The burned saplings growing back in the yarn
Saturday May 07th 2022, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

The knitted redwoods are ready to go.

Twenty-something years ago, we used to make the drive from the San Francisco Bay area to Salt Lake City every summer, usually for five days, after Richard’s sister who lived there was diagnosed with lymphoma. We wanted to see her and her family and that was the way we could make it happen.

A CD would get popped in in the minivan and my husband’s favorites in particular would get played again and again and again and again (with me trying not to say more than once, For the love of pete can we please play something else?! Do those have to be every single trip?)

Tom Paxton. Willy Nelson. Pete Seeger. The Dave Matthews Band picked by the kids as they got older was pretty good, though I’d have gone for some James Taylor, myself.

To his credit, Richard did occasionally fiddle with the radio dial, but there’s a whole lot of nuthin’ going through Nevada.

Those albums became imprinted on my brain as part of, we’re doing a hard drive and we’re getting past my fears of driving past those thousand-foot drop-offs and the roadstop McDonald’s that missed half our order (again! Please can we do the Arby’s next time dear) and you don’t find out till you’re a mile or two down the road and you just go forget it because you’re not doing those miles over and you let a kid have your burger so they don’t go hungry because we’re going to see Cheryl and to show her kids they’re loved and we are not getting there late.

Especially after their dad decided he was afraid of being widowed and alone and was determined not to feel that pain.

I’ve met men who later cheated on their wives but never to the degree that one did. She was so much better off after their divorce.

We came.

There were zero cures and three known cases of remission of the type she had when she was diagnosed on her 40th birthday but she was determined to see her kids grow up. (They say they can cure that type, now.)

And she did it. She did it. Eight years. She made it through her son’s wedding looking far better than I would have expected and got to see him married to the best young woman she could have hoped for, and the two of them so happy. And they still are.

J., his baby sister, was a freshman in college along with my oldest when her mother passed six weeks after.

This afghan is for J.

What I wouldn’t do to be able to give her her mom back instead. But I can offer love and she can wrap it around herself at any time forevermore and know that I’m thinking of both of them.

This new Tom Paxton song for Ukraine came courtesy of my friend Anne today and I found myself near unexpected tears.

With the sound of his voice, all those memories and associations of piling four kids in the car and making that long thirteen hour drive across mountain and desert and salt flats, driving, driving, driving, heading towards people we loved to make good memories with them while we could.

And thinking of all those families who, if they’re lucky, have piled into all those cars to drive drive drive to flee the country and friends and places they’ve loved, wondering if they’ll ever see them again.

We are with them in heart and song and we will play it over and over and over and over. For them.

7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That song…that song.

Comment by Afton 05.08.22 @ 4:47 am


Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 05.08.22 @ 7:52 am

Thank you for sharing. I am sure J and her brother feel the forever love.

Comment by DebbieR 05.08.22 @ 8:49 am

Credit where due:

I first heard the song, with just John McCutcheon, on WFMT’s Midnight Special. (Which, happily, runs from 7-10pm on Saturday nights for those in the west.)

It has a number of well know artists performing, and was edited by Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary.

Comment by Anne 05.08.22 @ 2:31 pm

Thank you for this link. I will send it along to some Ukrainian contacts.

I was glad to see our Canadian PM, deputy PM (who has Ukrainian heritage) and defence minister were in Kyiv. We are reopening our embassy and JPT announced more weapons and funding.

It breaks my heart every day but I follow a number of Ukrainian Instagram accounts, including Zelenskiy. I cannot look away.

Gorgeous afghan you’ve done there!

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 05.08.22 @ 5:33 pm

Love made tangible. You make it happen, with each item, each torte.

I wish them much health and happiness, with angels watching over them.

Comment by Suzanne 05.09.22 @ 6:27 am

Such a beautiful gift. She will treasure it.

Comment by ccr in MA 05.09.22 @ 9:25 am

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>