Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mom's Blanket, Not Without a Cost

Yesterday was a sunny, warm winter's day, actually it would have been perfect for taking pictures of this blanket had the wind not been blowing. Yeah, mom's blanket is finally done and I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. This has been an albatross around my neck. You can now know that my whining and crying about this thing is going to be over for once and for all. This has been a thorn in my backside and I know I have left you all wondering as to why I have procrastinated so very much, I am sure to the point where it has brought you to this blog with dread over my complaining. I can only attest to the fact that I made the first one with so many sad memories attached to it. I had never planned to make a similar one again. I truly do not believe my mother understands what a torture it was to labor over each flower. I know many of you are thinking, but she is your mother, you should not feel that way about her wanting this.

I know she is elderly and my youngest tells me to "just indulge an old woman" and my response to her was to ask if that is what she and her sister do when it comes to me, do they indulge an old woman? One would have to know that when it comes to my mother there is a ton of history, not very much of it good. She is, and has always been very narcissistic and more often thinks only of herself and what she wants. There are 5 younger half-brothers in my family and although I am the oldest child I am probably at the bottom of the list when it comes to favorites. In my book there should be no favorites and so it goes for many years she and I did not speak to each other. As long as everything was going the way my mother wanted it to go then things would be just fine. Life was "walking on egg shells" and it was not a comfortable feeling where my mom was concerned. My husband use to tell me it was "like world war 3 was going to erupt" when she and I was in the same room. She was very demanding and very controlling to the point it would make me miserable.

I have never asked for one penny from my mother. My first job the day after graduation from high school was being a waitress. That was back in the day when you made 75 cents an hour and relied heavily on tips. My take home pay was about $35 and my mom got half of that because she insisted that she had to be compensated for washing my uniforms and because I slept under their roof. She made it crystal clear that I was not going to live there for free, I was working and I would pay.  And so I did, until I could take it no longer and I moved in with the boss's daughter who had become my friend. My mother retaliated by calling my friend's mom and telling her to send me home. I know it wasn't me she wanted but the money she was missing out on with me now gone. My future husband would come into the restaurant where I worked and I did not know that for a long time he had had his eye on me.

We got engaged at Christmas when I was 18, and married the next year on July 2nd when I was 19, and married for almost 43 years. My husband worked at the same place my step-father worked. It was not unusual for him to come home with remarks he had heard, things my step-father had said about me at work....."she has made her bed, let her lay in it"......."the marriage will never last"........and so on and so forth. Nasty remarks with not one shred of positive, loving words. It has taken me years to push aside all of this heartache and grief, to forgive the past and move on, but the remaking of this blanket brought back pain where the heartache and grief of loss are so fresh. If I could have made it like this one.....

I think I would have been okay. I know, I know, you are probably thinking  "but that makes little sense", yet to me it does. The above would have been faster to do, faster to join, and finished in better time, but she wanted one just like the first one with the bordered flowers. Anyways, it is time to move on and get past this.

I am anxious to start something new and from the looks of it that "something" will be the crib-sized bobble heart blanket and the toddler size 2 sweater and hat for my friend Debbie's other granddaughter. She sent me a note in yesterday's mail informing me that she has purchased the yarn for the projects and will get it to me soon. Then there will be the knitted/crocheted scarf for Sheryl when she gets me the yarn. See folks, I have decided that people just do not understand pricing for hand made objects. So many do not understand that when they want something special made that the yarn must be purchased and paid for out of someone's pocket. If you pay a small fortune for the yarn and then tack on the price of labor (which we all know can never really be calculated) then they think it is highway robbery and way over-priced. My friend Jean (who use to own a yarn shop) told me once that I was charging way too low for my stuff. She said the rule of thumb use to be whatever you paid for the yarn, then doubled that for the finished price, but that changed as time went by. It became double the price of the yarn and then add the price of the yarn for the total to be charged. It became a sticky wicket when you told people what they owed and they in turn would go buy a piece of crap that fell apart the the first time they washed it..........oh well, to each his own. If you want that one-of-a-kind thing, handmade with love, then be best friends with the gal working the hook or needles. She knows the cost even if you have no clue.


