This I Believe

Tye - Melbourne, Australia
Entered on March 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity

Usually I refrain from watching the news, as it is far to depressing these days.

However, last night, I happened to catch a news story about the HMAS Parramatta coming into port, bringing her precious cargo of sons, brothers, fathers and husbands, home for Easter.As the camera man panned the shot out to catch the facial expressions of the sailors and their waiting loved ones, he caught the comment of one woman in particular, waiting, arms outstretched, tears streaming down her face, watching her son run towards her, ” I just want to touch you….” she said through her tears.

Powerful stuff, huh? Makes for a great news story, thats for sure. It reduced me to tears, and swamped me with memories of my mothers letters to my father, when he was in the navy, and I was very little. In some of those letters my mother was counting down 128 days until he came home. Can you imagine, waiting so long to see, hear and touch someone you love so much? Even though she had a small child, to keep her occupied during the day, how does one fill the emptiness of the long nights alone….. It was during this time, of just my mother and I, she learned from a friend how to crochet. She had seen a pattern for a Jacket that she loved, in bottle green wool, very trendy in the 70’s, and she asked a dear friend who also lived on the island to teach her to crochet. She finished that Jacket and then went on to make a few things for me. Then my father returned and she stopped.

She found a comfort and reassurance in the simple act of craft, of creating something with her own hands, while she waited, patiently and achingly for the man she loved more than anything to come home to her.

I wonder if she thought about her loneliness every time she wore that Jacket, and maybe that is why I dont remember her wearing it, and we have no photos of her in it. It makes me think of millions of women, all over the world, down through the centuries, knitting and crocheting and scrapbooking and painting, all to keep themselves distracted, and keep the loneliness at bay, while their men fought wars and patroled shores of foreign countries.It makes me incredibly grateful that these women and men, made and continue to make, those enormous sacrifices to help keep all of us safe. Ever appreciative, I believe we need to send a special wish to all of those wonderful women, exhibiting a patience I will thankfully never have to posess, Thankyou, and may your craft, whatever it is, be with you.