When my Grandma died almost 20 years ago I inherited some personal items that belonged to her. A picture in white frame, a clock and a handful of small stuff, including a knitted wollen sock. Just one, red with stripes. My grandma loved to knit and would produce shawls, caps and socks for the whole family.She was a lovely woman with warm, friendly eyes. Born during the WW I she knew hardship and tough life in rural Poland in those years yet she never became embittered. A loving grandma that always had attention for us, children. She was much more to me than words can tell. When my mother was busy working and I was very small she would take care of me. In fact my Grandma felt much more like a mother to me.
She knitted this sock for me sometime in the fall of 1995. Not in the summer because she would be very busy on the farm then. As the long autumn evenings came she would spend her time knitting.She could not watch TV for too long since it hurt her eyes.
I went to see her and my family around beginning of November, Polish tradition of All Saints Day. We went to light candles and brought flowers to the family grave. I took a picture of her standing in front of her home, with a fir tree in the background. In her dark rabbit coat. Brown leaves and autumn air. My Grandma does not look into the camera but slightly to the right, smiling. Perhaps to her grandchildren running in the yard?
I made pictures that day and stayed long with my family. My niece was visiting from Germany, we had fun together.
Several weeks after that I received a call from my mother that Grandma died of heart attack on a cold November night, exactly a month before Christmas. What followed was a time of intense grief and longing that lasted years.
I could not conceive her death. It was as if all warmth and loving vanished from my life together with her.
The Christmas following her death was empty. The years that came I had to learn live without Her love and presence. It felt as if I lost my guardian angel ……
Today the picture in white frame is hanging in my living room. I saved the single sock from moths. As I am looking at it I wonder how come it still looks as if it was made yesterday? My Grandma´s last unfinished project, proof of het care and love for me. Her death can still stir pain after all those years. I like to think the sock was her farewell to me, her special granddaughter. The truth is I never felt so special to anyone in my life as to my beloved Grandma.