  1. You are a better woman than me Susanne - I don't think that I would have spent the time and energy to make that blanket. It's a beautiful blanket by the way. :)

  2. Oh Susanne, bless your heart for even trying to please that woman. How ghastly she must be, so full of negativity and hate. I am so, so impressed that you would even consider making a blanket for her. The one thing she taught you was how not to act, and you did duct that, you became a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother, loved and cherished by so many in your family. She can never take away the love you and your husband shared, the love your girls have for you or that darling Holden cherishes you. That is the best payback ever.

  3. I knew there was a reason I found you in blogland. I'm pretty sure we have the same mother. I know exactly the kinds of things you're talking about and I understand completely how you feel. I have lived my entire life feeling like I will never be able to please mine, it's with me every single day, from the minute I get out of bed in the morning. It's an awful feeling. Mine wants a blanket too, but I would have to ship it across the country and it would probably cost more than the yarn to do that, so I'm holding off as long as possible. I know it wouldn't be appreciated anyway, and I'd rather make things for people who appreciate them and respect me. I agree with everything Meredith said above, and it's how I live, just trying to do better by my husband and children. I think it's all either of us can do but I can tell that you've done a good job and you have a lot to be proud of.

  4. What a beautiful kind thought if she was my mother I don't think I could do what you did
    Thank you for posting your thoughts it has helped me enormously
    Wishing you a wonderful new year filled with people who love and care for you just because you are great

  5. Oh sweet friend, I read this post with such sadness. Sadness for you, that you did not have a wonderful loving relationship with your Mom. Amazed, that you grew up without bitterness, and were able to build a loving family despite the example she set for you. And as most will say, I think you are an incredible woman for making this for her. Being someone who loves the hand made arts, I know first hand how much time, and effort went into this beautiful blanket. Few truly understand the time one takes to make such beautiful things. And pricing is always a difficult thing! You did a good thing my dear friend. And I truly believe, that what goes around, comes around. If I could, I would be over there lickity split, to hug you close, and share a cuppa with you.
    XO Kris

  6. Hi Susanne, it's amazing how many of us had mother's that didn't love us enough. But you and I learned what not to do and have given love to our guys and kids and tried to end the cycle of not getting enough love. I'm glad you got that blanket done and that you will give it to your mom.. because that makes you the better person, the one to take the high road. My mom is gone and I try hard to remember the good things and let the hurts die away. That's the way we rise above it.

    Now to do some fun things!!

      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Hi Susanne....I'll second everything already said, a stunning blanket for a wicked old lady. Hard to feel sorry for her, but feel sorry you should what a sad life she has lived, where as you have love and other family in your life, and such a talent too.
    “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”
    ― Confucius

  8. Ps hope you're realms come true in 2014 for you and yours
    Hugs xx

  9. Susanne, how freeing it must feel to finally be done with that blanket! It must have felt as heavy as wet bulky wool around your shoulders. I'm so sorry to read of the history and the pain your mother has caused you and hope that you can come to a peaceful place in your relationship with her. A place where she can do you no more harm. Where you never have to make her anything else ever again because she is truly not worthy of your efforts.

  10. Hi Susanne, your blanket is beautiful and a kind act in spite of the history. Wishing you a wonderful 2014 filled with hope and love. Heather

  11. Hello Susanne .. I have been blog surfing this evening and found you via Teresa Kasner's blog. I have enjoyed reading a few of your posts and admiring some of your wonderful crochet. I'm going to add Forget-me-not-Susanne to my bloglist so I can be a regular reader. Regards from Dorothy in Australia. xox

  12. The most beautiful construction from the most destructive memories. Your life now, is a beautiful construction that you have built with,love,care and compassion with your family and for your family.
    As you give that blanket give away all those memories to and fly as free and high as the most beautiful bird in Africa, The inspirational home of your blanket.
    Look forwards lovely lady and hold your head high with every step.
    Love linda

  13. Just lovely, I agree with Linda Gilbert above, not many people in life can rise above, but you have gracefully!


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