So, in the last few days, I’ve made two small quilts, watched plenty of football, chatted with my dad, enjoyed copious amounts of music, plotted out fabrics for future comforters, and made a long list of necessary cleaning. Today will be full of mopping and vacuuming, but thankfully the writing has already occurred. For, in addition to noted above, I’ve also added over six thousands words to The Hawk.
And honestly, right next to my husband’s beloved Green Bay Packers advancing to the NFC championship game, managing two chapters’ worth of words is the highlight of my weekend. Hearing my dad’s chipper voice was also a godsend, but it’s tempered by how he’s achieving that upbeat mood; Dad’s taking a lot of painkillers these days, the late effects of Taxotere not easy to beat. But at this point, all I want for my father is to be comfortable. I can further a novel from my own processes. As for my dad, all I can do is pray and wait.
I don’t know if The Storm Warning was tied into my father’s health, or that once again I’d be pounding on a keyboard, stirring fictional drama. Thankfully the finished quilts carry far less angst; they are for my youngest, one of which she is fully aware, the other a surprise. We abuelas have a trick or two up our sleeves, and not all those secrets are novel-based. Although, some of these fabrics hearken back to my childhood favourite, Babar the Elephant. The surprise quilt is one of nostalgia, which over the years will turn into memories as I read Babar to little ones, who will grow with the idea that an elephant in a green suit is nothing over which to worry.
Other storms will arise, but wise kingly pachyderms always soothe.
The quilt of which my daughter knows is one for which she helped choose the fabrics. This was months ago, when Dad felt he had another twenty-five years, right after my daughter learned she was expecting a boy. Yes, baseball season was in full swing (pun intended), so this little blanket owns a strong autumnal sense, couple with her choice of a woodland theme. Hedgehogs were a staple of her English childhood, alongside a green-suited elephant. How that will evolve for her impending offspring will be a joy to discover, which I am greatly anticipating. It’s not just the novel that’s back on track, but grandmotherhood is knocking on the door, and while I’ve had a small taste of it with Master Z, it’s not entirely the same as what is approaching with my own daughters’ bundles of joy.
It’s like experiencing my dad’s illness from where I stand, fully outside all he endures. I can ponder his health till the cows come home, but only he can live it. I can’t explain it better than that. Yes, I am a grandmother of sorts. But I’m not yet an abuela.
Still, I’m preparing in the best ways I know how, sewing up a storm, squeezing in the words now that muse is back. How it returned and why, I won’t question. I’m simply grateful for the scenes that spill from my fingers, furthering this story. At least I am in somewhat control over The Hawk.
But not completely in charge, which is probably good. Soon my life will be dictated by a small new person, who won’t understand Babar and baseball for a few years. But that little chap will be wrapped in love, via arms and quilts and gentle kisses. This is the way love is passed, through contact and stories. I don’t have any sort of road map for it, but that’s all right. I don’t possess more than an inkling about how The Hawk will end, yet day by day, chapter by chapter, I’m getting there.
It’s like sewing a quilt, or any other metaphor for life; one square, one word, one day at a time…