my paternal grandmother, my mamita, died in childbirth.
from her, i have exactly four bequests: an aunt, an uncle, their youngest brother: my father, and this 64-year old bedspread.
i don't know very much about her. only that her name was lourdes. that she was kind. that she was loved. that my father feels her loss to this day.
and that she clearly loved to crochet. i know that the blanket needs some serious tender loving blocking, but even without - just look at all this fabulous detail. not to mention the consistency with which she stitched each section or that she used fingering yarn throughout.
when i look at the blanket, i wonder who she learned from. who she chatted with while she crocheted. whether she got bored or impatient putting her work together. how often she put the blanket down to scold my aunt and uncle in their toddler years. whether my grandfather loved to watch her work.
i like to think that my love and appreciation of handwork, in part, comes from her passion. i like to think that in some way, the way in which i live my days knitting and child rearing, and the way in which she lived hers, form parallels on many levels.
i like to think that i know her heart so very well because of the way my father continues to be my standard for unconditional love and integrity.
i also think of my father's stepmother, my mamaita: the grandmother i knew. she also crocheted. her smile lit up the room. she told the best stories, was funny as heck, ever loving , truly the most joyful spirit i have ever known.
so i think it most appropriate that i began writing this post about mamita's bedspread on mamaita's birthday.
i now keep mamita's bedspread in my home office, draped over the shabbiest of chairs.
the bedspread does well to hide the chair's imperfections. but what i love about it most is that mamita once held this entire body of work with her hands. that she wielded stick and string, as i do today. every time i look and touch the bedspread, i admire the stitches that evoke the spirit of my mamita's legacy, memories of my affectionate mamaita, the man that is my father, and the family i am raising, all at the same time.
and my cup runneth over.