Threads of Joy (Upsy-Daisy Part Two)

letmemendheart
Let Me Mend Your Broken Heart

I learned to sew in High School, Grade Eight.

The first thing I learned was the basting stitch, an easy up and down of needle and thread through two layers of sky blue gingham cloth that would eventually become an apron.

The basting stitch was simple.  All it required was attention to keeping the stitches balanced in length so the layers of cloth held firmly to each other.  The thread I used was a vivid red, deliberate contrast to the colour of the gingham.  It was easy to see what had already been stitched, and what now needed my needle, thread, and attentive eyes.

I am thinking of my Dad, and how he taught me to find threads of joy and use them to stitch my days together.

It was my heart and all my senses he taught me to use, rather than needle and thread.

Every day, as I grew up, I stitched firm the colours of morning clouds and wild sunsets.

Every summer I stitched the feel of my bare feet on wet sand as the tide went out.  I stitched the smell of thick earth under the trees when August afternoons were hottest and I found the deepest shade.

I stitched into my life the smooth, cold taste of chocolate ice cream for dessert after supper.  Two round scoops each for me and my sister, one scoop for our brother who was much younger than us and still sat in the high chair next to Mom.

Every night I stitched the quiet sounds of my Mom and Dad talking in the kitchen after we three were in bed, stories read, blankets and teddy bears tucked around us, kisses on our cheeks.

Here in my life now, I stitch each day together against the grey grief that threatens to pull me apart.  I stitch, with careful attention, the threads of joy my Dad taught me to find and choose.  Vivid colours, lengths of joy and love sewn to balance sadness, to hold me firm.

Upsy-Daisy

laid to rest 80,000 obstructing spirits (north)600ppi
Laid To Rest 80,000 Obstructing Spirits (North)

There’s something my Dad would say to me when I was very young and I had fallen.

“Upsy-daisy.”  And then he’d pick me up.  Set me on my small feet, brush off my knees, make sure I was okay.

Dad, I’m not okay right now.  I need to hear you say to me, “Upsy-daisy.”  And pick me up and set me on my feet again.

My Dad died exactly two weeks ago.

I miss the sound of his voice the most.

I miss talking with him.  I miss sitting together, saying nothing at all, watching the cedars move in the summer wind and the clouds chase each other across the sky.  I miss finding the perfect, smooth, grey stone, and passing it to him as we walk.

There are no words for these feelings, though I make the attempt.  Trying to capture and still the king tide as it pulls and pushes.

Impossible.

I hear my Dad saying impossible has never stopped me yet.  So true.

Upsy-daisy.