them and not for herself, but for the people that she loved. A labor of love.
Weeks after we got home from the hospital I was putting Nolan down for a nap, and I saw it. I saw his alphabet. A sign of tremendous love from his grandma. I lost it. Ugly crying. We weren’t the only people anxious for his arrival. We weren’t the only people that loved him. What about Simon’s alphabet? We can’t ask her to throw it away. We can’t ask her to finish it. We couldn’t ask her to get it framed. We couldn’t just save it in hopes of having another baby. What would we do with it? Would she finish it? Would she put his name, date of birth/death and weight on it? She put so much time, effort and love into his alphabet. It was a labor of love.
When we finally opened up Simon’s nursery I saw a huge gaping hole on the wall with a lone hook. A hook waiting and ready for his alphabet. I immediately called my mom. I asked her to finish it. Even though I knew just how painful it would be for her. I wanted it. I wanted his name, date of birth and weight on it. I wanted it to be framed. I wanted it to be hanging on his wall. Why? Because it reminds me of the love that was waiting for him. The love that he still has. And not just from grandma but from more people than I realized.