Heather’s story

I was going to name and number the posts that come about because of crochet – along the lines of ‘Crochet tale # 105), however I have realised that is going to be too much work. I also just realised that when I typed # 105, I am quite possibly one of the few people that remember when # was the shortcut for ‘number’ and did not mean ‘hashtag’.

As usual, I digress.

I took the easy way out and added a new category. No numbering will be involved.

On the train coming home from work I pulled out The Blankie Project – time is running out, Frank and Bean (aka the twins) will be here before I know it. The carriage was crowded as usual. At Central a couple got on the train – a young man and his mum. Both looked exhausted. They were a bit tattered around the edges as well, looking a bit rough, as they say. I offered the woman my seat, she thanked me and refused.  As I went back to my crocheting, I glanced up to see her watching me. She complimented me on my handwork and then the crochet worked its magic and she told me her story.

We spoke of children and grandchildren, and I learned she has 6 kids and 28 grandkids (28!), that she used to crochet all the time until the arthritis made it too difficult. ‘My daughters send me patterns all the time, she said, and ask me to make things for them, but I can’t because it hurts too much.’

We spoke of how she learned how to crochet and ‘make do’ from her extended family of aunties and uncles, and that she had been brought up on a property. They ran sheep, and had a few cattle for milk and beef. They gardened, and put vegetables up. She learned how to spin her own yarn from her mum and her gran, but ‘folks just don’t do that anymore’.

Her voice was soft, and I had to lean in to hear how she had fought off cancer 21 years ago, but the cancer had come back. That her daughter in Queensland was expecting a new baby, and how she was going to fly up to Queensland and pick up her granddaughter and bring her back to the farm, while her daughter gives birth to #29. Today’s trip into the city from the country had been to go visit the doctor to get the all clear to make the journey north.

My stop arrived all too quickly, and I gathered up my things and wished Heather a safe journey. She smiled at me and told me to enjoy my lovely children and grandchildren.

Sometimes I wish I had more than 40 minutes with these people.

Till next time.




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