She would put on some good music, gather all the material we would need for whatever we were building, and if there were any detailed instructions, we would read them through, and sometimes “alter” them to suit our personal tastes, or abilities. Her motto was “Nothing is set in concrete, we can change things if need be.” Sometimes this proved to be not such a good idea, but perfection was not what was important. I learned as I grew to be a young woman that Mother’s whole intent had nothing to do with attaining perfection; it had everything to do with cultivating love, and just being together.
Many times we would spend an entire day at her table; articles, and supplies scattered and layered in a hodge-podge. Lunch time would be upon us, and we would simply push everything to the center of the table, make a bare spot in front of us, and make sandwiches and a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever was handy. We’d eat and talk, laugh, and argue; sometimes there’d be several conversations going at the same time; they were times of joy.
Years marched on, we all grew and moved on in life; had our own families, and those crafting sessions became a cherished memory. Mother still could be found sometimes when I’d go to visit her in her senior years, sitting alone at her kitchen table doodling with her watercolors, and watching the birds outside her window at her feeder. A sadness pierced my heart at times when I’d see her there, frail, pure white hair, remembering those happy times of my childhood. I’d sit and we’d visit, and sometimes I’d join her. That foundation of love remained. The picture above is one of Mother’s watercolors that she gave me, shortly before she passed away. How precious those memories are to me now.
In the years I worked with seniors, these craft sessions took place at times, midmorning or during the afternoons, and some of them enjoyed it. It brought back fond memories that they would share, helped give them something to be occupied, and a source of socializing.
If your caring for someone elderly, who seems to have lost the joy of living, perhaps a time of sharing and crafting around the kitchen table would cultivate a new sense of purpose, but mostly of just the enjoyment of doing something simply for the fun of it. And who knows; maybe the one thing we all need more of in these days of stress; love.