11 February 1990
I don’t know how my mother is doing. It’s been months since I last saw her, I don’t know if her health is any worse or if she loves me anymore. The reason I’ve stopped seeing her is she can’t do needlework as she kept saying. When I realized she didn’t intend to learn, I begged her to do it for me. I followed her into the living room in sobs. When she saw me weeping she promised she’ d start the very next morning. Next day I woke up early put on my shoes and a natty jacket and went to the sewing-and-craft shop. I bought her blue and brown thread, got her a needle too, and all she had to do was embroider a flower, a blue flower with a brown stem. I gave her some beige cotton cloth and sat facing her on the couch. She took ages to thread the needle as her hands were trembling with anxiety. When she managed she looked at me and I said, “Well done mom,” and not just that but I got up, walked slowly to her armchair, I took a deep breath and kissed the spot where her hair met her back. She started on the branch first because the thread was brown. I sat back on the couch and without looking I kept repeating, “Thank you very much”. Being inexperienced she drove the needle through her finger plenty of times, it must have been painful, but she never complained. “The branch was a bit crooked,” I told her but she couldn’t fix it, which I realized so I did not insist. With time she got better, I’ll grant her that, and when it came to threading the blue yarn she was much faster. I was quick to praise her and then I wiped the sweat off her brow, I tucked her hair behind her ears as it fell in her eyes and she couldn’t see. The flower was not too pretty, and when she was down to the last petal she saw she had stitched her left hand to the underside of the cloth. I can’t imagine how she never felt the needle going through her own hand. “Much use I have of your apologies,” I said. “Get the scissors and cut yourself free,” I said. “No,” she said, “get a knife and cut off my hand, or the embroidery will be ruined and I’m not sure I can do it again”. I cut off her hand with the sears we kept in the toolshed and left. I haven’t seen her since. I never went back because that was the only thing I ever asked for so going back was pointless. Dead, but I don’t think so, they’d have told me. I had a hard time framing it because the palm couldn’t fit in a conventional frame and I had to order something special, but even so it doesn’t look too good. The result is laughable. Her hand and the blood on the wall, it’s all very sad but there wasn’t much I could do and after a while I learned to live with it. Her fingers are not swollen and her veins are as clearly defined as they used to be and to answer your question I do think of her at times, living alone, without me or anyone else with one of her hands missing, sitting all alone on a chair and I think of how much she loved me when we lived together and I wonder if she still loves me after all these months. So whenever I look at the frame
I remember her.
I hope you are keeping well.
This post was written by sherlockth