Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Recollections

Recently, I've had the urge to minimize, in all areas of my life. Cleaning closets, cupboards and storage sheds give me immense satisfaction; I feel much lighter, far more in control when I have taken the detritus from the past, looked, remembered and then let them go.

Sometimes it can be painful. Then there can be joy, as well, as when a small hooded sweater, one that would fit a newborn, falls at my feet...and I remember my babies, both of whom wore the unbelievably soft pale pink garment.

When I kept it, I thought my grandchildren, if they were girls, would keep warm and cosy in it; I honestly believed this, when I was a young mother. How could anyone not want their newborn baby wrapped in this beautiful little outfit?

There were many such sweaters. But this pink one...the colour of it, the softness, the type of knit...a Mother's love was encapsulated within the very woollen texture of it. My love.

Heidi was the first to wear it. Her beautiful blue eyes peeked through the frill of wool, with grave wonder and such interest in the World she found herself in. Heidi was one of most aware babies I have known; her son is very much the same as she, in that he must know what is going on around him.

She grew out of it very quickly, and I mourned as I placed it for safekeeping. No other piece of clothing she had was as soft as this one, this delicate wisp of sweet pink.

I wrapped it carefully in tissue paper. I took great care with it, each time we moved, to keep it safe.

Katrina was the second baby that wore the thistledown pink sweater. Her deep brown eyes watched and accepted the World, through the frill of pink. She was the most peaceful baby I have known, filled with serenity. When she wore the sweater, she would send me the greatest consistently amiable energy; when I held her, my heart would fill...she had the ability to calm any agitation I might have had. This gift would sustain others, for the rest of her short life.

The sweater was again wrapped, after I could no longer squeeze her into it. But it was wrapped rather hurriedly this time; I knew I could have no more children. The Big C took care of my feminine organs; life was harried and very, very full.

Bree came along. I still had the pink sweater, wrapped in yellowed tissue paper. But it was twenty years later. Fashions had changed. And my lovely pink sweater was no longer as pristine as the new fashions...the new sweaters Bree received. And Katrina needed to find her own pink sweater for Bree...one that was infused with a Mother's love. Her love.

But I kept it, and Bree used it to dress her dolls. She chose the pink sweater for her favourite doll; when she held it, I knew deep inside she was feeling that warm, loving energy emanating from the wool.

I packed up Bree's toys when I moved; I found the pink sweater, still wrapped around her doll. She had long grown out of playing with baby dolls; her interests now were centred around sports and hobbies more suited to her age.

I donated the doll; I kept the pink sweater, not so carefully this time. But as I rubbed it against my cheek, the loving energy once more engulfed me; I could not consign it to the rag bin. I took that piece of my life with me, once again...to help me meet the huge Wave of change crashing down upon me with strength and grace.

And then, Graydon came along, bursting upon our family, filled with masculine energy. Certainly he had no need for a tattered pink sweater. But as I hold him, sometimes I visualize my babies wrapped in a swath of pink...and I feel, once again, that pure loving energy...a Grandmother's love. My love.

When it fell against my feet, as I searched through the bag of memories, I picked it up and brushed it off and felt the warm, pink softness, piercing my heart like a true and sure arrow of love.

And in a flash, I had a vision of soft, pure feminine energy...an ethereal wisp of energy. I saw blond curls...I was given a glimpse of a gentle soul...one, I realized, that has yet to appear.

I understood, suddenly, that the pink sweater still has a purpose, as I held it gently in my hands.
This time, I placed it near me in my office. I make sure to give as much respect as I can muster for this tattered piece of pink, this object that has collected my past, and kept the best of the whole.

Minimizing is great. But some things...the ones infused with pieces of my soul...those are the ones that are given a place of honour. They are my talismans.

The Pink Sweater surely belongs amongst them.

15 comments:

  1. These are what I hang onto (pink sweaters and such). I don't know what value they have to anyone else. Who cares if they throw them out after I'm gone? For now they are my "bag of memories."

    The children are lovely and Graydon so much bigger than I would have imagined. It seems so recent that he came along. Grandmas are so lucky.

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  2. I have some treasures that I hold onto. Sweater hand knitted by my aunt who died before she saw my son.

    That might be a good thing. She made it to fit an orangutan. It had these long arms . . .

    You story brought feelings of warmth and home to me and I do not even know you.

    God bless.

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  3. and grandmas are so nice and sweet. brings back memories of my grandma, knitted me a blue hat, wonder where it went.

