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A Remnant

A Remnant

I am a wretched seamstress, although there have been numerous attempts on my part over the years to remedy that. At this point, I am fairly content with my ability to sew on a button. I can also, with help, produce a pretty snazzy pillowcase.

During those previous attempts to acquire some skill, I did have to occasionally venture into a fabric store. In most fabric stores, there is a “remnant table.” Leftover pieces from bolts of fabric. Often not in sufficient quantity to make much of anything. Always sold at a discount. Sometimes a very steep discount.

These scraps may be from fabric that never was anything more than cheap. It may be a design or color that has gone out of fashion. In some cases, it may be a small fragment of something that was once a fine, valuable fabric. But what does one do with such a leftover?

I sometimes think of myself now as a remnant, a trace of the person I used to be before my son died. Whether the fabric that was my former self was cheap cotton, gaudy polyester, sturdy woven wool, or a finely made silk is up for debate. But here I am a remnant, wondering what to make of what is left. Or, indeed, sometimes wondering if it is even worth the effort.

I guess one option is to sort of throw myself in the proverbial trash heap. But I try…most of the time? some of the time?…to find ways to be useful and productive and engaged. I try to stay off the trash heap. I try to make something out of what is left.

 

Peggi Johnson

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Comments (5)

  • Thank you for this lovely metaphor. As a lifelong seamstress myself who has lost a son, I can easily identify.

  • I feel this truly describes how I feel. I also look like a remnant of my former self- grey shorn hair, skinny, gaunt. I don’t mean to. The sorrow just invades my soul and body. Last night I wrote: ` Nights are the worst as you hope you’ll dream of her and you don’t, Then mornings bring the stark reality of life without her- the pert little nose, dimples, the toss of metre-long red hair and the bolshy attitude all mixed up with sweetness. I will miss seeing her torture kiss her cat Daniel, interrupt David with a kiss and argue the heck out of her beloved sister. I miss her singing Cindy Lauper ad nauseum and making massive portions of healthy salads. I miss her grabbing my face and planting a wet kiss on it or making me a cup of tea as only she could make it, I miss our snuggles on my single futon and her ice-cold feet. I miss her telling me about her plans and worrying about me. I miss her surfing the net for hours for ideas and waking me up at 2am. I miss her sharing everything she liked with me. I miss seeing her in the street and thinking ` What a beautiful girl’ and then realizing she’s my sweetheart. I loved Carla for so long and in a million ways and I don’t know how to let go….

    I will never teach again. My daughters were the inspiration behind my teaching. I, too, am looking for ways to remain productive and not to be a financial burden on Carla’s twin who has a monumental sorrow to deal with.

    I live for those I love, Carla loves and who need me. My mother’s heart is in the ground with my child.

    • You write very well, Henrietta. If you are ever interested in writing something for our blog, please let me know. I’d be interested in reading something you might read that would be relatable to our readers who are also bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. cathy@compassionatefriends.org

    • Beautifully written❤️
      I am so sorry for your loss🤗
      Warm hugs & lots of Love to you Henrietta (that’s my middle name x)
      From Karen in London, UK 🇬🇧

  • You’ve just lost what you thought you had in yards. The idea of what you were creating, and working on, is no longer possible. Huge loss. A forever loss. However, what you still have is even more valuable for remaining, still being here, after the devastation of losing your son. I also lost a son. I’ll never be the same. What I did over time was learn how to weave into the fabric of my life a legacy to all I received and learned from having my son in my life for as long as he was here.

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