For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

A-Z Challenge: W is for Winding a Ball of Yarn

I have all these wool skeins that need to be wound into nice neat balls. I hadn't gotten around to the winding, as it seemed a monotonous task. I'd rather spend ball-winding time weaving, with my looms, caught up in that rhythmic relationship of warp and weft.

But I live now on the edge of a grief that frightens me. As it did yesterday, as I stood on the expansive stone steps of the DMV, where my mother had been called in for a mandatory road test, after mistaking the gas pedal for the brake and driving into the wall of a carpet store.

Climbing those massive stone steps had been an ordeal, as she has weakened and her balance is precarious.

And now as I was navigating her back down them, she was unravelling: "They don't understand. I won't go far. I just need to go the store. When I run out of milk. Eggs. Why can't they understand that?"

She'd failed the road test miserably. I was not surprised, but neither could I have ever been the one to take away her car keys.

She'd had to surrender her license. She'd had to slide it across the counter. I'd caught one last glimpse of her picture, a younger self.

She gave in to the unravelling. We stopped on a stone step. She leaned into the metal railing and began to really cry. "I'm a nonperson. I feel like a hollowed out piece of wood. I'm not a person anymore."

I held her elbow to keep her steady, but I had no words. I could not console. I was too locked up in my own grief of watching my life-long muse and best friend unraveling.

Metaphors can cheapen hard truths, but truths perhaps otherwise that are hard to express. So you could say aging is the unravelling of a once tightly woven ball of yarn.

But I'm not looking to cheapen this post, nor my grief. Only feeling I need to learn ways of coping with that grief. Grief, I now realize, does not necessarily commence the day someone actually dies. It's already here. It weighs heavily even as I type.

And yesterday, once I was back home, I could find no solace. But I was desperate to seek it out. And I found it. By the grace of sheer monotony. Of finally winding at least one skein into one ball of yarn.

Originally, I was going to cheat and just post here my Writer's Weaver's Tale, as I couldn't resist all those Ws. So here it is anyway: http://sandrasfiberworks.blogspot.com/p/writers-weavers-tale.html

 

 

 

 

17 comments:

Kathy said...

Oh how terribly sad!! Good you had some winding to do so you could process your thoughts and emotions.

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

Amy Morgan said...

This is heartbreaking. How much we associate our independence with being able to drive. Both my parents lost their driving "privileges" suddenly. My mother to a traumatic brain injury and my father to a giant aneurysm. Devastating to them both - I feel your pain.

Amy Morgan said...

This is heartbreaking. How much we associate our independence with being able to drive. Both my parents lost their driving "privileges" suddenly. My mother to a traumatic brain injury and my father to a giant aneurysm. Devastating to them both - I feel your pain.

Casey said...

Oh, Sandra.

My heart goes out to you. You'd spoken of this before over at 'my place', but it didn't seem this imminent. You're absolutely right that it doesn't begin the day someone passes...it is possible for it to 'take up residence' in the background some time before.

You'll be in my thoughts.

*hugs*

Casey

Paula Martin said...

I really feel for your mother and understand exactly how she feels. It's the end of independence somehow when you've been used to driving everywhere yourself.

The Writing Goddess said...

Sometimes I wonder what would be easier - we've all gotta go sometime, right? Would it be easier if we maintained all our skills and ability to the end, and then just -SNIP- like scissors on a piece of yarn? Would we be ready/able to let go, then? Or does the slow unraveling of skills and abilities help us ease of of this life, make us less likely to cling to it?

I don't know, I'm just wondering. Doesn't seem easy, in either direction.

Daron Henson said...

@ Sandra - I read your story "W is for Winding Ball of Yarn." Excellent and very emotional. I have also dealt with the hardships of an ageing mother.

Joyce Lansky said...

That must be very frustrating for an elderly person!

http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

Barbra said...

All I can offer are {{{hugs}}}.

Jo said...

You are so right the grieving begins long before the end. The loss of youth, the loss of freedom when driving is no longer an option, maybe other steps along the way, not being able to live alone, for sure.
Excellent post. ♥

Abracadebra Designs said...

Oh Sandra, My heart really does go out to both you and your Mother. I have not yet had to deal with any of this as my parents are still basically Spring Chickens, so I have no words of wisdom or advice for you. I am glad that you found the winding to be an outlet for your emotions and I am hoping tomorrow is a better day for you.
-Debbie

beachlover said...

Thought provoking story, Sandra. Yes, sometimes we don't want to see and know too much.

ElaineLK said...

Oh, Sandra, I know exactly how you feel. My mother eventually did give up her license and car voluntarily, but not before she had an accident that totaled the car but luckily didn't injure anyone. But I certainly understand about grieving a loss even while the person is still with you. Nothing about it is easy. As someone who's traveled that road and still has a way to go, my heart is with you. And I know that yarn can be comforting, too. I wish I'd learned to crochet before last year so I might have found some solace in the textures and colors and rhythms. We find our comfort where we can in this situation. I hope that you can find some.

Nicole Rivera said...

Sandra, I am so sorry for you and your mother. I understand the pain on both fronts and wish you both the best during these challenging times.

With that said, this post is a wonderful piece of writing. You did an amazing job of bring us through the scene at the DMV, as well as all of the emotions.

I particularly like this part, "Metaphors can cheapen hard truths, but truths perhaps otherwise that are hard to express. So you could say aging is the unravelling of a once tightly woven ball of yarn." Where you invite us, as readers, to see the imagery and understand its perfect relevance to this situation.

Thank you for sharing this post and, send hugs to your mom from another nonperson who cried the same tears of defeat upon losing her ability to drive :(

~Nicole from StoryDam

Jenny Reibert-Wolfe said...

So true about grief starting before death. I am experiencing some of those similar feelings with my own mother for different reasons. TY for your post.

Tara R. said...

I think for many of our Elders, driving is that last bit of independence. My grandfather was having grand mal seizures and still didn't give up his DL willingly. It is a difficult freedom to lose.

Yoli N. said...

Hi there! I found you through the weekend blog hop. what a great story. This A-Z Challenge seems interesting. The story reminded me of some of the older folks in my life. Following you by the Linky Follow. Hope you can check out my blog

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