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  4. Hey Marion, hope all is well in your world, just so you know I tagged you for a meme on my blog.. come check it out if you wish, and have a great weekend!!! :)

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  5. What a sweet memory. It's important to slough off stuff now and then, and I don't get the urge nearly as often as I ought to. But I think it's even more important to keep those few treasures that carry so much more in memories and love.

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  6. It's like the Velveteen Rabbit - some things become alive only after they are worn out. I have a kitchen table spoon, worn down from so much use that the bowl is lopsided, that I saved from Mama's things that is so imbued with memories that I could not possibly get rid of it. It means nothing to anyone but me, and will surely be sent to the Thrift Store when I'm gone.

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  7. What wonderful grandchildren you have and how beautiful they are.

    We all I think have favorites. I loved the sweater my Dad got when he was demobbed after WW2. Even though it was khaki it was extremely warm and fitted me from around the age of 15 and I wore it for years and years when it finally started unraveling it was around 45 years old. I miss it.

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  8. Its amazing what we hang onto for good and various reasons, but when we pass on you can bet that your life will go out in black plastic bags. Because at the end of the day the main and best memories and good times are those that relations and friends can recall.

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  9. Sheila,

    With your two boys, you'll soon have a passel of grandkids to love. Family dinners become a riot...kids bring so much energy into a room!

    Yes, my talismans mean next to nothing to my inheritors,and it doesn't matter. They're just great to have around.

    Oh yes...Graydon is big! for his age...he weighs almost 20 lbs. He has made up his weight well, in comparison to his length when he was born. He was a long, very skinny newborn!

    Cybercelt,

    I'm so glad you feel 'at home' here! I laughed when I thought of your baby's sweater...and gave some thought to the love your aunt gave that sweater, as she knitted.

    A lovely keepsake!

    Alison,

    Sometimes it doesn't matter if we have the actual object in hand. Your memory of the blue hat sounds very clear and strong.

    Matt,

    I checked your blog, and will do a post up shortly...got to do some thinking first!

    Barbara,

    My target is to have only those things around me that mean a lot...I live in a small home and there is just never enough space, for unnecessary items.

    DB,

    Thanks for reminding me about the Velveteen Rabbit! I had almost forgotten...

    I can see that spoon in my mind's eye. I bet the story behind it will make it a family heirloom.

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  10. Jackie,

    I hope you have a bit of that material from your Dad's jacket left...what an amazing amount of memories that jacket gathered, over the years!

    Davem,

    Yes, like Alison's blue hat, that she holds in her heart.

    I like those heartfelt memories that can garner such wonderful stories, as well!

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  11. Wow you are such an amazing writer. I will remember today to breath in the youth and beauty of my daughters. This moment in time is precious. This truly brought a tear to my eye. Thank you.

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  12. It's always nice to have a clear out Marion. I think it always makes you feel better. But it's wonderful when you find something special filled with memories like that pink sweater. Things like that are precious and filled with lots of love and happy memories. That sweater will always have a special place in your home and heart.

    As you know I collect teddy bears. I still have my first one even though he is battered and getting old now (like his owner!) That teddy holds so many memories and has been through thick and thin with me. I'll never part with him.

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  13. Marion,

    For some reason, this post brought tears to my eyes. I don't know why -- there's just something about it.

    I find it very difficult to part with the baby clothes my boys wore and the blankets they carried around. I just can't let them go.

    Thank you for sharing and for writing such a beautiful post.

    BFF,
    Miss T

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  14. Marsha,

    Thank you. Kids grow up way too fast, in my opinion, lol!

    Naomi,

    I'm so glad you still have your Teddy Bear. I remember mine, which was left behind in Germany when we emigrated...and to this day, I still think of him. I mourned him, he was my best friend when I was really young. He knew all my secrets.

    Miss T,

    I guess there are just some things that become infused with the love I hold for the owner of the item; it is beyond me how anybody can just toss these items in the trash.

    But those people surely must have a less cluttered office than I do, where every memory has a place on a shelf!

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  15. I believe in a span of ten years or less ( my eldest is 18, my youngest 16) I too will be a granny. Although my hubby shudders at the thought of being granddad
    ( he!he!) I kinda' look forward to it..Right now I am even planning a pool and mini playground so that my grand kids will feel the excitement of visiting..( also want more poodles and maybe 3 cats...and lots of jars of sweet cookies and candies and pastries..)..

    Reading this has even intensified my excitement..

    I don't think I have any of their baby clothes left though..but I do have a few precious toy cars I simply can't give away. They too hold that same magical power that your pink talisman does..:>

    ps: thank you for dropping by my blog and for the sweet words.

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