Monday, June 07, 2010

June's Stitching Blogger Question

Tell us about something that you have stitched or plan to stitch for any father in your life.  Maybe it’s for your father, your father-in-law, your children’s father, your grandfather, your godfather, or someone who was or still is an important father-figure in your life.  Why did you choose this particular piece of stitching?   Tell us the story behind it. 
And because a simple one part question is never adequate, let’s go some more:
Often times we identify our love of needlework and our skills with our mothers or grandmothers or other women.  It’s understandable because often they were are first teachers or role models.  Now let’s think about our stitching life as it relates to our dads.  Is there anything about our approach to stitching that we can recognize as traits of our fathers?  For instance, does your dad (or any other important man in your life) have an approach to one of his interests that you can observe and think, “Hey….if I substitute the word “needlework” for “fly fishing”, we’d be pretty darn similar!”  So tell us about it.

There are so many ways I could answer this question. I'm going to stick with my initial thoughts.

For the first seventeen years of my life, my father was the ideal dad. Tall, handsome, smart, never impatient. Then he did the unthinkable and imploded my parent's marriage. I lost my best friend. We still saw each other, but that father/daughter relationship was never the same. I couldn't trust him and held him at arm's length for the next twenty-three years. 

But sometimes I paid homage to those early days. And one of the ways I did that was when my father and I started exchanging cow related gifts. Not just any cows - Holstein cows. It was our own private joke. And it went on for years until his wife begged me for a moratorium (it was the mooing cookie jar that did it.) Somewhere in those years I designed and stitched a cow among the flowers for him. Nothing big or elaborate. Just simple black and white cow on 18 ct aida with colorful little flowers around its hooves. I think it fit into a 5" by 7" frame. I remember that the frame was blue. And when we went to visit, it hung in the kitchen. Even after all the other cow stuff went away. 

I managed to forgive my father, but it took decades and his near death from a stroke. I was given the grace of two more years with him for which I am grateful. I think of him whenever I see a Holstein or a deer or a race car or a hawk. Whenever I take a walk in the woods or swim in a lake. I know you did your best, Dad, and I thank you.

1 comment:

Lee said...

What a heartfelt post. You are a good and kind daughter, Donna.