Eyay! I finally finished the stockings for my kiddo’s class!
My MIL -Lynn- started this tradition when I first met her. She would crochet little stockings for each child in my sons class and also for her own daughter and HER class- her daughter is a teacher. So as you can imagine, that’s a lot of stockings. Lynn made the stockings every year and every year they would be so pretty! Each stocking was green and red, red and white, white and green…. and they all had sparkle yarn mixed in.
Along with the stockings she always included a Christmas pencil and eraser for each child. MAN I love pencils! But she would only ever let me have one :P Just one. The rest were for the children.
The year before last she gave me an entire package of the pencils! She had nabbed them on Boxing Day at a super sale. Lynn always went out on Boxing day to grab those pencils, without fail, along with stocking stuffers for the next year! Christmas for Lynn was never-ending. Something we both shared, but I will never be as awesome at it as her. She was the Christmas Queen.
Anyway, when she presented me with the huge package of pencils I was thrilled! But she made me promise -quite firmly really, in that stern mother way – that the pencils were for the children. NOT me and sent me to the dining room to fill the stockings for the kids. My husband warned me to enjoy it as my son was probably not going to ask for the stockings again as he was getting too old, so enjoy it I did! I still remember sitting at that table with all the little Christmas goodie bags Lynn would buy for those pencils. And a pretty gold twist tie to finish them off. It was a wonderful night. So close to Christmas and the tree glowing with too many decorations.
A whole year had passed since that night and in that year, so had my mother in law.
That last Christmas she spent with us was, sadly, her worst. Lynn lived for Christmas and I think quite literally, lived for the last one she spent with us. Over that holiday she had been experiencing quite severe back pain along with many other problems. She finally succumbed to the pain in April -after living with it for over FIVE months – and her husband took her to the emergency room. She was barely there for the day when they had her admitted. After a week they told us it was officially confirmed that she had cancer. Unfortunately they were unable to offer any treatment for it as she was too far along. It had attacked her entire spine, eaten most of her bones and every organ in her body.
We lost her three short weeks later. It’s amazing how quickly those weeks went by. It wasn’t nearly enough time to accept and say goodbye. Especially for my husband as he was so very close to her.
I can’t imagine the pain she was in and when I think back to that last Christmas I am amazed at the strength in this woman. All she wanted was to give to her family at Christmas, spend time with us, cook for us… and to do all that in pain.. Truly, almost unbelievably, spectacular.
It makes me think that I am such a pussy when it comes to pain.
So, after Lynn died her husband went a bit stir-crazy and went through EVERY. SINGLE. BOX in the basement to organize.
He happened to find one last package of those pencils, and gave them to me.
I was awed.
Well, I packed the pencils away with the Christmas decorations and forgot about them. Her husband also gave me all of her crafting supplies and yarns (if you are a crafter, you know how awesome this is). Now, every single time I do my art, Lynn is literally a part of it. Whether it be a tool I am using -she always bought me such amazing gifts and tools!- or a supply from her basket.
Well, fast forward to this year and envision me unpacking the Christmas boxes. There, nestled in the last box I opened, completely forgotten and sitting on the very top was the package of pencils.
A last present from Lynn saying; ‘Don’t forget to be a good mom and celebrate Christmas with everyone you can. And get your ass in gear and make those stockings.”
Well Lynn, my kiddo is in Grade 6 now and he asked for the stockings for one last time! I used every single pencil and I didn’t even keep one. I know you are proud.