Last evening, I went out with a knitting group to learn the basics of crochet. It is not because I am super interested in knitting or crocheting. It was because I feel a deeper bond with my granny when I think of crochet. This is also my way of trying to absolve myself of the guilt I've felt after her death....a catharsis, of grief, mourning and guilt.
My nan used to do lots and lots of crocheting. She had stacks of handkerchief laces, table cloths, wall hangings, cushion covers, bedsheets and other pretty things made by her. She had beautiful crochet design books and would always keep a look-out for new designs in the newspaper and on the TV programmes. She was always interested in crocheting and knitting but this immense interest and activity grew only after she became bed-ridden, about 7-8 years before her death. Before that, she used to be always active, on her toes to go out shopping, do the cooking, do small buisnesses, stitch and a host of activities. But, one day, suddenly, she had a splitting ache in her knees from her arthritis and could no longer walk without aid or without pain. And thence, she was bed-ridden forever. That is what brought her closer to her precious crochet more than anything else. That was the only thing she could find solace in for a very long time. That's the time when she created most of her things. She also tried (completely in vain) to teach me the same. Probably she wanted to make sure that God forbid, if I ever land up in the same situation as her, I shouldn't be bored or not know what to do with my life. It was also her way of getting closer to me. But, I never moved beyond the first three chain stitches. I was just being obnoxious and adolescent by refusing to even try.
Gradually, as time passes, her limbs became stiffer, especially during the winters and she couldn't even knit as much as she used to in the past few years. I think it broke her heart but I don't have any evidence to support it. She would still read newspapers, watch TV and talk about latest designs and how much the crochet tops and dresses are in fashion. Then, in the last few months, her limbs totally froze. She had to be hospitalized a couple times and basically, we all knew that we didn't have much time with her. But, I, instead of trying to spend more time with her, drew inwards in front of her and therefore, more distant from her. I could not bear to look at her like this and didn't know what to do. So, I kept my distance and avoided her instead of facing my demons. This, I can say, is my singular biggest regret in my life. When she needed me, when I had the time to spend with her and show her that I love and care, I didn't. I skirted my responsibilities and ran away instead.
Today, I realise how stupid I was, but it's too late now! Even I had read countless emails about how we should make an effort and keep in touch with people we love but never gave a second thought to it, never thought this could and would happen to me. But it did, and with dangerous results: a life long guilt. That is the reason I decided to try my hand at crocheting when I saw the forum of the knitting group in the neighbourhood. Crochet is the one thing I have most memories of regarding granny. And I intend to try my level best to excel at it and keep it close to my heart forever. Nan, i know you know this but I regret not saying it to you often enough: I love you.