“I’m putting this basket of fabric and yarn scraps in the donate pile grandma.”
Veronica looked up and shook her head from side to side and managed a “No.”
The after-affects of a stroke paired with the onset of dementia held Veronica captive in silence, lost in the past. Ronnie, her oldest granddaughter and namesake, set the basket of remnants next to Veronica’s chair.
Veronica reached into the remnants with her good arm and picked up a ball of delicate white baby yarn. Her wrinkled hand lifted the plush yarn to her cheek. Her face lit up with a sweet smile and tears welled in her eyes as she remembered the hours of love spent knitting a baptism dress for her first child.
“What is it grandma?”
“Baby Tim,” she managed.
“You made dad a sweater with this yarn?”
“Dress,” Veronica uttered.
After a few moments of reflection Ronnie asked, “Is this the yarn from the baptismal dress you made for daddy? The same dress my sisters and I wore?”
Veronica nodded yes.
Ronnie labeled the basket of remnants ‘Memories’ and made sure the collection of treasures went to assisted living. Ronnie visited her grandmother every weekend. For months they went through all the small balls of yarn and fabric swatches. Ronnie created a journal with a snippet from each remnant and details her grandma shared during her more lucid moments. Ronnie included a picture of the person who received the finished product and a memory they wanted to share with Veronica.
One Sunday, Ronnie overheard a nurse asking Veronica about different entries in the journal. Veronica beamed and pointed to pictures of her children and grandchildren holding the gifts she crafted for them with love.
“You created quite a legacy Veronica. You must be pleased to know your family treasures your gifts.”
Ronnie walked into her grandmother’s room, gave her a big hug and kissed her on the cheek.
“How are you today grandma?”
Veronica squeezed Ronnie’s hand.
“Only one piece of fabric left. It looks like white satin. I thought it might be from you wedding dress so I brought a picture of you a Papa on the church steps. Did I guess right?”
Veronica reached for the picture. She placed the photograph on her lap and touched the image of her husband with longing and tenderness.
“I miss grandpa too.”
Ronnie created a journal and attached the photo and fabric. She handed the journal to her grandmother who cradled it next to her heart.
Ronnie said goodbye, kissing her grandmother on both cheeks, “Till next week grandma, I love you.”
The next morning the nurse on-call found Veronica’s lifeless form sitting in her bed, journal open to her wedding photo, a peaceful look on her face. The remnants in her journal telling the story of a life well lived and full of love.